Longboarding has long been revered by noseriders, beginners and zenned out soul surfers everywhere.
It offers the thrill of surfing at a slower, more mellow pace, while still providing the athletic challenge and adrenaline surfers crave.
Whether you are just beginning surfing, or want to hone in on your longboard skills, here is a list of the best longboard surfboards on the market to get you started.
In this list, we provide the top soft tops, epoxies and resin boards that will have you cruising through the ocean for years to come.
Our Top Picks
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#1 Best Overall: SBBC Verve 8'
#2 Wavestorm Classic 8’
#3 Wave Bandit Gravy Rider 8’
The 6 Best Longboard Surfboards
#1 Overall Pick: SBBC 8' Verve
Extremely versatile, the SBBC 8’ Verve has a unique shape that allows surfers of all levels to enjoy this board. The Finger Print Textured IXPE Foam Deck gives the deck a lot of traction, so you won’t need to worry about wax.
The shape of this board is ideal for a variety of surfing styles. The bottom deck is double concave from nose to tail. This allows optimal glide through the water, and offers stability to keep from digging rails and effortless glide through surface chop. The hand shaped rails are unique for soft top boards, which tend to have sharp rails that dig into the wave easily.
One issue surfers have with soft tops, it that there isn’t much rocker in the nose. This is great for learning to go straight in the white wash, but if you want to actually surf in waves BEFORE they completely break, this can present a problem. The SBBC reconciles this issue by adding extra rocker to the nose so pearling won’t be a problem.
Veering away from heat lamination, this board is shaped by vacuum molding process, making the board much more durable. The triple stringer will offer protection from cracks and breaking. The PVC lined fin holes are ultra strong, and the heat release valve prevents water logging.
This board comes with its own leash, leash string and complete thruster fin set up with hardware. With all these accessory add ons, this board it the best value for your buck.
#2 Best Beginner Longboard Surfboard: Wavestorm Classic 8’
Wavestorms are the classic soft top boards, some argue the first of it’s kind. Almost every retailer that offers outdoor sports gear sells them, from REI to Costco. But why are they one of the most popular soft tops to buy?
The 8ft Classic is lightweight transport, soft for safety, and easy to maneuver. No wonder it’s a must have for beginners everywhere. The sharp rails are ideal for learning on flat water in the white wash before you know how to trim waves that are still breaking.
Durability and resistance to damage are good reasons why Wavestorms are so popular. When I was sixteen, I dropped my wavestorm from a third story balcony. When I retrieved it, it was totally fine, so I can personally guarantee you that these bad boys are tough as heck.
The bottom HDPE deck is very tough and resistance to dings, tears and punctures. The interior is made from strong expanded polystyrene and the top deck and rails boast an impressive waterproof graphic film.
The Wavestorm comes with its own leash and traction pad. The thruster fin set up is easy to install and stays in place while you surf. The fins have dull edges for protection to beginners while they are learning. If you want a good quality board at a great price, the Wavestorm 8’ is it!
#3 Wave Bandit Gravy Rider 8’
The Wave Bandit Gravy Rider 8’ is great for surfers of all skill levels. It is made of buoyant EPS foam core for easy wave catching, and a versatile shape for ease of maneuverability in any wave type.
The narrower tail of this board means that the chances of digging rails or pearling are low if more advanced surfers paddle it out into the line up. But because it is wider and thicker than a normal epoxy/resin board, beginners will have an easier time catching waves and learning to stand up.
Durability is a point of pride for the Wave Bandit Gravy Pro EZ Rider. The double maple wood stringer allows this board to maintain its shape and integrity while being resistant to damage. The EPS foam core is waterproof to prevent water logging and the bottom deck is made with UV damage and scratch resistant polyethylene.
Did i mention how cool this board looks? You’ll be the talk of the beach when you sport the pineapple graphics on the bottom deck. The Gravy EZ Rider also is sold with a 4.5 inch pop thru thruster set up that is very easy to install, and a leash fin. Surf in style with this pro model soft top and be the talk of the line up!
#4 California Board Company 9’
The California Board Company 9’ soft top foam board combines the retro look of a bolsa board with the safety and durability of a foam core rider. Not only does this board look great, it is also perfect for beginner surfers or those who want to enjoy the ride of a soft top.
This board is long and wide, with excellent buoyancy, making it the perfect board to learn to ride waves on. Because the nose is rounded and the tail is wide, the CBC 9’ is a good board for learning balance and wave catching. The 100% waterproof EPS foam core is wrapped in high density polyethylene so it is resistant against water logging.
A thruster fin set up with nylon screws, a PU leash, and leash string are included when you purchase the CBC 9’ soft top longboard. If you want to learn to surf, or want to switch up your quicker, this board is a great buy!
