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Man Walking with Surfboard on Cliff Steamer Lane

If you’d rather buy a surfboard from the comfort of your home, this guide will help you score a quality surfboard from a reputable retailer at a tolerable price. Photo: Skyler Fitzmaurice//The Inertia


The Inertia

Once upon a time, there were two ways to buy a surfboard. Option one: swing into your local surf shop, chat it up with the sales clerk, and get something straight off the rack. Or, option two, order something custom, and wait with equal parts anguish and anticipation for a few months. Cue text to your local shaper, “Is my board ready yet?”

Ordering a custom board remains one of life’s greatest pleasures — choosing custom dimensions, resin tints, and pin lines all to create something one-of-a-kind is oh so satisfying. Not to mention when you actually ride the thing. But, for those either suffering from a lack of patience, hunting for a deal, simply trying to expand that quiver without needing their dimensions to be dialed in to the 1/16th of an inch, or for any reason in between, buying online has its benefits.

Pitfalls and misconceptions abound, though. Notably, you can’t get your hands all over that fresh surfboard before slapping down plastic at the metaphorical register. Or, other insecurities like whether you can trust a parcel service to deliver your board to you in one piece. And if on the off chance you are not completely satisfied or your new board is damaged, do you have any recourse?

To help you navigate these questions and more, we’ve done a deep dive on a number of online surfboard retailers out there to assist you in the process of buying a surfboard online. We explored online surfboard retailers’ wares, and pored over FAQs to understand every issue relevant to potential surfboard buyers.

Before launching into the guide, some quick housekeeping. To keep this manageable, we decided to narrow our focus on new surfboards, not secondhand ones. So, Craigslist is out, obviously. And we only feature retailers that ship to and within the U.S.. We also want to note that many independent board builders and labels keep a sampling of their board models on hand for immediate purchase, many of which are advertised online. While this can be a great way to get a board from a shaper that’s backlogged on custom orders, what we’re talking about here are truly online retailers.

So, if you’ve made it this far, strap in and grab this virtually outstretched hand as we navigate the waters of buying a surfboard online together. We’ll give our top picks for the best surfboards you can buy online right now, as well as review types of retailers and key considerations like shipping costs and returns towards the end of the article. To skip ahead and view where to get surfboards online, check out our Where Should I Get A Surfboard Online? Section, as well as Other Considerations For Buying a Surfboard Online.

The Best Surfboards To Buy Online of 2024

Best All-Around Shortboard: Pyzel Pyzalien II
Best Shortboard for Small Surf (Best Groveler): Lib Tech x …Lost Puddle Jumper
Best Step-Up Shortboard: Pyzel Ghost
Best Mid-Length Surfboard: CI Mid
Best Longboard: Takayama In The Pink
Best Beginner Surfboard: Wavestorm 15th Anniversary Edition


Best All-Around Shortboard

Pyzel Pyzalien II ($855-895)

Pyzalien 2

Pros: Extremely versatile, performing well in a wide variety of wave conditions
Cons: May not offer the same high-performance edge as some specialized shortboards in specific conditions

If you’re looking for an all-around surfboard that can work in basically any conditions from waist-high slop to overhead and hollow, you can’t go wrong with the Pyzalien II. The smooth outline, refined rails, and swallow tail are a few of the performance characteristics that make this board so widely enjoyable, as well as the goldilocks-esque rocker that gives this board a ton of drive without sacrificing control. This board is a favorite of surfers the world over, especially travelers in search of the elusive “one board quiver.” Here’s what Jon Pyzel has to say about it:

“The Pyzalien 2 works great in a huge variety of waves, from points to reefs to beach break, and has one of the most user friendly, yet high performance rockers we’ve made, smooth and clean, with med/low entry running through to med+ tail rocker. The bottom has a single concave starting in the nose, running under the front foot, blending into double concave and then VEE in the last 6 inches of the tail which adds release that helps ease you into turns. This rocker/bottom combo gives the board quick, effortless speed from take-off, while increasing the responsiveness and control, allowing for easier rail to rail transitions at high speeds. The outline is clean and simple, no hips or wings just a fuller nose and wider tail which keeps the board very fast and drivey, making for easy flow through flatter sections.

