Top 7 Cheap Surfboards Reviewed | 2020 Reviews + Guide

If you know to yourself about your capabilities as a new surfer, looking for a brand new cheap surfboard will not be a problem.

Yes. You can find more advanced types of surfboards in garage sales, e-commerce stores, and other shops, but if you are a beginner, it will be beneficial for you to buy a new one. Luckily for you, because most beginner surfboards are not as expensive as the ones used by your favorite surfer.

Unlike the brand new surfboard, you cannot guarantee the quality of used surfboards, whether it is an entry-level type. If you opt for a used surfboard, you have to settle for the ones with dents and damages that can affect your performance and learning process.

Thus, it is still better to settle for the brand new, but the best cheap surfboards.

Top 7 Best Cheap Surfboards Reviewed

In this section, you will learn that you do not have to splurge to get a new surfboard. You will see several branded products out there that you can use to enjoy and learn surfing.

  1. South Bay Board Co Guppy Soft Top
  2. South Bay Board Co Huevo Egg
  3. Thurso Surf Lancer Fish
  4. Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Retro Fish
  5. South Bay Board Co Big Betsy Soft Top
  6. Thurso Surf Aero Soft Top
  7. Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Foamie

#1. South Bay Board Co Guppy Soft Top

South Bay Board Co Guppy Soft Top

Specifications

  • Length: 6’0, 8’0
  • Width: 21 to 22 inches
  • Volume: 40 to 80 liters
  • Squash tail
  • Thruster

The South Bay Board Co Guppy Soft Top is one of the best cheap surfboards that you can use if you are a beginner who weighs 150 pounds or less. This board comes in two sizes, which are the 6’0 and 8’0. Because of this, children and adult beginners can use this surfboard.

It got its inspiration from Guppy shaped classic funboards with a deck that is highly durable and soft. Even if you make mistakes on your maneuvers many times, you will never end up giving up because of the soft cushion that prevents you from having injuries.

Despite being a shortboard, the Guppy is exceptionally user-friendly. It provides speed, performance, and stability that new surfers will love.

This surfboard comes with a carry handle, making it easy to carry everywhere that even your kids will love taking it with them.

ProsCons
Provides both performance and stability because of the squash tail and round noseLimited weight capacity
Soft, durable, heat-laminated deck
Comes with a carry handle
User-friendly

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#2. South Bay Board Co Huevo Egg

South Bay Board Co Huevo Egg

Specifications

  • Length: 4’10
  • Width: 21 inches
  • Volume: 37 liters
  • Square tail
  • Quad fin

The South Bay Board Co Huevo Egg can be small to your eyes, but if you are an intermediate to a pro-level surfer, you will love the price of this surfboard. Unlike the most advanced pro-level egg surfboard, the Huevo is one of the cheapest. It does not cost more than 400 USD.

The Huevo is one of the perfect additions to your quiver if you are looking for a cheap surfboard that can ride the small waves in summer. After all, you do not like to spend a lot of money on surfboards that you will only use for casual surfing. 

That is why the Huevo provides the best monetary value when it comes to the price.

Despite its small size, the Huevo is thick with a rounded nose and broad square tail, making it a reliable option for pop up. It can also provide effortless paddling because of its generous volume.

What makes this egg more impressive is that it has the capacity of a 200-pound weight.

ProsCons
Plain white deck for customization
Attaching the fins can be challenging
Durable construction
Extremely buoyant
Grippy

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#3. Thurso Surf Lancer Fish

Thurso Surf Lancer Fish 

Specifications

  • Length: 5’10
  • Width: 20 inches
  • Volume: 34 liters
  • Fish tail
  • Twin fins

Thurso Surf Lancer is one of the best fish surfboards that you should try if you grow tired of using your longboard, and you are ready to level up your skills. Luckily for you, because it is a soft-top fish that is unique and user-friendly. It allows you to practice your performance while maintaining your stability in the waters.

If you are a pro surfer, you can still never go wrong with this surfboard. Even if you cannot compare its performance to your step-up board, the Lancer can still allow you to show off your skills. 