#5 Storm Blade 9’
StormBlade has been experimenting with and tweeking board templates for years and have developed the perfect shape of soft top surfboard. Their 9ft longboard is no exception! The increased volume and round rails make this board versatile enough for beginners and advanced surfers alike. You can learn to surf in the white water, or carve larger waves on the outside.
This board is made with top notch materials and design. It has EPS foam core that is waterproof and high grade HDPE bottom deck that is extremely damage resistant. The top deck is made with ultra durable 4mm EBS-IXL foam and there are three marine ply stringers to maintain board shape and performance.
The thruster fin setup is also waterproof. The fins attach through watertight silica rings to prevent water from getting inside the board. The STorm Blade 9’ also comes with a double swivel leash, so you wont get tangled up in it.
Whether you are cruising the white water or carving down the face of the wave, this board offers versatility and performance for beginners to advanced surfers. Because it can ride in virtually and wave type and condition, this board is a great buy for any ocean enthusiast!
#6 NSP Elements Longboard
NSP is the most widely sold longboard in the world, and rightly so. This brand combines durable materials with perfected board shape to offer a fun and long lasting surfboard for any wave junkie. The Elements Longboard incorporates these aspects that NSP is known for a great surfboard choice.
The core is water resistant EPS foam and it is molded into incredibly tough epoxy resin. The bottom deck is designed with a concave shape. This makes for more stability and allows more advanced surfers to do tricks, like walking the nose.
This board also comes with an 8” nylon center fin and two FCS M3 side fins, referred to as a “two plus one” fin set up. The fins are sturdy and are very easy to install. If you are looking for a good beginner surfboard that will grow with your ability level, the NSP Elements Longboard is a good choice. You will successfully learning to stand in white water, all the way up to carving overhead waves with this baby.
Longboard Surfboard Size Chart
Mini-mal / Longboard Surfboards
6'8" - 7'2"
6'8" - 7'0"
55 - 65 kg
7'2" - 7'6"
6'10" - 7'2"
65 - 75 kg
8'0" - 8'6"
7'0" - 7'6"
75 - 85 kg
8'6" - 9'2"
7'6" - 8'0"
85 - 95 kg
9'2" - 9'6"
8'0" - 8'6"
8'6" - 9'2"
Choosing Your Longboard
In general, the longer the board is, the easier it will be to catch waves. But it will be harder to turn since there is so much more surface area to maneuver. Longboards typically move slower the longer they get. Many advanced longboarders like a longer board so they can “walk the nose,” meaning the cross one foot over the other until they get to the nose of the board while they are on the wave.
Traditional longboards are anywhere from 9 feet to 11 feet, and are used by advanced longboarders who like to do oldschool surf tricks and beginners who need the longer size to learn to stand up and balance.
Boards that are anywhere from 9 feet to 7 feet are typically referred to as “fun boards.” They are long enough and buoyant enough for a beginner but short enough to turn and duck dive. “Short boards” are boards that are 7ft or shorter. They are harder to get into to waves and travel down the face of the wave much faster than longboards and fun boards. They are much easier to turn however, and most advanced surfers ride them. They are mostly used for aggressive carving and tricks like “getting air.”
Board Shape and Design
There are an endless supply of different board shapes and designs. I wouldn’t possibly be able to describe them all in one article, but let’s go over some basic shapes and designs:
Traditional longboard: As we have discussed earlier, traditional longboards have a rounder nose, are thick, buoyant and a flatter design. They are great for old school style surfing, typically emulating a 60’s style of surfing, and learning to surf.
Traditional short board: A short board is much shorter, thinner and have very pointed noses. They have harder rails and usually have three or four fins. They are harder to catch waves on but many more advanced surfers like them because you can duck dive to get out in bigger waves, and they are much easier to turn and perform more aggressive tricks on, like “bashing the lip."
Eggs and fun boards: Hybrids between long and shortboards. They are short sized but have rounded noses and more buoyancy for easier wave catching while maintaining maneuverability. They are great for novice surfers who are looking to get into shorter boards to ride, before graduating onto a traditional short board.
Fish: Fish boards are usually ridden at a short size, like 5 to 7 feet, because they are thicker and more bouyant. They can turn and maneuver just as easily as a traditional shortboard, but catch waves easier with their thickness. They are a step down from a fun board. Many surfers with a more old school, slower and smoother style of surfing like these boards because they glide a little slower and smoother in the water than an aggressive shortboard. They are called fish boards because the tail is shaped like a fish. This allows for a wider tail for stability, but without sacrificing lesser surface area. My personal favorite type of board, fish boards are great for tricks and turns, but offer a mellower approach to surfing.
