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How to Choose the Right Surfboard (For Any Age or Stage)

How to Choose the Right Surfboard (For Any Age or Stage)

The goal is to find the surfboard that brings you and the wave into a harmonious symphony—whatever your age or level of experience may be. 

For the novice, navigating the waters of the surf lineup can be intimidating enough, without having to decipher what equipment you need to be riding.

The reason Almond Surfboards exists is to pair you with the ideal board for the season you find yourself in, and the season ahead. Whether that is just starting out or recapturing that first wave feeling many years into your surfing journey.

So how do you know which surfboard is right for you?

If you are a beginner or novice, this section is for you:

The primary goal of any novice surfer is to find a surfboard that will enable them to:

  • catch waves with confidence
  • get to their feet regularly
  • feel in-control of the surfboard beneath their feet

In all of our years of building surfboards for customers, we have concluded—with confidence—that the 8'0 R-Series Joy is the best surfboard for beginner or novice surfers, and here are 7 reasons why.

If you are more intermediate to advanced, this section is for you:

Decide where you want to take your surfing in the next season.

We get a lot of emails from people who are very specific about their height, weight, and surfing history, but not always super about where they hope to go, or where they feel their quiver is lacking. It is helpful for us to know the kind of boards you have ridden in the past—but what is more helpful is knowing what you want to experience more of in your surfing.


  • "I want to improve my noseriding"
  • "I want to step down from a longboard to something smaller"
  • "I've been riding a shortboard most my life, but I want to increase my wave count"
  • "I want a board under 6'0 that I can ride when the waves are soft and gutless"
  • "I've been riding a soft top, but feel like I'm ready to switch to a hard board"

Narrow Your Search

We currently offer 20 surfboard models—our 20 favorite shapes based on 14+ years of riding them, building them, and debating their finer details.

(Plus years of feedback from thousands of customers and a handful of team riders)

Read the descriptions, read the reviews, mind-surf the boards you see on our website—then run that all through the filter of where you want to take/improve your surfing in the coming year. 

But don't stop there.

Quiz us.

We know our boards really well, and have guided a lot of people with your same questions through the process of selecting the right board. 

Let us know what your goals are, and what kind of waves you generally surf, and see if our recommendation lines up with your conclusions to the same questions above.

Want to Go Even Deeper into Surfboard Design?

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