Buying your first surfboard is one of the most important decisions you will make in your surfing journey. Not only is it a major factor in determining how quickly you progress in the sport, it is a decision you will remember for the rest of your salty life… so you better make it a good one!

There are a number of factors which will influence you when buying your first surfboard. How frequently you plan to surf will impact which type of surfboard you want to begin on, while your weight will influence the length, width, thickness and volume of your first surfboard.

If you are going to invest your hard earned cash into a surfboard, you want to invest it wisely. Depending on your budget, you can either buy your first surfboard brand new or second hand. Both come with their advantages and disadvantages:

Buying Your First Surfboard Brand New


  • No damage
  • Know exactly what you are buying
  • Manufacturer’s warranty


  • Costly
  • Short lifespan of beginner boards make it a big investment
  • End up paying more for any extras (leg rope, board bag, tail pad)

Most surf shops and surf brands will stock a full range of new surfboards so you will not be short on choice if you choose to buy new. You can also hit up any local custom shapers to make a surfboard with the dimensions that fit your height and weight perfectly.  Keep in mind these avenues will likely cost more than a decent second hand board. However, if you want to buy new but are looking for something a bit cheaper, you can try major surfboard manufacturers such as Surfboard Warehouse and Sideways. Both offer new boards at a reasonable price with a manufactures warranty.

Buying Your First Surfboard Second Hand


  • Cheaper
  • Often get more for your money (board bag, leg rope, tail pad)
  • Less money lost when board is damaged


  • Damage on board (some which may not be known when purchasing)
  • Not knowing exactly what you are getting
  • May not find exactly what you want

The biggest difficulty with buying your first surfboard second hand is knowing that you are getting a good one. Be vigilant and check for signs of damage on the board. Compression (or pressure) marks are generally fairly harmless and have more of an effect on the board aesthetically. What you need to beware of is actual dings in the board which have broken through the fibreglass. This type of damage can cause the board to get waterlogged and become unrideable. If you spot any major dings, make sure to talk to the seller about when it happened and how it was patched up. Make sure that the patch up work was done before it was taken back into the water.

The best places to look for second hand surfboards are on Gumtree and Ebay. Most second hand surfboards will include accessories such as a leg rope, tail pad and board bag, so you can find yourself a pretty good deal if you look hard enough. If possible, try and check out the surfboard before purchasing as photos may not reveal the full extent of any damage.

So What’s The Verdict?

Buying your first surfboard, whether new or second hand, is completely a personal choice that will depend on your budget. Most people who have the extra cash will opt for a new board but this is not an essential component to learning to surf. Finding a second hand surfboard that is well looked after can save you big time in the $$ department and will not hinder your ability to learn. Second hand or brand new… the decision is yours!

Comment below and let me know what surfboard you are thinking of buying.