Beginner’s Surfboard Guide | How To Choose Your First Surfboard For Beginners

So you’ve had a couple of surf lessons and well and truly caught the surfing bug! Welcome to the club! A good next step if you are looking to improve and get into the water as much as possible is to buy your own beginners surfboard. You can save money on expensive surf hire and have the flexibility to go surfing whenever you want. But there are so many surfboards out there so which is the best surfboard for beginners? And how do you know which surfboard is right for you?

At Circle One, we supply surf schools and outdoor centres across the UK and Ireland, so know exactly what surfboards are best for beginners. We have designed many of our surfboard ranges with beginners in mind and made them ideal for progressing your surf technique. All our surfboards are hand finished and made from quality materials and design. We’ve been at the forefront of UK surfboard design and innovation since 1969 and use our experience in all our boards from beginners to experts.

Soft Foamie or Hard Epoxy Surfboard?

So the first question is would you prefer to keep learning on a soft top foamie surfboard as you find in most surf schools so may be what you are used to? Many people would say for better progression you should move straight onto a hard surfboard made from epoxy resin or polyester, but we don’t necessarily agree. More and more surfers of all abilities are opting to surf soft top surfboards now, and there is a growing range of well built, technical soft top surfboards on the market. Our Performance Soft Top range by the Australian Board Company is a great example as they are constructed the same as a technical hard surfboard underneath, but with a soft foamie top. They surf the same as a hard surfboard but are more forgiving if you fall onto them. For kids learning in particular soft surfboards are safer and offer good grip.

Or if you like the look of a hard epoxy surfboard, choose a lightweight board with generous volume like our Southern Swells or Pulse surfboard ranges. Learn how to wax your surfboard correctly to ensure you have enough grip all over the board to help you pop up.


What Length Should You Choose?

The length of your surfboard can depend on a number of factors such as your own height and weight, and what length you would be comfortable with. In general as a beginner you should choose a surfboard longer than your height, and with plenty of width and volume to aid buoyancy. This helps you to catch waves and balance better on the board. A mini mal surfboard of around 7′ 6″ – 8′ in length is a popular choice for adults and families looking for a versatile surfboard anyone can enjoy. For kids, teenagers and smaller or lighter adults, you could go shorter and opt for either a funboard of around 7′ or 7′ 2″ or even shorter for kids between 6′ and 7′.


Surfboard Shapes

Surfboards come in many different shapes as well as sizes. On a beginner surfboard it is best to go for a board with a rounded nose as that increases buoyancy on the front of the board, improving the ability to paddle into waves. Width is generally important all the way down the board including in the tail to make sure you have plenty of buoyancy when you are up and riding waves. Aim for a surfboard with at least a width of 20″.

beginners surfboard

Surfboard Volume

Your optimum surfboard volume depends on your weight and ability primarily, but also the size of the waves you are surfing. See the below chart for a guide to the minimum surfboard volume in litres you should look for based on your weight and ability.


Our Top Picks


Beginner Soft School Surfboard with Handle

The top choice for a pure beginners surfboard which is perfect for all the family to learn to surf on. This is our tried and tested surf school and outdoor centre surfboard which most people learn on if you have lessons. Massive width and volume make catching waves easy so everyone can enjoy being in the sea this summer! We have models ranging from 7ft – 9ft, with or without a handy carry handle to make carrying it down to the sea easier.


Australian Board Company Performance Soft Top Surfboard

The perfect blend of a soft top learner board, with the performance of a progressive hard surfboard. This surfboard for beginners is perfect for adults and kids to learn safely, but also progress into bigger surf and try new tricks and surf skills on a safe soft surfboard. These boards are designed with generous volume to be buoyant and very stable so first time surfers can easily catch and ride waves and build up the confidence to start performing basic turns. At the same time, the premium construction offers longevity and a more refined ride than your standard beginner board, so improver to expert surfers will also find plenty to love about this board! The smaller sizes of 5′ 2″ to 6′ are a perfect surfboard for kids, or intermediate teenagers and adults, while the 6′ 6″ to 8′ are better suited for adults to progress on.