Check Price on Real Watersports

Best Shortboard for Small Surf (Best Groveler)

Lib Tech x Lost Puddle Jumper ($880)

Pros: Wide outline enhances paddling, wave-catching, and stability
Cons: Not best-suited to high-performance surfing or larger waves

Lib Tech x ...Lost Puddle Jumper SurfboardThe short and stout outline of the Lib Tech x Lost Puddle Jumper makes it ideal for surf best described as “playful.” The word “gutless” may be a less kind substitute. But for all means of low-consequence fun in the water, the Puddle Jumper is built to excel. Not to mention Lib Tech’s ecoIMPACTO construction is virtually bulletproof.

Many people would find this board beneficial. We’ve found those reluctant to step on a longboard when the surf drops below waist-high, cramped apartment dwellers, public transit-commuting surfers, and standing wave enthusiasts are often stoked to have this in the quiver. Here’s what the Lost team has to say about it:

“The Lib Tech x Lost Puddle Jumper Surfboard is the most fun and versatile surfboard you’ve ever ridden. This small wave hybrid is made for pros and bros alike – anyone who craves the sweet satisfaction of gliding small surf. Its wide outline makes paddling, catching waves, and maintaining stability a breeze in the chest-highs. The concave bottom transitioning to V in the tail gives it plenty of pop, speed, and hold while carving – making it a true quiver-killer.”

Check Price on Evo

Best Step-Up

Pyzel Ghost ($825)

pyzel ghost surfboardPros: Highly versatile, one of the best boards out there for hollow and powerful waves
Cons: May be too advanced for beginners/intermediates seeking a more forgiving board

The Pyzel Ghost is a performance shortboard at its finest. The Pyzel Ghost is a high performance board that is designed to be a one-board quiver and works well for all levels of surfers. The Ghost was originally designed for hollow, powerful waves, but has proven its worth in reef breaks, beach breaks, and point breaks.

The board has a medium to low rocker through the front half to help you get into waves with ease and quickly pick up speed. The tail end has more rocker to provide control when turning and ensure the board is responsive. The Ghost features a single concave along the bottom, with a double concave set inside, to provide speed, lift, and quick rail-to-rail transitions. The Pyzel Ghost is the board that John John Florence won two consecutive world titles on, so you know it’s worthy.

Check Price on Real Watersports

Best Mid-Length Surfboard

CI Mid ($1,095 – $1,495)

CI Mid

Pros: Excels in a wide range of conditions, and comes alive on long point breaks
Cons: Expensive, not the best in overly punchy surf or beach breaks

Mid-length surfboards are having a moment, and the CI Mid is definitely an important factor as to why. A few years ago, mids were the kind of board reserved for dads who had given up on shortboarding, or the alternative hipster-type. Then, Channel Islands released their CI Mid upon the masses, and all of a sudden, everyone was clamoring for a mid-length. And with style-masters like Devon Howard, Mikey February, and other Channel Islands team riders dropping one sick edit after the next of themselves tearing apart glassy walls at Rincon and pulling into tubes, can you blame them?

From a nuts-and-bolts perspective, the CI Mid borrows from the longer rail lines of eggs and single-fin surfboards of bygone eras, bringing these design elements up-to-date with modern design elements such as double-barrel concave, a smooth rocker, and hard, tucked rails towards the tail of the board for better control in the larger stuff. This board can truly do it all, from gutless slop to overhead barrels, but we at The Inertia have found that it performs best on a long, roping point break with plenty of room on the face for the long, drawn-out carves this board inspires.

Check Price on Real Watersports

Best Longboard

Takayama In The Pink ($1,265-$1,795)

Takayama in the pink longboard

Pros: Incredible all-around longboard design that truly can do it all
Cons: Popular, if standing out from the crowd is your jam, this might not be the board for you

Many years ago, owning a Takayama surfboard was a big deal. And even today, original hand-shaped Takayama boards can reach into the multiple-thousands-of-dollars range. However, with the advent of mass-produced surfboards, now anyone can get their hands on and enjoy the classic Takayama designs that have endured until this day. Some will call that blasphemy, but really, if a board works that well, why not make it widely available to everyone?