In this product’s box, you will see a rail saver ankle leash that comes along with the surfboard. You also do not have to purchase separate fins, because the Lance comes with twin fins that will give you a skate-like and smooth performance on the waters.

ProsCons
Provides the best performance for a fish type of surfboard
Flimsy fin screws
Highly durable because of the heat-laminated deck
Uses lightweight EPS material

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#4. Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Retro Fish

Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Retro Fish

Specifications

  • Length: 5’10
  • Width: 21 inches
  • Volume: 41 liters
  • Swallow tail
  • Twin fin

The Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Retro fish is another surfboard model with expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam construction with a round nose and swallow tail. These features make this surfboard highly buoyant and user-friendly for beginner surfers. It provides almost the same stability as a longboard does.

What makes the EZ Slider more fun is that it is available in blue and red. You can also choose if you want it to have a wave graphic or not.

According to Liquid Shredder, even beginners can use this surfboard, although it is fish.

This surfboard has removable twin fins that allow you to ride it with them or not, customizing your experience.

ProsCons
High-buoyancyLeash not included
Durable

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#5. South Bay Board Co Big Betsy Soft Top

South Bay Board Co Big Betsy Soft Top

Specifications

  • Length: 5’5
  • Width: 20inches
  • Volume: 31 liters
  • Square tail
  • Five fin

The South Bay Board Co Big Betsy Soft Top got its inspiration from the mid-70s Cadillac. Unlike the typical soft-top surfboards, it pushes beyond boundaries when it comes to design and performance. That is why aside from surfing, wakeboarders can also use it as a wakeboard, doubling the fun.

This board is ideal for casual surfers who love the sport for its fun and those who enjoy using shortboards. You will never go wrong if you are looking for power and speed in a compact-sized surfboard.

Experienced surfers can appreciate Big Betsy’s features because not only it allows them to perform, the board also provides extra paddling power and buoyancy.

ProsCons
Uses core made from EPS closed-cell foam construction
Short for some users
Excellent design
User-friendly

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#6. Thurso Surf Aero Soft Top

Thurso Surf Aero Soft Top

Specifications

  • Length: 7’0
  • Width: 21.5 inches
  • Volume: 60 liters
  • Square tail
  • Tri-fin

The Thurso Surf Aero is one of the best options if you are looking for a cheap mid-length board that costs less than 400 USD. It is an ideal training board for those ready to upgrade their skills after using their foamie. Experienced surfers who are looking for an affordable mid-length option can also benefit from this board.

Although the Aero is available at a low price, you cannot go wrong for the features it offers. This surfboard can ride the mushy waves without you breaking a sweat. It focuses on glide and stability; that is why it provides an opportunity for the new users to have fun in the waters.

ProsCons
Comes with essential extras, such as the adjustable fin box, traction pads, and leashCannot accommodate adults that are more than 210 pounds in weight

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#7. Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Foamie

Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Foamie

Specifications

  • Length: 6’0
  • Width: 20 inches
  • Volume: 45 liters
  • Square tail
  • Tri-fin

The Liquid Shredder EZ Slider Foamie is one of the best options for kids and novice surfers. Experienced surfers on a tight budget who want to ride a surfboard that provides easy paddling can go for this surfboard.

This surfboard has a removable fin system allowing you to surf with or without them, customizing your water experience. It has an EZ-seal rubber that prevents water from penetrating the board. Also, it has a durable leash attachment.

This product has EPS foam construction with soft EPE, and PP bottom, providing fast durable, and smooth surfboard. It also has two wooden stringers that make this board stiff.

Liquid Shredder takes pride in the process this surfboard went through. It underwent heat lamination and hand shaping.

ProsCons
Available in different colorsThe limited capacity of up to 120 pounds
User-friendlyLeash sold separately

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Top Pick

There are several high-quality but still among the best cheap surfboards on the market. You can find some of them mentioned here. Among the mentioned products, what stands out the most is the Thurso Surf Lancer.

It ranks as the best pick because of its versatility and user-friendliness. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you can enjoy using this surfboard.

It provides stability, traction, and forgiveness that a beginner surfer needs while learning maneuvers and enabling the pro users to perform using this board.

Additionally, this product is a complete package. It comes with a leash and twin fins helpful for your surfboard’s security and performance.