Australian Board Company Pulse 7ft Epoxy Surfboard

A great fun hard surfboard for most abilities and conditions! The 7ft length would make a great first board for adults or kids looking to progress their surfing. The 47L volume is great for catching waves but this board is also manoeuverable enough to start turning on waves and is easy to control for smaller surfers and kids.


8ft Razor Mini Mal Matt Finish Surfboard

This is a surfboard to take you from beginner to intermediate and beyond! If you don’t want to buy a specific beginners surfboard but instead would like to futureproof your surfing and get a surfboard for life, this is the one. Built from top quality premium fibreglass and epoxy laminate, the Razor surfboard series excel in all surf conditions. The 8ft mini mal has 52L of volume but with almost 22″ in width and such premium construction would be suitable for any adults to learn and progress on.


If you would like more specific advice on the perfect surfboard for you, then please give us a call on 0330 043 1256 or email us on [email protected]

How To Learn To Surf

You’ve decided to learn to surf?

Learning to surf could be one of the most frustrating things you will ever do, but also one of the most rewarding. With the correct guidance you can master the art of riding waves in an elegant and stylish way. (Only the exceptional few have actually mastered it, such as the likes of Kelly Slater, but we can dream.) The learning process is much longer and drawn out than most sports and even when you think “yes this is it! I’ve got this” you will take a few more steps backwards. One of the biggest lessons most seasoned surfers learn is that they wish they learnt the correct way, or without ‘that’ bad habit.

So here’s our take on learning to surf.

Most importantly, take surf lessons! Surf lessons are available at most of our popular surfing beaches here in the UK. Taking surf lessons will allow you to learn how to surf the correct way without the common bad habits of some seasoned surfers. Imagine learning the wrong basic techniques and then having to “unlearn” your bad habits before you can continue your progression. Surfing England is the recognised National Governing Body in England, look out for this accreditation when selecting your surf school.

So you’ve done some lessons, maybe even hired a board and surfed a few times. You are ready to move onto the next stage.

Buying your first surfboard.

Having the correct equipment helps you perform in any sport and surfing is no different to this. The level of which you are at will hugely affect your surfboard purchase. Choosing an incorrect surfboard will completely change your experience, maybe even ruin surfing for you. Getting this right is a must. Basically when you learn to surf you will need to look for large volume and flat rocker (the curvature of the board). You could choose either longboard’s, Mini Malibu’s or foam boards that are wide, thick. Our favourites to learn to surf are the 8ft Razor Mini Mal and the 7 ft Soft-board, both surfboards have a lot of float and a flat rocker allowing for a high wave count and maximum fun when learning.

Where to surf?

Where you are going to learn to surf is extremely important. Surfing spots vary incredibly. Most surfers will tell you “learn on a beach break” this is correct, however this advice isn’t always the best. Always check out the specific beach conditions before heading out, look out for tell tale signs that the conditions may be above your ability. Are the waves heavy? Are they mellow? Some beaches have a consistency for being a beginners wave however even in large swells this could be too much. Check out local surf forecasting websites who give you the lowdown on exactly what is happening in the water. (For example Eyeball Surf

The main lesson

And finally for us the most important lesson is persistence and enjoyment! If you keep surfing as often as you can and laugh even when its not going as planned, you will be gliding along waves in no time.

Are you using a Circle One surfboard? Join the community, use the hashtag #CircleOneSurfCo on Instagram, we always love to see our surfboards being enjoyed.

Circle One Wetsuit Care Guide


Following good wetsuit care is so important in extending the life of your wetsuit and making sure it protects you from the cold when you need it to! Here are some top tips on wetsuit care to keep your new Circle One wetsuit as good as new!

  • DON’T stand on your wetsuit to remove it, yes its hard work but be gentle, this equipment is to help you.
  • Work in reverse when removing the suit. Do not pull too hard. Remove the gear slowly and carefully.
  • Try to put on your wetsuit in a clean, dry place away from sand, trees, and rocks that can snag the fabric. For full wetsuits, wearing a rash guard under the suit will make putting it on and off easier.
  • Grab yourself a bucket or wetsuit bag to keep it from ruining your car.
  • Use said bucket as a rinse aid when you are home.
  • Do the “Circle One squeeze” use both hands to squeeze your suit in fresh water until the water is dirty. Then rinse the wetsuit before hanging.
  • Do not use hot water, use cool or tepid water. In hot water, neoprene loses some of the flexibility, so if you are changing in a shower, use cool water to rinse the suit and then soak yourself in warmth.
  • Use a special wetsuit cleaner that will help remove salt, chlorine and organic residues. Never use bleach or any harsh cleaner.
  • Hang your wetsuit on a ‘suit’ hanger or similar with wide shoulders, this will prevent stretch and any deformations of the wetsuit shoulders.
  • Store on a hanger out of direct sunlight.
  • Hang to dry inside out. The outer surface will be protected and the inside will dry first to make putting the suit back on much easier.

