The last decade of surf innovation has absolutely blown us away.
From new shapes to new construction types to optimized performance, surfers are now able to ride as they've never been able to before.
What’s great about surfboard innovation is that it isn’t limited to one type of board. No matter what kind of surfboard that you are looking to take out, we’ve got the best for you.
Without wasting any more of your time, let’s dive in and check out the best surfboard reviews so that you can begin your path to true, wave righteousness.
What Is The Best Surfboard?
It’s hard to pick a “best” out of all of our best surfboard reviews, though if we had to pick one to put at the top, it’d be the South Bay Board Co. "The Razzo" 6’ Hybrid.
It’s the most well-rounded surfboard on our list and great for almost any kind of surfer in almost any kinds of conditions.
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Our Favorite Picks By Category
#1 Best Longboard: South Bay Board Co. 8' Verve
#1 Best Shortboard: Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Performer
#1 Best Fish: South Bay Board Co. 5’8 Hybrid Soft Top Fish
#1 Best Groveler: Catch Surf Beater
#1 Best Mini Mal: Bic Sport - G-Board EVO
#1 Best Egg: Catch Surf Wave Bandit EZ Rider Egg Surfboard - 7'0"
#1 Best Hybrid: South Bay Board Co. "The Razzo" 6’ Hybrid
#1 Best Funboard: South Bay Board Co - 6’8” Casper
Top 8 Best Surfboards
#1 Best Longboard Surfboard: South Bay Board Co. 8' Verve
Longboards are great for a number of reasons. They allow beginner surfers to paddle and catch waves more easily while giving veteran surfers the chance to cruise and catch smaller, mushier waves that shortboards can’t handle. If you’re looking for a solid longboard, set your sights toward South Bay Board Co. This Southern California surf company makes some of the best soft-top boards on the market, their 8’ Verve being one of them.
This board is an excellent choice for beginners thanks to the sheer volume and surface area, though it has a few upgrades in the performance that help it to surf and perform better than your typical soft-top. In terms of design, this thing is tough as nails. The closed-cell EPS molded foam core, double wooden stringers, fiberglass rod stringer, and multi-level resin, will make you forget that you're even riding a foamie. You also get a unique rubber tail bumper, perfect for crowded days when knocking into someone seems inevitable.
Altogether you get three included fins, a 6’ leash, and a wax-free board. You’ll be surfing like a pro in no time.
#1 Best Shortboard Surfboard: Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Performer
If you're looking to optimize your performance, move through some barrels, and possibly get some air, you're going to need the best shortboard surfboard. There's no need to spend a grand to get a good though. Check out the Ben Gravy Performer by Wave Bandit. Ben Gravy, the legendary semi-pro surfer, punk musician, and all-out wildman, created this board to be just as dynamic as his lifestyle.
He did so while sticking to Wave Bandit's motto: Surf's Up Everywhere, meaning it can surf almost any kind of conditions that it's thrown in. The board is constructed with double maple wood stringers and an EPS core for serious durability. The shape is a bit fishy thanks to the swallowtail, giving it a bit more speed in steep conditions. Pair that with the high-density slick bottom and you'll be flying down the line with ease.
Altogether, the board comes with a set of 4.5” thruster fins and a leash plug, meaning you’ll only need to get yourself a leash to get out there. Plus, nothing beats the funky, sunglass-dressed pineapple design on the bottom of the board. It’s easily one of the coolest rides around.
#1 Best Fish Surfboard: South Bay Board Co. 5’8 Hybrid Soft Top Fish
Fish surfboards are a lot like shortboards in terms of design, though the slight differences are what help to give them the edge in many different ways. The 5'8" Mahi lives by the name and gives other fish a run for their money. It has a mixture of power and performance. The fishtail allows you to carve more smoothly than you would be able to with a shortboard. The narrow nose optimizes takeoffs too, while the wider deck gives you a bit more surface area so that you can paddle easier.
