Riding the Pipeline on the Best Surfboards – Top Models of 2018 Compared

You are an icon, a god of the deep blue waves crashing against the white sand beaches, or at least you want to be. Surfers are among the most admired dues and dudettes on the coast, and you can be two when you get your hands on the best surfboards. I have spent most of my life at the beach, and put my experience, and a healthy dose of research, into putting together this guide of the best surfboards just for you.

Best Surfboards - Comparisons

10 Best Surfboards – Reviews 

1. Wavestorm 8' Classic Surfboard

At 8-feet long, the Wavestorm classic is the ideal length for the beginning boarder without getting into the crazy long 9 and 10-foot boards. The Wavestorm Classic has been a long-time favorite of surfers, and I found that a lot of experts recommend this board for beginners of all types.

The build of the Classic combines a high durability EPS foam core and marine-plywood stringers to make the board durable and buoyant, just about the perfect combination for the beginner.

The top of the board uses an EBS IXL (polyethylene) skin that is textured to give your feet additional grip on the board. The remarkable features create a board that works with you to get a good ride on the waves.

To further give you a boost, Wavestorm has included a traction pad to help with foot placement. Few boards are this well set up to help you succeed in your new lifestyle as a surfer. 

What we liked

  • Excellent for beginners 
  • Exceptional build quality 
  • Smooth ride for experienced riders 

What we didn't like

  • 8-foot length is hard to transport without roof racks

2. Raystreak 7'2" Crocodile Groove Soft Surfboard

Raystreak's Crocodile is an intersection of wood and foam boards. Its core is high durability EPS foam that makes this board more buoyant and floats better for beginning surfers. A 6-ounce fiberglass cover coats the core and the whole board has double reinforced epoxy sealed poplar stringers. All these features serve to make the Crocodile higher performing and durable.

To enhance the durability, Raystreak included nose and tail bumper to help minimize damage to the board. Across the top of the board is a hot-pressed polyethylene skin textured to add more grip and protection to the top of the board.

The skin is soft and comfortable enough that you won't wear and tear your feet up after a long day of surfing, and the extra grip will help you stay put. One less thing working against you while catching waves, right?

What we liked

  • Good middle length at 7'2" 
  • Board is an excellent choice for beginners to intermediate surfers
  • Very lightweight
  • Durable construction

What we didn't like

  • Color choices aren't great, gotta look good

3. Gold Coast Surfboards Soft Top Surfboard

Gold Coast's version of the Wavestorm Classic is another great option for beginning surfers or seasoned riders that want a smooth and relaxing ride. The Gold Coast board features high-density cell EPS foam core, which is a technical way of saying that the foam has high durability and buoyancy, plus it won't absorb water.

The top of the board has a croc skin textured IXPE foam that will give you enhanced grip while riding the board. The bottom of the surfboard is a diamond weave patterned slick coating that lets the water glide across the board without resistance. This cover makes the board easier to paddle and glide across the waves.

All the materials make this Golden Coast board plenty durable to last for years, plus they have included two resin layers for added rigidity and a rubber tail bumper that protect the board when standing up and transporting. 

What we liked

  • Available in a package that includes a board bag 
  • Great starter board 
  • lightweight but strong build 

What we didn't like

  • Foam dents when strapped too tight
  • 8-feet is harder to transport

4. Liquid Shredder Soft Surf Board

The Liquid Shredder FSE foamie board is a shortboard that has a 6-foot length. This board is an intersection of performance board for the experienced rider and budget foam board. The Shredder has an Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam core that dual wooden string wrapping that makes the board lightweight and buoyant. Thanks to the foam core, the surfboard will also work well for a youth beginner.

Liquid Shredder states that the board has a rating for a beginner weight of 95-pounds, so don't count on having a lot of success if you're a 6-footer that weighs 200-pounds. Other construction elements include a foam cover layer on the top that is soft and adds extra grip.

The bottom of the board uses white polypropylene plastic coating that makes the bottom more rigid and creates a smooth surface for the board to slide across the water like silk.

What we liked

  • Board is rigid 
  • Soft and comfortable to ride
  • Good starter board for kids 
  • Decent performance for an experienced surfer 

What we didn't like

  • Doesn't come with a leash included 
  • 95-pound weight limit for novice surfers

5. Surftech Learn2Surf Blacktip Surfboard

If you are looking for a great starter board series that is designed to help you move from one experience level to another, the Surftech boards are where you want to start.

Surftech has a complete line of foam boards that range from 5-feet 6-inches all the way up to a 10-foot long board. The primary benefit of this broad range of foam boards is that it gives you the option to try out the different shapes and sizes of surfboards. When you feel good with one size of a surfboard, you can quickly grow comfortable with the next size of foam board.

With Surftech’s system of foam boards, you have a less expensive way to get better at surfing size by size. For the year-round beach bum, the Surftech line of boards lets you get a couple of different boards for different seasons and wave types without burning away your munchie money.

What we liked

  • Reinforced construction for longevity and durability 
  • Massive line up to choose from
  • Options for every age and experience level 

What we didn't like

  • Limited color choices

6. Wave Bandit Performer

The Wave Bandit is a performance shortboard that is designed to combine a sweet ride in a budget-friendly package. Unlike the other boards on the list, the Wave Bandit has a fish shape and performance rocker curve that dares you to take on the barrels and ride the pipeline.

Wave Bandit designed the Performer with wood stringers and a dual composite core to make this board stiff enough to withstand the tight turns and drops into a rocking wave. This board won't bend or break because of hard riding or the sweet moves you pull to impress the cutie on the beach.

The high-density slick bottom will ensure that you have the smooth glide and speed to keep up with almost any wave.