Harder rails are easier to turn, but don’t keep their line in the wave as easy. Softer rails can be slightly harder to turn, but keep balance in the wave easier. It all depends on what you want. As a beginner, rails aren’t a huge issue because you won’t be doing technical turns yet. Rail shape and ratio to the board is more of a concern when a surfer is more advanced and wants to have more control over the boards performance.
There are five basic shapes of tails: pin tail, round tail, squash tail, fish/swallow tail and square tail. A pin tail is good for holden it’s line down the wave. It is usually used for boards to ride giant waves. Less surface area means you have less chance of losing your balance on the wave, a must for surfers riding huge waves. Definitely an advanced tail shape.
Round tails are good for a looser ride and more turning ability. The wider surface area allows more lift, which means easier maneuvering.
A squash tail has even more surface area. It typically is used the most on short boards that ride waves from three to ten feet. It is a very responsive shape and is a favorite amongst surfers that like big, powerful turns and carving up and down the wave.
A square tail offers the most turning power, but is a little more stable than a round and squash tail, because the corners of the tail are sharp. They are the most typical tail shape on longboards.
Fish and swallow tails are best for softer waves, where the lack of speed makes balancing and turning harder. This is because you get wide surface area, but the pointed tips on the end of the V give good stability.
Rocker can be found in the tail of the board and at the nose. Less rocker means more maneuverability on the wave, but since there is less surface area on the water, it will be harder to catch waves. If you are just starting out, more rocker is good because it gives you extra stability and wave catching power.
There are many many types of fins to choose from, but let’s go over some basic types.
A “single fin” is used for longboards and retro shortboards. Turns are longer and slower, and carving is slower as well. A large single fin holds its line in the wave very well, but is hard to turn. Single fins are best for longboarders who want to hold a straight line so they can walk up to the nose of the board.
If you want a more high performance longboard that turns easily, I would go with a thruster set up. Two fins on the side and a fin in the middle. All the fins are the same size. Thruster set ups provide stability while turning and carving, and offer a looser ride.
On shorter boards, you can have a twin fin, thruster or quad set up. Twin fins set ups typically use larger fins then thruster set ups. Turning and maneuvering is quick and smooth. A thruster set up is usually used for high performance shortboards that want to turn aggressively and travel very fast down the wave.
A “quad” set up consists of four fins. All identical in size, with two fins on each side of the tail. A quad set up will be the loosest and most reactive turning. It feels very similar to skateboarding, as the fins respond quickly to any movement of your feet.
Beginners Guide To Longboard Surfing
In general, it’s important to observe surf etiquette, no matter what kind of board you are on. Don’t paddle out into the lineup and immediately sit deepest. Wait your turn for your wave. That is why it’s called the “line up.” Start at the shoulder of the wave and work your way up as surfers take their turns catching waves.
On a longboard, you will want to catch the wave pretty early, like right before it breaks. Shortboarders typically catch the wave right after it breaks, when the wave is the steepest because they don’t have as much speed getting into the wave. Because you’ll be on a longer board, you don’t want to take off when the wave is that steep. Sit a little further out and catch the wave just before it breaks, this will give you more time to pop up and get into the pocket of the wave.
If you decide you want to stick with longboarding for a while, there are fun things you can learn! When you feel you have good balance on the board, you can practice wider, deeper turns, riding parallel to the face of the wave instead of straight in the white wash, and if you are feeling really adventurous, try walking up to the nose of the surfboard.
With enough practice, you’ll be doing all these things in no time! Stay respectful and aware of other surfers, wear sun protection, and most importantly, have fun!
Must-Have Longboard Surfboard Accessories
Longboards need leashes and wax. “Sticky Bumps” and “Sex Wax” are the two most popular brands of wax. When getting a leash, you generally want it to be the same length as the board.
One option for long boards is a traction pad on the top deck over the fin(s). When turning a surfboard, you must put your foot over the fins to maneuver. A traction pad allows your foot to stay in place as you turn. They are a favorite amongst surfers who like high performance longboards.
Sometimes people put deck decals or surfboard paint on the top deck. This can be fun too. It will make you stick out though, so make sure your presence in the water is a good one.
A longboard surfboard bag is a great idea as well. It will keep your board protected from dings and scratches during transport to the beach.
Longboard Surfboard Pros and Cons
There are many benefits to longboarding, but depending on what kind of surfing you want to do there can be some drawbacks. Here are the pro’s and con’s of longboarding.
Pro’s: Longboarders have the easiest time catching waves. Because there is a lot of surface area of board, it doesn’t take much momentum to get a glide going to catch the wave. You can sit further out in the line up and catch waves much earlier, increasing time on the wave.
They are much easier to balance on, as the deck is much wider and longboards travel slower in the water. (There is more drag on the vertical face of the wave.) This is why longboards are perfect for beginners.
