Two men carrying their surfboards to the sea

Picking out a surfboard can be a bit daunting, especially for beginners. Having a good idea of what size surfboard you need is important as your surfboard will need to suit your needs and level, making catching waves as fun and progressive as possible!

Foam surfboards are ideal for beginners. They provide added buoyancy in the water, making it easier to paddle into and ride waves.

Although pro surfers tend to move toward hard surfboards, foam surfboards have become quite popular, with new high-performance boards taking to the stage! As a result, foam boards are also excellent for advanced surfers looking for a bit of fun!

Check out our Oxbow surfboards review

How Do I Choose the Right Size Surfboard?

When you're in search of a surfboard, there are a few things you'll have to keep in mind, such as:

  • Your weight
  • Fitness level
  • Surfing ability and style
  • The types of waves you’ll be surfing

When choosing your board, you should be honest with yourself; picking the wrong board can result in fewer waves, which will cause slower progression and take away some of your enjoyment. Here are some tips to consider:

  • A new surfer will often prefer a larger board
  • An occasional surfer will need a larger board than a regular surfer
  • A board that is too small can prevent new surfers from progressing quicker

A close up of a man carrying his hard board

Surfboard Shapes and Designs

Each surfboard style offers a range of different advantages, influencing your surf style. When investing in a surfboard, it's essential to know what you want out of your surfboard and what types of waves and surf styles it will work well with.

When you're ready to pick out your foam surfboard, you'll need a good idea of what each design can offer you as a rider so you can make an informed decision. Below, we explore the different qualities of a range of surfboard designs!


Shortboards are usually under 7ft and are often used by more advanced riders. They offer great mobility and work well for aggressive riding, perfectly designed for fast and steep waves.


Longboards range from 8-11ft and are a great option for beginners. They make catching waves much easier when compared to shortboards and help surfers perfect their technique and turning.

Funboard & Mini Mal

Thanks to their stability and width, funboards and mini mals are also great for beginners. They tend to range from 6-8 ft, making them slightly shorter than a longboard.


Foamboards have been designed for beginners; being made from foam, they make it easy to catch waves and pop up on your feet. They can range in size from 5"6' upwards and are softer than other boards, making them ideal for those who are working toward gaining control over their board.


Fish boards are designed for speed in slow, messy waves and are often shorter and wider than shortboards. Thanks to their width, beginners tend to take to fish boards as they're much easier to balance on.

Now you have an idea of what style of foamboard you want; you can work out what volume board you'll need.

Surfboard Volume

The surfboard's volume is important, as it is a good indicator of its buoyancy. A higher volume helps surfers to paddle easier and can get you going even when the waves are small or flat.

The board’s volume will also influence the way you surf; too much volume can affect the amount of the board you can engage with, whereas if you have too little volume, the board will sink.

The surfboard's length, width, and thickness should give you its volume in litres. The greater the surfboard volume, the better the board floats. The shape of the board will impact the board's volume.

Having a good idea of what volume you need will help you pick out a board much easier.

What Size Foam Surfboard Do I Need?

A general rule of thumb suggests that beginners should be riding the equivalent of 100% (+/- 5 litres) of their body weight in volume; for example, an 80kg beginner surfer should ride a surfboard around 80 litres in volume.

However, an experienced surfer can ride a surfboard 35-40% of their body weight in volume.

If you have a good idea of what size board you need, you can check out our website here at Wetsuit Centre and find the perfect surfboard for you!

If you're still a little unsure, speak to a member of our team who can advise you on what size board will suit you best.