One unique thing that we love about this board is the quad-fin setup that provides you with extra stability and speed. In terms of durability, it lives up to the high-grade, SBBC standard. It’s constructed with a durable EPS core, as well as multiple layers of bamboo and resin that add a rigid feel to this flexible board.
#1 Best Groveler Surfboard: Catch Surf Beater
Leave your ego at home and roll out with one of these fun and flashy groveler surfboards. When the waves aren’t great yet the beach is calling your name, there is truly nothing better to ride with. You can surf this bad boy with or without fins and it’s perfect for blackball surfing. It’ll turn even the smallest of beach days into the best of beach days.
While these little Beaters might not look like much, you’d be surprised how tough they are. The lightweight and water-resistant core can hold up well in a wide range of conditions and the maple-ply wood stringers add a bit of extra stiffness to give you more confidence in your riding. The high-density slick bottom mixed with the twin-fin design will help to lift you right atop the water. You’ll feel like you’re gliding over it, no joke.
The most special things about the Catch Surf Beaters are the wide array of designs. They’re crazy, colorful, and are highly representative of surf-style in the 1980s. If you’re in the market for a board that you can have some fun with, look no further.
#1 Best Mini Mal Surfboard: Bic Sport - G-Board EVO
Mini-mal surfboards were originally manufactured after the Malibu surfboard, a massive longboard that was made to surf the long, hollow breaks in Malibu back in the day. While the Malibu typically runs 8' and over, the Mini-Mal runs from about 7'0" to 8'6" in length (The Bic Sport giving you 7' and 8' choices). What we love about this board is that it is easy to learn with and fun to cruise on, yet gives you a bit more maneuverability than your standard longboard.
The no-wax deck is a nice touch, allowing you to hop out in the water without having to wax up. In terms of durability, they give you internal twin-reinforced composite stringers, which add stiffness and performance. Bic Sport added a thruster set on this board, which was kind of surprising, though it allows you to maneuver much better, using the center fin as your fulcrum point.
The wide nose makes this board incredibly easy to paddle and the added volume helps you to pop up without worry. Luckily, the smaller size works to balance out those longboard-like properties by providing you with more control in direction.
#1 Best Egg Surfboard: Catch Surf Wave Bandit EZ Rider Egg Surfboard - 7'0"
Egg surfboards came out in the early 1970s with the intention to give surfers the ability to surf smaller conditions with ease. The fun egg shape is great for both beginners who are trying to get their technique down, as well as veteran surfers who are looking to have a good time. Like many of the other Wave Bandit boards, this one is built to provide more performance than your average soft-top surfboard.
The squash tail helps you to cut better while the rounded nose gives you a bit more stability. There is a bit of added surface area in the center to give you more room to paddle and pop-up as well. The high-density slick bottom will have you flying down the line in no time. The EZ Rider Egg comes with a pop-thru 4.5” thruster setup for better control and a leash plug. You can pick from a variety of bright, neon colors. Get a Wave Bandit and you’ll be the star of the lineup.
#1 Best Hybrid Surfboard: South Bay Board Co. "The Razzo" 6’ Hybrid
There aren't any hard and fast rules when it comes to making a hybrid surfboard. Essentially, hybrid boards will take a few top qualities of different boards and put them together to make something unique. South Bay Board Co. did an excellent job when crafting the Razzo. It's crafted with a soft-top deck that allows you to surf in a variety of conditions, though it is still completely performance-based.
The Razzo has a thruster fin setup for control, a narrow nose, and a slight rocker in the tail, much like a shortboard. The single concave moves throughout the bottom into a V-Exit in the tail. Essentially, it gives you the feel and performance of a shortboard even though it is much easier to surf with. At only 6’ long, you might be surprised at how easy it is to paddle this thing too.
Just like the other South Bay Board Co. boards, this bad boy comes complete with FCS thruster fins, a wax-free foam deck, and a 6’ leash, aka everything that you need to get out in the water right away!