Although you might have some issues with its flimsy fin screws, it is just a minor problem compared to its price and perks.

With this surfboard, even though you happen to become a pro surfer who can finally enjoy riding the big waves, you will still find yourself reverting to Thurso Lancer on your casual surfing days. You do not have to purchase a new one to add to your quiver for that purpose. As a result, you will gain more from buying at a low price.


Best Brands to Buy Cheap Surfboards

South Bay Board Co

The South Bay Board Co adheres to four main principles, which are design, value, service, and performance. The company claims that these four words define the company and the teams that work for it.

According to the company, surfing has been its passion since it started. It claims that it prioritizes its customers, unlike most shops do. It believes that it can provide better surfboards for surfers on any level and can also provide joy.

The company states that it started its operation by providing custom entry-level surfboards and inflatable paddleboards.

It adheres to its mission to provide surfboards that use high-quality materials and performance-focused surfboards without breaking the bank. 

According to the company, the way it designs its products reflect its love for nature.

This company became famous because of its soft-top surfboards that focus on beginner surfers. Aside from these surfboards, the South Bay Board Co also specializes in making SUP boards, hybrid surfboards, and surfboard accessories.

Thus, if you do not like the products mentioned here, but still looking for a branded cheap beginner surfboard, you should consider the South Bay Board Co brand’s products. You might find the one that you want.

The South Bay Board Co can keep up to the mainstream surfing industry. It uses high-density IXPE foam as material for its board construction, making its soft-top surfboards durable and enjoyable to ride.

Thurso Surf

Thurso Surf has been famous for making environment-friendly surfboards with elegant graphics. To create its surfboards, it uses recycled plastics with less harmful components than the typical polyurethane. You will never go wrong with its products anyway because of its durability.

Like the surfboards offered by Liquid Shredder and South Bay Board Co, its products are also highly buoyant and stable, making them user-friendly for beginner surfers.

According to the company, its mission is to encourage people to live out of their comfort zones and seek their real identity by exploring what Mother Nature offers. The company believes that when you do it, you can enjoy companionship, hoy, and meditation.

Because of its mission, Thurso Surf has been creating premium products at a low price to give everyone a chance to experience paddling.

To create a balance between quality and the price, Thurso Surf has been continuously doing its research to experiment on various materials and designs that work.

The person behind the founding or Thurso Surf is Shenglong You.

Liquid Shredder

Liquid Shredder has been in the industry since 1999. As the South Bay Board Co, this brand is also famous for its hybrid and beginner boards. Aside from user-friendly surfboards, it also sells other products from SUP to accessories.

Liquid Shredder takes pride in the materials it uses for the construction of its products. It claims worldwide recognition and for having its products becoming a part of various contests.

For this reason, it is not surprising that its products are highly accessible. You can buy a Liquid Shredder surfboard from the store near you or even online.

The person behind the establishment of Liquid Shredder is Scott McClain. His only goal at that time for creating a surfboard was to encourage his children to get into the water.

Thus, it is not surprising that many professional surfers used a Liquid Shredder when they were starting in the world of surfing. Also, the price of its surfboards ranges only from less than 200 USD to 600 USD.

The company started by creating longboards to shortboards. To balance this transition, Liquid Shredder also shaped hybrid surfboards from fiberglass and foam that provide buoyancy and stability.


 Softboard vs. Hardboard

As you have noticed, the best cheap surfboards have a foam construction. Surfers also call these surfboards foamies or softboards. Now that you reach this section, it is essential to learn the difference between the foamies and the hardboards, and why these cheap surfboards are the best for beginners.

Softboard

Softboards or the foamies are the ones that surfing schools or workshops recommend you to use as a novice who has no or few experiences in surfing.

These surfboards have generous volume providing great floatation, an essential feature of what a beginner surfer has to look for when buying a new surfboard. Boards with a high volume allow you to have effortless paddling and catching waves.

The softboards are also beneficial for you and to other surfers’ safety. When you have zero knowledge of surfing, and you start learning, you will see that you will most likely bump into other surfers. You will also find this surfboard hard to control in some water conditions. The impact of collision will be less painful because of the soft cushion that serves as the barrier.