Winter Surfboard Testing in Morocco

In the winter of 2017 – 2018 we sent some of our newest products along with team riders to the place where endless sand meets the Atlantic. Central Morocco. After a tough autumn surfing season in the UK we decided that what would be better than to relive the dream and surf ‘the magic bay’ (Imousane) first of all we needed a plan! So with that a flight was booked…

Morocco is a playground for surfers. It offers a unique variety of waves from long slow walls to face paced lip chucking madness. This is why it is and always has been the perfect testing ground for Circle One products. From the very beginning of Circle One the Atlantic coast of morocco has been part of our history, in the latter years of the 60s Jeff and his trusty Volkswagen camper-van travelled to the same coast of which we still explore and test our products today.

The Magic bay didn’t disappoint! For the best part of three weeks straight, the waves continued to pump through. As if a machine was producing the swell. Every morning had a wake up call that was the sound of 6ft walls rolling down the point. The Circle One Pro surfboards looked alive and full of energy under the feet of the surfers. Each and every session ending in smiles and tales of ‘that one wave’.

Everyday of the trip became instantly memorable by the number one wave of that day. It really was eat, sleep, surf, repeat. At the rate these guys were surfing we really did not expect them to leave the country.

With spring 2018 very close to our doors we have now finalised the details of our newest range. Circle One Pro. This range has been extensively tested in all conditions (both in morocco and UK). We have really put it through its paces, keep your eyes on our social pages for more information.

For more information on the Circle One Pro surfboards click here

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Thank you to Olo Surf and Nature for accommodating us on our adventure.

Circle One Surfboard Care Guide

The do’s and don’ts – Circle One Surfboard Care Guide

So you’ve finally decided which surfboard to buy! Following good surfboard care is so important in extending the life of your surfboard so here are some top tips to protect your new surfboard:

  • Rinse the surfboard after using it. Doing this stops the salt stains on the surfboard but also helps prevent corrosion from grime/salt building up in the fin boxes/grub screws.
  • Avoid wrapping your leash around your board. Remove your leash and stash it somewhere you wont forget it next time, trust us on this one! It makes a world of difference when your leash isn’t tangled in the water.
  • Don’t store your surfboard somewhere really hot and avoid extreme changes in temperature e.g. going straight from cold sea to a boiling hot car. This goes for having your surfboard in the sunshine too – try and find a nice shady spot for it if you are going to be chilling on the beach for long.
  • Don’t leave your board wax-side up in the sun, it will cause the wax to melt and won’t last as long so you will have to re-wax your board more often.
  • Be careful when carrying your board, it is easy to hit into objects and ding the nose and tail of your board in particular.
  • Learn how to properly wax your surfboard, and fully clean the wax off regularly and reapply so it is doing its job and protecting your surfboard.
  • Remove your fins when you are storing your surfboard for long periods of time, they are liable to be snapped or worse cause damage to your surfboard.
  • Keep it wrapped up, check out our range of board bags; they definitely help stop the dings you don’t find, until you go to surf.
  • DO NOT SURF if the surfboard has damage which has penetrated the resin, get it fixed. Surfing it will cause more damage by allowing water inside. If there’s no other option (sometimes we just have to surf) use a quick ding repair kit like Phix Doctor UV Epoxy/Poly Ding Repair Kit which can patch up your board for a quick fix. 
  • DO NOT use wax to fill a ding, this doesn’t work and will only make any repair harder to carry out.
  • If you are going to be storing the surfboard for a while, remove the wax. **dirty wax smells!**

Check out our full range of surfboards for sale at Circle One!