Best Funboard Surfboard: South Bay Board Co - 6’8” Casper
The 6’8” Casper is all about having fun in the water, hence the name. This funboard surfboard is constructed with a thruster-style nose and a swallowtail, perfect for shortboard-style performance. More beginner to intermediate riders will really dig the added width, which makes for smoother turns and easier paddling. It has an incredibly smooth ride that seems to fly down the line with ease. This is thanks to the bottom, which has been properly resined with protective layers for durability and glide.
Like all of the other SBBC boards, this board has hand-tapered rails, which allows you to cut deeper into the face of the wave. Don’t worry though, the added volume on the Casper will maximize your wave-catching ability. Altogether, you get a 4.5” thruster set of fins, a 7’ leash, and a texturized, wax-free deck. Basically, you get everything that you need to get in the water right away!
Best Surfboard Brands
Below is a list of our 3 favorite brands. If you'd like to see more, we put together a complete list of the top 23 best surfboard brands out in the marketplace today.
Our #1 Pick - Catch Surf
Catch Surf is all about fun. Their brand is all about 80s surf style and goofing around while maximizing the possibility of surfing with their small-wave boards. With tons of crazy and colorful styles to pick from and designs that seem reminiscent of the Tom Morey days, they have created a line of innovative surfboards for every kind of waterman and woman.
#2 South Bay Board Co.
South Bay Board Co. comes out of Southern California and aims to create both high-quality and affordable surf equipment, completely disrupting the industry that has become so expensive. Their foam boards are one-of-a-kind, and unlike many other foamie companies, can seriously surf.
#3 Wave Bandit
Straight out of Southern California’s surf heaven, San Clemente, comes Wave Bandit. Their signature foam models are perfect for groms who are just getting their feet wet or veteran surfers who are looking to have a little fun. Their boards are all about making waves as easy to catch as possible.
History of the Modern Surfboard
The modern surfboard came around in the 1940s with the introduction of fiberglass into the production line. Before these, boards were made of solid wood (meaning they were incredibly heavy) or hollowed cores (lighter, but still poor performance).
Balsa wood was the main core of modern surfboards for a while until polyurethane foam took over. This type of foam is still used to this day, as it is very lightweight and easy to shape.
What Characteristics Should I Consider When Looking For a New Board?
The template of the board is the overall shape. This will play a huge role in how your board surfs. If the board is rounder, you'll get a more laid-back, cruising feel with a longer curve. If the board is slim, you'll get better performance and maneuverability.
The tail on your board plays a big role as well. There are a wide variety of surfboard tails out there, including pintails, round tails, squash tails, swallowtails, square tails, and more. While we’d need an entire article to go through them all, the main thing to take away is “the rounder the tail, the easier the ride”.
The amount of bend that your board has is known as the "rocker". Rockers that are deeper are typically found on shortboards, which is why you need to pump them to ride. On the other hand, shallow rockers are usually found on longboards, helping you to paddle with ease and draw out long lines.
What Are Some Must-Have Boards For Your Quiver?
Fish surfboards are great for picking up speed, busting out cool maneuvers, and paddling with ease, all while having a template that is closer to a shortboard.
For the feel of a longboard and the length of a shortboard, there is no better board than a funboard. The ride like a dream and have solid maneuverability, perfect for waist and head-high conditions.
Grovelers are the best surfboards for small waves. While they haven’t been around for very long, their design is making a splash in the surfboard market. These stubby little boards turn mushy conditions into unforgettable surf days.
Final Verdict - Which One Should I Buy?
We hope that our best surfboard review article has inspired you to get out their today and surf.
While we love all of the boards on our list, our favorite overall would have to be the South Bay Board Co. "Verve" 8’. It’s such a versatile board thanks to the hybrid characteristics.
It would be our “desert island board” if we had to choose only one. Ride strong our fellow watermen and women!
Our Pick - SBBC VERVE 8'