And the Takayama In The Pink Performance Noserider Longboard really does work that well. It noserides. It can rip a nasty cutback. It can even navigate a barrel if you really want it to. As the name implies, the In the Pink blends the best of both classic noserider design as well as elements of performance longboards to create the ultimate all-around longboard. The wide spoon-nose has plenty of lift for noseriding, which, combined with the pulled-in square tail, provides the stability necessary for antics at the nose.

However, unlike more traditional noserider shapes, the square tail isn’t so wide as to make it difficult to really rip a turn, and the extra bit of rocker gives this board the versatility to navigate waves shoulder-high and above, in addition to the knee-high slop most longboards are meant for. A 2+1 setup on the bottom of the board provides the necessary versatility and hold for such larger waves as well. For those interested in a more durable construction, the board is available in SurfTech’s near-bulletproof Tuflite epoxy construction as well.

Check Price on Real Watersports

Best Beginner Surfboard

Wavestorm 15th Anniversary Edition ($230)

Pros: Soft foam construction minimizes the risk of injury to the user and others
Cons: Limited performance capabilities, making it less suitable for more advanced surfers

Say what you will about the surfboard formerly known as the “Costco Special.” In terms of affordability and as a gateway drug into our sport there’s no better option out there than the Wavestorm. As a beginner who 1) is not even sure they are going to like surfing; and 2) want to do the least damage to themselves and others in the early stages of their development, foam and cost effectiveness are your friend. Gone are the days when you could pick up a Wavestorm at Costco for $99 (current prices on Amazon are just over $200), but in terms of the absolute essentials to get your beak wet as a beginner, the classic Wavestorm is ideal.

Wavestorms are also great to keep around a surfing household for splashing around in the waves on long summer beach days, or in the off chance that a friend asks for a surf lesson. For those looking for even more stability than what a Wavestorm offers, Odysea’s 9’0” Log is a great alternative, but it retails for more than double the price.

Check Price on Amazon

Best Alternative Performance Shortboard

Pyzel Wildcat ($895)

Pyzel Wildcat SurfboardPros: Twin-fin design with a modern twist offers speed and responsiveness
Cons:May not perform as well for those seeking a more traditional high-performance shortboard experience

Some may look at the undercarriage of the Wildcat and immediately protest labeling a twin-fin as “performance.” But, as fun as linking eight vertical turns all the way to the beach can be, we would argue there is little more satisfying than absolutely screaming down the line of a wave with more speed than you know what to do with on a channel bottom twin – save getting tubed. The Pyzel Wildcat may only have two claws, but that doesn’t make it any less inclined to take scalps in anything from knee to head high and above. And while twin-fins often get stereotyped as “retro”, the Wildcat pays homage to that heritage while incorporating modern board design sensibilities.

Check Price on Real Watersports

Best of the Rest

Runner Up: Best All-Around Shortboard

Haydenshapes Hypto Crypto ($825)

Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto

Pros: Excellent paddle power and all-around forgiving design
Cons: Chunky rails and high-volume make this board a bit lower-performance than more refined shortboards

The Hypto Krypto just might be one of the best-selling shortboards in the world. No, we don’t have the market-research data to back that up, but we do have our own eyeballs, which have encountered an enormous amount of these shortboards at breaks all over the world from Portugal to Southern California.

And there’s a reason why – in making the Hypto Krypto, Australian shaper Hayden Cox, either by design or by accident, produced one of the most user-friendly shortboards this world has ever seen. With a solid amount of volume, forgiving outline and speedy rocker profile, the Hypto Krypto is truly an all-rounder for the books.

The Hypto Krypto works especially well for intermediate surfers looking for their first or second shortboard thanks to the extra volume and user-friendly features. However, truly advanced surfers might find themselves held back just a wee bit as a result of the user-friendly design and thicker rails.