These surfboards are also highly durable.

Additionally, as you noticed, softboards are cheap. If you are a beginner who has the words “learn how to surf” written on your bucket lists, you do not have any excuse not to try if money is your concern.

The only problem with the foamies is that they are the bulkiest among the other surfboard types. Transporting and storing can be an issue.

Hardboard

The features of hardboards are the opposite of softboards. This time, beginners should stay away from using these boards unless you already have an excelling paddling and controlling abilities.

Unlike the softboard, once a hardboard bumps into your face, it will be painful and may even cause injury.

Hardboards are also more expensive, difficult to control, and fragile. When they get into the hand of novice surfers, they might break or dent them quickly, and knowing their price will lead to more frustrations.

Despite all these disadvantages, the professional surfers still choose to use a hardboard because of its maneuverability, speed, and lightness. If you dream of upgrading your softboard into a hardboard, make sure that you have an excellent paddling ability.  


Factors to Consider When Buying a Surfboard for Beginners

As you notice, many cheap surfboards are for beginners or experienced beginners. That is why if you are here, you are most likely a novice surfer. If not, you are probably looking for a more affordable option that you can use on casual days, but you probably already know what you need for a surfboard.

For this reason, this buying guide is for beginners and experienced surfers who want to review what they know.

In surfing, you only need one tool, a surfboard. However, it does not mean that you can pick just about anything that you can see in the store.

As mentioned, you should consider if it is a softboard or not. Aside from its construction, you should also consider the other factors.

Surfboards with tons of volume do not automatically mean that it will already work well with you. There are a few considerations.

Surfer’s Build

No matter your level as a surfer, your build is an essential consideration when buying a surfboard. You should never buy a board that is massive or small for your body size. If you do, you will find that it is difficult to control.

Although large surfboards can provide better stability, the one that is not appropriate to your size is still not an excellent choice.

That is why you should refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation on which weight is the most appropriate for its products.

Volume

The volume is an essential feature that you should look for when buying a surfboard. However, as mentioned, there are also considerations to look for when choosing the right one.

The general rule is to buy a surfboard with a volume equal to your weight in kilograms.

For example, if your weight is 50 kilograms, choose a 50-liter volume surfboard.

Professional surfers do not adhere to this general rule because they consider the other factors that can affect their performance. These factors are wind and water conditions and others.

Thankfully, many surfboard shops have a volume calculator on their website that can help you determine the right surfboard volume relative to your skills, weight, and height. However, not all surfboard shops have this device, but others have a chart that you can use as a reference.

Wave Type

Because you are a new surfer, you should be realistic about the waves where you can start practicing.

It is not ideal to jump right away on the waves in Jaws, Hawaii when you are a beginner unless you are suicidal.

Even experienced surfers with a weak heart stay away from the wave in the Jaws.

For a beginner, you should settle for gentle and small waves. In these areas of water, you can practice your stance and stability. The advisable surfboard to use on these waves is longboards because of their ability to catch waves.

If you are ready for higher waves, go for the mid-length surfboard.

Construction

There are several manufacturers of surfboards in the industry. That is why it is not surprising that the boards available on the market have a different construction.

The typical construction materials used are epoxy, wood, foam, and fiberglass, which is the most ideal. At a novice level, the best options are the foam and epoxy because of the buoyancy, stability, and lightness.

At this time, you should leave the other materials for the use of the expert surfers.

You might also want to consider if the board has stringers that can add more strength. The texture is another factor that you might want if you want your board to have more traction.

Surfboard Type

Aside from the foam construction, surfboard type is another consideration that you should know. After all, surfboards will not be available in different varieties if each kind is not functional. Surfboards come in different types to meet the diverse needs of surfers to ride particular kinds of waves.

Knowing the different types of surfboards will let you know if you are buying the right surfboard appropriate to your level because not all types of surfboards can be ideal for a beginner, even if you say that they are foam-made.

Shortboard

The shortboards come in different varieties. The most common one typically has a pointy nose and has a length that ranges up to six feet.

