There are so many types of surfboards out there that shopping for one can be overwhelming. Several hundred dollars are on the line depending on what you buy, and if you are just starting out this is probably going to be the only board in your quiver.
The key to surfing is having fun, and the right board can make all the difference because everyone has to start somewhere. So, we're here to help make sure you find the right board for you so you have the most fun without wasting a bunch of money.
Longboards (starting at 9ish feet) are great for all levels of surfers, but can be too big for some beginning to intermediate surfers. If that is the case, a great option is the 7ft surfboard.
You get a lot of the benefits without all the size. Once you are out on the water with one of these 7 footers we know you will love them as much as we do.
Who Is A 7 Foot Surfboard Perfect For?
So many people can have fun on a 7ft surfboard from smaller people, to younger people, to beginning surfers all the way up to intermediate surfers. There are several key criteria that might push you to go for 7ft. The first is your size, because if you are under about 5'6", this size board will definitely be easier to both carry to the beach and to keep control of in the water than a true long board because they will literally be easier to get your arms around. Also, shorter length means less weight, so they won't be as heavy to carry either.
We also like that most of our picks are rated for at least 200 lbs, so if you are a bigger beginner these surfboards will still float you on the water. The next criteria to consider is your skill level. We recommend 7 footers for beginning to intermediate surfers because they are easier to paddle and maneuver while still being big enough help you catch waves more easily with great stability when you are standing. While we don't want to pigeonhole these boards, they are especially great for kids to learn on because of the smaller size and ease of catching waves. So, in short, these boards are great to help you build your surfing muscles and skills while making everything just a bit easier than with a true long board.
7ft Surfboard: Our 4 Favorites
#1 South Bay Board Co. Ruccus 7'
We wrote about the Ruccus in our Surfboard Shapes post as well and we'll highlight it again here because it is such a great board! This board is for smaller surf, catching those waves as easily as any surfboard.
The shape is influenced by the funboard designs, so it is wide and stable, ready for both kids and advanced beginners.
We also like the soft top deck for added safety since beginners have a habit of falling off occasionally. And when you fall off, as an added bonus, this board comes with its own leash.
Finally, we like that it is wax free so you have one less thing to worry about when heading out to surf.
Again, the size is great for smaller people to tote around on land and paddle around on the ocean.
This is a small thing, but great for beginners too. The tail of the board is flattened, so it is easy to store vertically without damaging the board. All the big things (great for small surf, stable) and all the little things (included leash, no wax) add up to a great board!
#2 THURSO SURF Aero 7'
The Thurso Surf Aero 7ft is a very light weight board designed for maximum stability.
The egg shape is especially stable which is awesome for beginners.
The board is also a soft foam top surfboard, again adding a little safety for those beginner type falls that come for everyone from beginners to the most advanced.
Wipeouts are part of the fun! The included leash will help with that! Even though these boards are lightweight the heat laminated High Density Poly Ehtylene (HDPE = fancy polymer) for the slick bottom is extremely durable, and the IXPE soft top foam over EPS (Extended Poly Styrene = Fancy Foam) core is also made to last.
This beginner surfboard is fantastic, and as you get better the fins are adjustable to help you tune in your performance. Finally, that lightweight will make it a snap for even the littlest surfers to carry this board across the sand to hit the waves, making it one of the best surfboards for beginners.
#3 Wavestorm 7'
The Wavestorm 7ft Pinline Classic is one of the best selling and most recognizable boards out there.
Many, many beginners have ventured out for their first sessions on these boards.
They are especially great boards for kids, but are also great surfboards for beginning adults.
The soft foam top is grippy and the buoyant foam surfboard will help you keep your balance as you pop up on the first wave you catch.
The Wavestorm is one of the best beginner surfboards, and comes with everything you need when you buy it (which means mostly the leash, but also includes the traction pad.) Also, as the least expensive board on our list, the Wavestorm is a great bang for your buck.
When you want to surf, you can't go wrong with the Wavestorm!
#4 BIC Sport G-Board EVO 7'
The Bic Sport G-Board Evo 7ft is another great board. It is a little less stiff than our other recommendations because it has two stringers instead of three, but still has the same EPS core and soft top.
We would recommend this board stay on smaller waves because the fins are more soft, which lessens the control on the surf a little bit but makes it much easier to get around on land because you don't have to worry about the fins banging in to things as much.
Overall, this is a really good beginner board because it makes it easy to catch waves and ride them to your hearts content.
How long should the leash be for a 7ft board?
There is not hard and fast size, but the rule of thumb is that the leash should be about the same length as the board. So for a 7ft board you should have a 7ft leash. We say don't vary too much from that, otherwise you'll end up with way too much extra leash to navigate if you are too long, or you won't be able to get your leash around the board if it is too short.
Is there a difference between a Foam Top and a Soft Top?
No, no there isn't. They are pretty much the same thing. And, they are great for beginners out on the water to make sure you stay safe on the surf.
What are all those acronyms?
They are all different type of Polymers (plastics and foams) that make up a board. The core of the board is usually EPS (extended poly styrene) which is a firm foam block and is what makes it float. The core is also what the shaper manipulates to give the board its form. It is the same for foam boards or glassed over standard construction boards. HDPE is high density poly ethylene, like a plastic, that is a durable option for the slick bottoms of soft top boards. IXPE is used on the foam tops, and is cross linked poly ethylene. It is a softer foam to protect against impacts.
What about the Fins? Do they matter for beginners?
Fins only matter a little bit as you are beginning, but become more important as you get better. Fins help a board stay stable in the water and track on the wave as you begin to maneuver. All of our favorite 7ft surfboards have a three equal sized fins which is called a thruster design because it is a multipurpose set up designed for a wide range of conditions. For more info on fins, check out this video.
OUR #1 PICK - South Bay Board Co. Ruccus 7'