You want to buy your first surfboard. You have an idea about the type of surfboard you are after and you are ready to start looking. But do you understand what exactly you should be looking for?

Buying your first surfboard can be an intimidating experience. Equipping yourself with the right knowledge and advice is vital to finding the perfect first surfboard.

If you are a beginner surfer and weigh 65 kg your first surfboard will be completely different to someone who is a beginner surfer and weighs 90 kg. Do not buy your first surfboard without first knowing what length, width, thickness and volume is right for you.


A good beginner board needs to have sizeable length to make it easier for the surfer to stay on. The length is the measurement of the surfboard from nose to tail. The shorter you go, the more difficult it will be to paddle and catch waves. And if you aren’t catching waves, you aren’t learning!

To find the right size surfboard for you, use the Surfboards Direct Surfboard Size Chart below.

Surfboard Size Chart of Your First Surfboard



Length isn’t the only important factor when purchasing your first surfboard. Width is measured as the widest point on the surfboard and is what determines the stability of your surfboard. Having a first surfboard with good stability will make it easier to stand and balance on. It is always better to go wider then not wide enough when purchasing your first surfboard. Your weight will help you determine what width is best for you:

  • Under 70 kg: 20 inches to 21 inches
  • 70 kg to 90 kg: 21 inches to 22 inches
  • 90 kg and over: 22 inches +

For most adults, a width between 20 to 22 inches will be suitable for your first surfboard. If you are a bigger beginner (90 kg +), aim for a width above 22 inches.


The thickness of your first surfboard will determine how buoyant it will be in the water. The heavier you are, the more buoyant your surfboard needs to be. The thickness of your surfboard will again be dependant on your weight:

  • Under 70 kg: 2 ½ inches to 2 ¾ inches
  • 70 kg to 90kg: 2 ¾ inches to 3 ¼ inches
  • 90 kg and over: 3 ¼ inches +


Last but not least is volume. The volume of your first surfboard is arguably the most important dimension that you need to know. It is measured as the length, width and thickness of the surfboard combined. A board with the right volume will be the perfect buoyancy to allow you to paddle faster and catch more waves. The volume will depend on the type of surfboard you are after and how often you plan to surf. Use this Volume Calculator to find out what surfboard volume you need.

By now you should have a good idea of what length, width, thickness and volume you need. It’s time to use this knowledge to go and buy your first surfboard. Happy surfing!

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