best surfboard brands

7 Best Surfboard Brands Of 2019

After months of hard work, summer is the perfect time to get out there, let our hair down, soak up some of that sunshine vitamin D and enjoy a carefree life in the ocean, even if its just for a few weeks. We all need to take time out from grueling schedules once in a while, and feeling the sand between our toes reminds us not to take life too seriously. Sometimes we've just gotta take a few days for ourselves to relax and just have fun.

Now that summer is just right around the corner, it's the perfect time to make sure that our beach essentials are complete and we're ready to catch some waves. Hopefully you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your surfboard this year, so if you’re looking to refresh your quiver in time for summer let’s take a look at some of the top brands to get you up and riding.

If you‘re planning to go surfing this summer, or just looking to upgrade your existing board, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for our breakdown of the 8 best surfboard brands you can be riding in 2019...

Best Surfboard Brands : Top Picks

Giantex     Surfboards 

Best for Children 

Giantex 6' Surfboard
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    Made of durable top foam 
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    Deck is made of EPE 
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    Core is also made of EPS 

Rated by: Thomas

Gold Coast Surfboards

Best for Heavyweights 

Gold Coast Surfboards
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    Supports riders weighing up  to 230 pounds 
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    Has Diamond Weave Slick HDPE Bottom Deck 
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    Catches waves well 

Rated by: Thomas

Wavestorm Surfboards 

Best for Beginners 

Wavestorm Surfboard
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    Most popular brand in US 
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    Best for student surfers 
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    Light and easy to handle 

Rated by: Thomas

BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboard

Quick Summary

BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

I still get a little amused using and reviewing Bic boards as I always associated Bic with the ballpoint pen brand. Back when I was starting out I had no idea Bic also ran a sports line creating a range of surfboards (and, yep, it is actually the same company).

The BIC Sport DURA-TEC brand carry beginner to intermediate surfboards that are easy to ride and stand the test of time and waves. Bic’s line of surfboards are really in a class of their own because of their specialized technology and the wide range of sizes available.

These surfboards are made from an outer polyethylene shell that makes it super resistant to bumps and dings. A high-density foam core gives a fantastic wave-riding experience and, I’m not sure if this matters to you, but it is also bulletproof. 😉

BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboards are available in 5’10 Fish, 6’7 Short Board, 7’3 Mini-Malibu, 7’0 Egg until 8’4 and 9’4 Magnums. Other variants are the ’6 Mini Nose Rider and 7’9 Natural Surf 2.

(Oh, and if you're not sure what these names mean, check out our article on the different types of surfboard shapes - we've got you covered).

I like that BIC Sport DURA-TEC Surfboards are super easy to handle, even if you're completely new to surfing. Lots of surf school use these surfboards, and for good reason. As you progress you'll meet a bunch of surfers who started out on BIC surfboards, with lots of people's very first stand-up experiences often happening on these boards.  Personally, I always think I'm going to destroy all the boards that come my way, but this one held up to my battering and clumsiness.

PROS

  • Great for beginners!
  • It is very durable.

CONS

  • It can be heavier than a lot of surfboards (though that's not always a bad thing!)

South Bay Board Company

Quick Summary

Gold Coast Surfboards

Rated by: Thomas

It could be said that the South Bay Board Company are doing us, a'hem, larger folks a solid by encouraging those on the heavier side to surf. The big boards they produce can effortlessly support riders weighing up to 230 pounds (like me, for example.)

The surfboard I tested was their 8’8” Heritage, which is a good 8 feet and 8 inches long, 23 inches wide and 3.25 inches thick. These South Bay Board Company Surfboards have a croc skin texture, with IXPE foam covering top deck. IXPE is a special kind of higher density material making these boards very stable. It augments the rigidity and general durability of the bodyboard, and while providing water protection for the foam surface. 

This gives surfers a much smoother riding surface; though I did notice it's not as shock-absorbing in more choppy conditions as its alternative, XPE. 

The 8’8” Heritage also has Diamond Weave Slick HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) Bottom Deck, which means it is made of tougher material while still giving a solid performance. This is a feature of all South Bay Board Company's surfboards.

These packages come with the surfboard itself, along with three rounded safe edge screw in surfboard fins, five 2-inch fin screws, one 2-inch leash plug crew, and one 9 feet surfboard leash. Meaning you'l have everything you need to get setup and into the water without having to think about any other accessories, though you'll probably still want to bring along a wetsuit for colder conditions.