Shortboards typically come in different fin setups, but the most common is the thruster. It is highly maneuverable, making it great for performing tricks, which is why some surfers call the shortboards high-performance boards.

However, its maneuverability sacrifices the board’s paddle speed and stability, making it unideal for novice surfers with zero surfing knowledge.

If you want to get on to this type of surfboard, you should practice your paddling skills to catch the waves. Also, make sure that you are ready to take on the waist-high to overhead waves.

Fish

The fish is a type of surfboard that you can say a shortboard variety because of its short length. However, unlike the typical shortboards, the fish is user-friendlier. It may not be as stable and controllable as a foamie, but it is more forgiving than the regular shortboard.

The fish is commonly smaller than shortboards because it is usually under six feet in length. Unlike the shortboard, the fish also has a broad nose and swallow tail. It also has a flat rocker. These features make it an ideal option for beginners because of the buoyancy it provides.

The fish may use either a twin or quad fin for lined up waves.

The main feature of the fish is its ability to provide better flow and speed. It is also capable of riding knee-high to overhead waves.

For this reason, if you are ready to upgrade your skill to try on the higher waves, you can start using the fish.

Longboard

Longboards typically range up to eight feet in length. It is another user-friendly option for beginners. This type of surfboard usually comes in two fin configurations: the 2+1 or the single fin. It is also the oldest type of surfboard that is still popular today. 

Surfers, especially the ones from the ancient times, used the longboards for cruising and noseriding. If you are a type of surfer who wants a better grip, choose a longboard with a 2+1 fin configuration. On the other hand, if you are the type who prefers more glide than traction, choose a single fin setup.

Longboards are the best to use for small waves, but not the best one to surf on the beach break.

Funboard

Surfers have different opinions regarding the funboards, and they come in different varieties, which are the egg, hybrids, and mid-lengths. These surfboards typically range from seven to eight feet long, and they are highly versatile.

They come in various fin setups and tail as the shortboard. They are also user-friendly because of the stability they provide. Because of their versatility, experienced surfers can still have fun using these surfboards, using the right type of fin setup and rocker.

If you know the basics of surfing, you may also try using this type of surfboard. You can also probably get away looking like a novice when you use it because advanced surfers love riding funboards too from time to time.

Funboards can take on the knee-high to overhead waves.

Gun

You might think that a gun is a longboard if you do not know the difference between them. It is because both have almost the same dimensions. However, as a beginner, you should stay away from the gun. You need long years of practice before you can use this board.

Those who are willing to use this surfboard are those who dare to face the massive waves in Indo, Hawaii, which can be life-threatening. 

Unlike the longboards, Guns have pointed nose and tail. Their fin configurations may come in different types too.


Conclusion

Although you only need a surfboard to surf, you still need to invest some money to buy a high-quality one. If you are a beginner, you do not have to worry about spending a lot because foamies and entry-level surfboards do not cost as much as the more advanced ones.

You are lucky because many popular brands sell cheap surfboards with good quality but are still available at an affordable price. That is why you do not have to go to garage sales or buy any used products from unknown dealers, which you might end up spending more than what you should.

Remember that when buying a surfboard, you should prioritize the quality. That is why it is better to buy from reputable brands than from unknown dealers since you do not have to spend much to purchase a quality surfboard like the Thurso Surf Lancer. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Is an Entry-Level Surfboard Cheap?

A: If you are a total beginner, the most advisable surfboard for you is a foamie, which is the cheapest among the other surfboard types. If you have some experience, you may use different surfboards with more advanced features, such as fishes, funboards, longboards, and other entry-level shortboards. These boards that are appropriate for your skills typically cost around 200 USD to 600 USD, depending on where you plan to shop. The most advisable thing to do if you are shopping for cheap surfboards is to buy from famous brands to ensure quality.

Q: How Much My Budget Should Be to Buy a High-End Surfboard?

A: As you practice using your cheap surfboard, you can start saving on your next go-to surfboard after mastering the skills you need. These surfboards can be the high-performance shortboards or longboards. Shortboards typically have a price range of 500 USD to 800 USD. Meanwhile, longboards are commonly at 600 USD to less than 2000 USD. The price varies depending on the brand, features, model, and other factors.

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