What we liked

  • Great construction 
  • High Performance for the price 

What we didn't like

  • Not meant for beginners

7. Thurso Surf Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Surfboard Package

The Thurso Surf Lancer is a shortboard built for speed and performance in a foam core board that makes it an excellent choice for young beginners and boarders with a few seasons under their shorts that want to transition to a shorter board. The core is the standard EPS core built for stability, strength, and buoyancy.

The bottom has a heat laminated HDPE slick coating for a smooth glide, and the top features a durable high-density deck that gives you a soft board to ride. The heat lamination of the top and bottom coatings makes the board more resistant to delamination and water damage.

The fish shape of the Lancer is excellent for giving the rider more foot space and more control of movement in the water, letting you pull off more fancy moves.

What we liked

  • Soft top good for learning the shortboard 
  • Lightweight but durable 
  • slick bottom smoothly glides across the water

What we didn't like

  • Fin screws can come out easily (might have to glue to prevent loss)

8. Rock-It 4'11" Chub Surfboard

At only 4'11" long the Chub is limited to being either a starter board for a young surfer or a faster performing board for a teenager. The size will mean more speed and movement, so if you are a little bit older, you want to make sure you are comfortable with your balance. If you are, you will have a good time on the Chub that will take you for a wild ride.

Chub is a foam core board that will give you some flotation help. The core uses foam from recycled materials, so you are also environmentally friendly when you pick up this board. To make the Chub capable of taking on the rippling waves, Rock-it coated the core with 6-ounce fiberglass and twin wood stringers that keep it from warping and bending under the force of your amazing moves.

The top of the board has a soft top cover that gives you extra comfort and grip and helps make it a great starter board for the next generation of wave shredders.

What we liked

  • Great for teaching kids to surf 
  • Durable build 

What we didn't like

  • Experienced surfers will notice lack of performance

9. California Board Company Surfboard (7-Feet)

The California Board Company 7-foot surfboard is a foam board that looks like a classic wood board. When I first saw this, I was surprised at how good it looked compared to other EPS foam boards. This board is the beginner board the won't make you look like a noob out on the water until you fall trying to catch your first wave. Don't worry though; everyone falls. Pretend a fish jumped on your board and threw off your balance. The topside of the board has laminated wood stringers that give it the impressive wood appearance without sacrificing the light weight and performance a beginner needs. The bottom coating is polyethylene that keeps it slick and smooth, so the water doesn't have anywhere to grab hold of to take you down. The triple fins round out this great beginner board.

What we liked

  • 7-foot length is between long and short boards 
  • The shorter length is more comfortable to transport
  • Comes with leash included 
  • Great beginner board for any new surfer

What we didn't like

  • Board not well suited for more those with board sport experience 
  • Doesn't have the build durability for frequent surfers

10. Giantex 6' Surfboard

The Giantex surfboard is the simplest budget option for a beginning surfer who wants to try out the sport without making a substantial investment.

At only 6-feet long, the Giantex is a board that is best suited for children, or for adults that are comfortable with their balance. Even if you don't have good balance, you can still learn on this board that can take the beating of a novice boarder.

Giantex uses closed cell foam to make this foamie, which is why it is excellent for beginners and children. The foam is much more buoyant than other materials, so you won't have to worry about the weight of the board dragging you below the waves. At the rear of the board is large traction pad to help you keep your grip while cruising the water.

One of the features I like most about this surfboard is the removable fins that are held on with plastic screws. I like this because you can remove the fins when you travel to help save space and make the board more cooperative in a tight car space. 

What we liked

  • Good for beginners, especially kids 
  • Smooth bottom glides well across the water 
  • Gorgeous bright colors

What we didn't like

  • Fins are rubber and break with hard contact 
  • Not the best for adult beginners

Board Length 

The board length is an essential factor in determining the amount of buoyancy the board will provide. Longer and thicker surfboards will provide you with more buoyancy and will be easier to ride and keep balanced. Beginners are often better served on a longer and broader board for this reason.

Shorter boards are better for more experienced surfers who want a faster ride. The shorter boards will also be much easier to maneuver to ride the waves longer and even perform some tricks.

Your wave ride 

Not all waves are the same, and chances are you have daydreamed about the monster waves you've seen in Hawaii and surf videos. BoardCave.com recommends having multiple boards, "Wave types and conditions are so different from place to place and day to day that having a quiver is essential if you plan on surfing a lot."

When you step out to ride you will want to make sure that you have the right board for the waves. Longboards are better suited for smaller and slower waves that you will need more flotation to keep up on top of the water. Shortboards are a great option for large and fast waves. Take time to look at where you will be surfing and choose a board that matches the wave patterns of your local spot. If you need help figuring it out, check with local harbors that will have wave action reports.

Experience 

The board you choose, and the length will vary based on how much surfing you have done, and the style of surfing you hope to do. Like your weight and wave type, longer boards are better for new surfers as they learn the art of shifting between paddling to catch a wave and rising to their feet. The longer boards will also stay more stable as you ride the wave closer to the shore.

More experienced surfers go with shortboards that offer more freedom of movement as you dance across the waves. If you have experience in other board sports, you can skip the beginning boards and move to a shorter board. Though, you will still have an adjustment period when it comes to standing on the board.

Fitness 

When I was researching the critical parts of the best surfboards, I was surprised to find that almost all the expert sources I studied said that fitness is a significant component in the selection of your new surfboard. One of the great things about surfing is that there is a board out there that will let you enjoy riding the waves.

As with experience, the longer boards are better for surfers that are lower on the physical fitness scale. When catching a wave, the longboard will be more forgiving of a slow of a tired paddle and will give you more time to get up on the board. If you are in peak physical condition, you will be able to handle a shorter board, or still stick with a long one if you don't want to work as hard.

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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