PROS

  • It looks big and cool.
  • It floats and catches waves well.
  • It carries people over 200 pounds.

CONS

  • It may be heavy for some people.

THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Surfboard Package

Quick Summary

THURSO SURF Lancer

Rated by: Thomas

These days the Thurso Surf name might be more often associated with Stand Up Paddle Boarding, though their surfboard products are great for people who are ready to level up, but without letting go of the buoyancy and stability of starter boards.

The THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Package comes with the surfboard, twin fins, 6-inch high-end double stainless steel swivels, and triple rail saver ankle leash that is made with strong recycled plastic.

I particularly like they're using some environmentally materials. There's way too much plastic in the sea already so kudos to Thurso for taking some action. It would be good to see more companies follow suite.

What I liked about the THURSO SURF Lancer is its stability and glide. The fish tail gives you more control as you become more experienced and start adding some turns to your rides, while the soft top is still forgiving for those inevitable occasions when you might bail hard.

It is very light and floats easily, which definitely boosts your confidence in the water and makes paddling out a breeze. Their surfboards are also armed with IXPE foam and HDPE bottom. This board also has two wood stringers that give it exceptional strength.

Another feature I appreciated is the adjustable fin box that makes the surfboard easy to transport. With the fishtail providing more hold and traction its little wonder why the THURSO SURF is a crowd favorite among surfers who've gained a bit of experience.

The THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Surfboard is 5 feet and 10 inches in length, 20.08 inches in width, and 2.76 inches in thickness. It weighs 6 pounds and can carry riders weighing a maximum 200 pounds.

PROS

  • Smaller board but can still carry riders maximum weight of 200 pounds.
  • It offers stability and smooth glide.
  • It is light and floats easily.

CONS

  • There have been some reports of the fins coming off a bit easily.

Giantex 6' Surf Foamie Boards

Quick Summary

Giantex 6' Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

If you are looking for a budget beginner surfboard that's kid-friendly, then is likely the one for you. The Giantex foamie has been producing wallet friendly family boards for years and still remain popular for younger surfers to test the waters. This is because of Giantex Surfboard's forgiving durable top foam and HDPE bottom.

I've taken my kids and their friends out on Giantex 6' Foamie Boards and they've had a great time without. It is 72 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 3 inches thick. Weighing 10 pounds it can carry older surfers though you'll more frequently smaller riders having fun on this board. While it might be a little heavy for smaller children, they'd usually be riding this with some supervision.

Let’s discuss the materials comprising the Giantex Surfboards. Its deck is made of EPE or expanded polyethylene, providing consistent durability and excellent cushioning.

In conjunction with its EPE component, its core is also made of EPS or expanded polystyrene, which makes the core itself fairly lightweight.

Giantex Surfboards are fun and budget-friendly, allowing the whole family to enjoy a day out in the ocean together.

PROS

  • It has a nice design and color.
  • It is relatively light.
  • It is easy to use for children who want to take on surfing.

CONS

  • The paint chips off easily.
  • It should not be left for long periods under the heat of the sun because it may bubble.

Wavestorm 8' Surfboard

Quick Summary

Wavestorm Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

The Wavestorm line of Surfboards can frequently be seen up and down United States coastlines, such is their popularity. Wavestorm Surfboards are well-loved, and rightly so. Their 8 footer has been around since 2006, and can be found at Costco's across the country. Though don't let this fool you, there's even a Wavestorm World Championship that takes place each year and is even popular among surf pro's.

Hence, after long resisting, I finally decided to try this legendary board. And, despite its reputation (and sometime ridicule) as a budget board, I have to say, these boards are a lot of fun!

To give a more thorough review, I opted to use their 8 foot surfboard and one of the first things I noticed was how light and easy it is to handle whether you are in or out of the water.

Just like the Giantex 6' Foamie surfboards, the Wavestorm 8' Surfboard is made of EPS core with three marine-ply stringers, soft water barrier skin crosslink top deck, and a textured traction pad that gives a solid foot placement. It also carries maximum rider weight of 200 pounds, so can be an easy funboard for riders such as myself.

PROS

  • It has an almost cult-like following.
  • It has great volume and a classic shape.

CONS

  • It's a beginner’s surf board that some people like to joke about.