You can do cool tricks on a longboard. “Walking the nose” and “cross stepping” are very popular activities on a longboard. Cross stepping is when you cross one foot over the over sideways depending on if you are slowing down or speeding up on the wave. Not only does it look cool, but it helps you maintain speed and an optimal position on the wave. When you make it all the way up to the nose of the board, you’ve successfully “walked the nose.”
Con’s: Longerboards are heavier and harder to carry and transport. Storage can also be a bit more of a problem. They typically won’t fit inside of a car or in a closet. Storing and transport usually requires surf racks for cars and wall racks for home storage.
If you are looking for speed and high turning performance, longboarding can be a bit of a drag (pun intended.) They travel slower down the wave and take much more effort and power to turn, especially if you are riding a single fin.
Are Longboard Surfboards For Beginners?
Longboards are great for beginners, and more often than not, preferred by instructors to use for teaching. They have more buoyancy and volume, which makes catching waves much easier. Because longboards have more surface area than shortboards, they have more stability, which is essential when you are learning to stand on moving water! Once a surfer gets standing, they tend to stick with a longboard for a little while. Longboards move slower through the water so there is more time to learn how to turn, trim and carve. Longboards are a great way to master the basics of surfing before moving on to a shorter board.
Should I Apply Wax On My Soft-Top Longboard?
Some soft tops have a smoother surface, requiring wax, but some soft tops come with an extra textured top deck so wax is not needed. The SBBC 8' Verve is a great example of a soft top that has enough traction on the top deck that you wouldn’t need wax.
Do I Need To Have Some Sort Of Athletic Training Or Sports Background Before I Surf?
You don’t need ANY athletic training or sports background to learn to surf. Surfing is a very unique sport. It requires a very unique set of muscles and motor skills that other sports actually do not successfully train you for. Of course, cross training can help you stay in shape cardiovascularly, but skill-wise, you don’t need to be a star skiier or basketball player to enjoy surfing. I have taught many an athlete to surf, and they were just as challenged by surfing as anyone else. The only thing that will make you progress at a faster rate is more time in the water. The wonderful thing about surfing is that there is no end goal, and for most of us, no winning or losing. It’s just to go out and have fun. It is enjoyable at any level of skill, and that is why it is my favorite sport.
Are There Rules I Should Be Aware Of In The Lineup?
There are a lot of moving components in surfing, and safety and awareness to yourself and others is very important. Here are a few important tips to remember in the water.
Don’t ever take off on a wave if someone else is already on it. This is called dropping in and is just as bad as cutting someone off with your car in traffic. Sometimes, dropping in can be dangerous, as it causes collisions and potential injury.
If you are paddling for the same wave as someone else, there actually is a pecking order. The person “deepest” has right to the wave. This means they are the closest to the middle of the wave. The person closer to the shoulder of the wave must let them have it.
Wait your turn. Don’t paddle out and try to catch every wave. It’s called a “lineup” because surfers line up and catch waves in rotation. If you are just paddling out, wait until everyone else who was out in the ocean catches a wave before you paddle for one. Experienced surfers will acknowledge you are their and let you have your turn as well. Wave hogs typically get chased out of the water.
Should I get surf sessions?
Absolutely. The biggest issue I see with new surfers is that they haven’t taken lessons. They have no concept of surf etiquette or water safety. They present a danger to other surfers, and typically ruin the vibe of the lineup by being clueless. So please, take some lessons and learn the ways of the ocean and the line up.
What is the history of longboarding?
This was the first type of surfboard dating back thousands of years in the Polynesian and Hawaiian culture, read our indepth article of the history of longboarding here on our website.
Best longboard surfboard brands and shapers?
For the best longboard soft tops, you couldn’t find better brands than the ones on this list. They are tried and true brands of good quality and performance. Wavestorm, California Board Company and SBBC make great boards, which is why they make the top three on our list. Check them out!
Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?
If you want a longboard that is versatile, durable and fun, all of the boards on our list would be great. None more so than the SBBC Verve 8’. It has stability and material that is most suitable for beginners. Because of its shape, like the slightly pulled in tail shape and extra rocker, more advanced surfers will have fun on this board, as well.
Good quality material is just as important as board shape. When investing in a surfboard, get one that will last your years. The boards on this list are made from high grade foam core and polyethylene bottom decks. The Wavestorm 8’ soft top for instance, is known for its resistance to damage like punctures, dings and tears.
Whichever board you choose on this list, you will be happy with your purchase. From top quality materials to versatile performance, you’ll be having the time of your life when you get paddling. Be cool in the water, be respectful and safe, and enjoy your new longboard adventure!
Our #1 Pick - SBBC VERVE 8'