California Board Company Surfboard (8-Feet)

Quick Summary

California Board Company Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

The California Board Company is known to produce one of the best quality and reasonably-priced soft deck surfboards on the market.

For this “test surf”, I took out their 8-foot board, measuring 8 feet in length, 23 inches in width, and 3.75 inches in thickness. This surfboard weighs a total of 8.50 pounds and I felt that was just about right.

The California Board Company boards are custom-molded and have three multi-layered (molded-in) laminated wood stringers. To add to their awesomness, the bottom is made of high-density polyethylene slick bottom and durable IXPE and XPE graphic deck which are both heat laminated. 

Their leash is made of polyurethane with precision molded fittings, has a neoprene padded ankle strap, and double swivel or rail saver. They also have a molded-in nylon leash plug.

I love the cool graphics and deck design, but, though I haven't experienced this myself, I did see a few reviews online saying that when it arrived on some people's doorstep, the packaging had been opened or the box was a little damaged.

PROS

  • Beginners friendly.
  • Very cool graphics, design and color.

CONS

  • It may not be sturdy enough for bigger waves.

North Gear 6-Feet Surfing Thruster Surfboard Ocean Beach Foamie

Quick Summary

North Gear 6-Feet Surfing Thruster Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

North Gear prides itself on affordability and quality. All North Gear Surfboards go through meticulous construction with and EPE deck augmented by an EPS core. Its hard-slick bottom is also made of polypropylene making a high-speed performance.

As if those things are not enough, North Gear surfboards are checked one by one, by a small team, to ensure they are produced to the highest quality. North Gear surfboard packages come with removable fins, a leash, and a traction pad.

For this review, I used the North Gear 6-feet Surfing Thruster Surfboard Ocean Beach Foamie. True to its reputation, the surfboard was very easy to use. I would say this board could still be considered child-friendly, however, I found the leash a little flimsy and wouldn't want kids to get separated from their board in choppier conditions.

PROS

  • It is good for beginners.
  • It can be used by children.

CONS

  • Its leash is a little flimsy.
  • The design peels off and exposes the foam board inside.

Things to Consider in Choosing the Perfect Surfboard Brand

When looking for the best surfboard brands, especially if you are just staring out, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider first. There are already lots of surfboard brands around, and knowing what brands are best different types of surfers will help you find the right and appropriate surfboard for your own level of experience. Many times I see people going out on short boards and not enjoying the experience as they've not ended up investing in a board that's just not right for where they are right now with their surfing skills.

It is essential for you to be honest with yourself about your level of experience as this will help you make wise buying decisions. Aside from the fact that it will cost you a few hundred bucks, buying a surfboard that is not really suitable for your needs may cause you to give up surfing without really giving it a chance.

We want to get more people into the water, hence the brands reviewed here will help you prevent these unnecessarily challenging experiences and make surfing fun!

The Perfect Surfboard Brand Should Match Your Surfing Level 

If your surfing experience is minimal, battling the waves while trying to keep your balance can be very difficult. Before choosing a surfboard you should ask yourself the following questions: Do I know how to paddle? What kind of waves will I surf? Will I surf at different beaches? How often will I go surfing? Think about your answers first, and then proceed.

surfing level

For newer surfers you should choose a brand that offers longer and wider boards, so you have ample space to handle your weight. Longer and wider surfboards float more easily and at the start this will make your surfing experience more enjoyable. If you are a beginner, then you definitely want to choose a surfboard that offers a lot of volume and stability.

The "perfect" beginner surfboard ranges from 7 to 8 feet in length, at least 22 inches in width, and 3 inches thick. Experts usually recommend a soft top board to start with because it cushions your body from the inevitably falls which could otherwise hurt, especially when you are new to surfing. Boards of these sizes can give you plenty of volume to help you paddle into the waves. The width and thickness will also give stability once you get up on your feet.

So, whether you are a beginner or an advanced surfing enthusiast, your chosen brand must keep up with you! Their product range needs to grow with your surfing ability.

The Best Surfboard Brands Can Adjust To Your Price Range 

There are plenty of surfboard brands out there. Some brands offer the most exquisite types of surfboards. Others offer something a bit more basic. And these affect the price range so you should consider how much time you'll really be spending in the water.

Some have cool logos, graphics and colors. However, you should not base your choice on these things alone. Although these factors might look good at the beach, they're not always the things that you should pay most of your attention to.

What you really need to pay consider are the features and functions that they offer. Most of the time, the price and cost vary depending on the technology that's used to create the board, and features and accessories that are provided.

In fact, some of the best surfboard brands around today have invested in dedicated technologies that can enhance the qualities and performance of their surfboards out in the water. You may want to explore some of these brands as you progress in your abilities and begin looking at surfboards for intermediate level riders.

But even so, the right surfboard brand for you can adjust to your price range. And usually, the bigger brands have a wide selection of surfboards to choose from. Nevertheless, it is always best for you to do your research.

Compare similar surfboards and ask advice from the experts. Just because a surfboard is expensive, it does not mean it's the best -- so, be wise and try to get some feedback or look online before making that buying decision.

Consider Your Height and Weight  When Choosing a New Surfboard

Back when I started out I recall being nervous about giving surfing a go because I am on the heavier side. It turns out, my weight never stopped me from riding the waves and having the time of my life. Though, yes, your height and weight are still determiners in the kind of board you should ride.

In addition, these factors play a huge role in the type of surfboard that will be best for your surfing activities. But, keep in mind that they should not be a hindrance to your surfing.

And with this in mind, your chosen brand  have an appropriate and suitable types and size of surfboards for you. There's lots of brands out so you can always find something that fits.

Choose a Brand and Surfboard Suitable for The Waves You Wish to Conquer 

Professional surfers own a variety of surfboards for this very reason. Wave types and conditions vary from place to place and day to day, so pro surfers know to acquire travel with different surfboards so they always have something perfect for all wave conditions. These collections of different boards a surfer owns are called a "quiver".

surfing waves

After speaking with lots of experienced surfers, if they're just out there for a relaxing fun time they'll choose longboards; but when the waves get bigger a fish board is often a popular pick. THey also speak about the importance of growing your quiver (remember that collective noun for multiple surfboards: “quiver”) you want to take surfing seriously. The kind of surfboard you use can indicate your level of progress.

Accordingly, it is wise that you stick with best surfboard brands that offer the types of boards that you can use in your chosen regions and conditions.

The Fins

More often than not, the fins of the surfboard are usually overlooked. Keep in mind that they are actually an important feature of a surfboard. And this is because the fins help surfers maneuver the board and make turns across the waves.

If you are going to purchase a new surfboard, make sure that you choose the best surfboard brands that provide fins with the board and emphasize fin placement.

surfboard fins

Speaking of fins, their location on your surfboard has different purposes. Like the single fin surfboard; this kind of surfboard is best for those who are still learning surfing basics. It suggests that you depend on rails and sides to make a turn.

Double fin surfboards allow surfers to take on the waves with little effort. Surfboards with double fin help surfers make a turn using the fins, without the help of the rails.

There is also what we call a thruster fin. Surfboards with a thruster fin help riders juggle stability and speed. Thruster fins are now a common type of surfboard set up.

Lastly, we have the quad fin. This is the best kind of fin to use on heavier and bigger waves. They can also be adjusted which enables you to adjust it as single, double, or thruster fin.

These are just a few of the things that you should look for when choosing a surfboard brand. Although their qualities will largely depend on your personal preferences and biases, these factors may help you decide which is the right one for you and your surfing needs.

I Will Ride into the Waves with…

...the California Board Company surfboards! There is no doubt why people have told me repeatedly that this is one of the best surfboards, and it's one of the boards I have the most fun on. California Board Company is a leading producers of surfboards, bodyboards, and even stand-up paddleboards, and for good reason. They are known for quality at a reasonable price. The California Board Company surfboards are custom-molded and have three multi-layered (molded-in) laminated wood stringers.

California Board Company carries a wide range of surfboards for every kind of surfer. Plus, being honest, there's no need to worry much about your budget because the California Board Company surfboards will not break the bank.

California Board Company Surfboard

The reason I chose this brand is because, frankly, sometimes people take surfing a little too seriously and forget its all about having fun - and this board always puts a big grin on my face. Among all the brands I have tried out, the California Board Company is one of the cheapest while not sacrificing quality. I want a surfboard that's inexpensive but I'll still feel like I want to use it again and again. I am also pleased with their design and colors because I want my surfboard to be easily spotted in a sea (literally) of surfboards.

I hope this list has helped you find out more about the best surfboard brands, and the best surfboard for you. But most important of all: do'nt forget to have fun and let your hair down. That's the whole point of surfing!