Check Price on Backcountry

Runner Up: Best Midlength

Lib Tech Pickup Stick ($879-$999)

Lib Tech Pickup Stick

Pros: Easy to catch waves, a number of available lengths
Cons: Not ideal for larger waves

Designed to fill the gap between a shortboard and a longboard, the Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard is a mid-length board that works well in all conditions. The Pickup Stick features a pintail, a smooth rocker, single to double flat contours, soft rails, and an 2+1 fin-setup, making it an incredibly user-friendly design.

This is an incredible board for those looking to take the step down from a longboard, as well as a great daily-driver for those who want or require a bit more volume than your standard shortboard. It’s more geared towards small and sloppy conditions with the smooth rail-lines and full nose, but the rounded pin-tail provides plenty of control for the bigger stuff as well. The durable construction gives it extra points for both of the above use-cases, as does the approachable price-point and wide availability.

Check Price on Backcountry

Lib Tech x Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag Surfboard ($850)

lib tech x lost freak flag bean surfboardPros: Ideal for small waves
Cons: Hard to hold a rail on faster waves

Designed specifically for small waves, the Lib Tech x Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag Surfboard will help you make the most out of sloppy conditions. The Freak Fag features the new Lib Tech MBC construction that blends the best of epoxy and polyester, delivering a board that’s durable and lively, while still remaining flexible.

The Freak Flag has a winged outline for tighter turns, added bite for faster transitions rail to rail, and a tip to tail vee bottom. Designed by Matt Biolis, this is a board you’ll want to get your hands on for small summertime waves. How does this differ from the Puddle Jumper, exactly? Well, the PJ retains a bit more versatility for a wider variety of conditions, whereas the Freak Flags full nose provides the ultimate in shortboard paddle-power to get you into waves other shortboarders wouldn’t even consider paddling for, while retaining enough off-the-tail performance with the winged design to rip a neat little turn if the right section presents itself.

Check Price on Evo

Solid Surf Co Bento Box Surfboard ($695)

solid surf co bento box surfboardPros: Sustainable construction using eco-friendly materials like basalt, organic hemp, recycled polyester, and plant-based resin
Cons: Limited performance in larger or more powerful waves

Bento boxes make for great meals but who knew they performed in the surf as well? The Solid Surf Co Bento Box Surfboard is a mini board that’s designed to make the most of small conditions. The Bento Box is a wide, high volume, buoyant board that sports a mellow concave and low rails that allow it to still be responsive.

This sustainable surfboard is created from a blend of basalt, organic hemp, recycled polyester, organic cotton, steam-blown EPS, and a plant-based resin. The Bento Box has a quad fin construction, with the fins placed a little further back to increase drive. To seal the deal, the Bento Box is delivered in 100% biodegradable packaging.

Check Price on Evo

Salt Gypsy Dusty Retro Longboard ($930-$950)

salt gypsy longboardPros: Designed for smooth control and progressive maneuvers, catering to female surfers
Cons: Single fin setup doesn’t give the same speed as other configurations

The Salt Gypsy Dusty Retro Longboard was built with female surfers in mind and was created for smooth control on waves of all sizes. The concave nose allows for more progressive maneuvers while the 60/40 rails enhance control and maneuverability while on the wave.

The square tail provides stability and pivot control on more mushy waves and the included 9.5-inch single fin provides added control.

Check Price on Backcountry

Five Sugars PU Longboard Surfboard ($1,050)

five sugars longboardPros: High volume facilitates easy paddling and wave-catching
Cons: PU construction is heavier than other optoins

Created by Creative Army surfboard shaper John Constable, the Five Sugars longboard was designed to be a versatile board, capable of performing well in a wide range of conditions. The Five Sugars features a fuller nose for added stability while nose riding and a flatter mid-section allows for faster and easier trimming.

The high volume makes paddling and catching waves a breeze. The board sports a 2+1 fin design that allows for quick rail to rail transitions and the PU constructions ensures the board is durable.

Check Price on Backcountry

Catch Surf Odysea Log ($450)

catch surf odysea logPros: Dual composite core with wood stringers adds impressive stiffness for a foam board
Cons: Doesn’t offer the same performance as other constructions (Unless you’re J.O.B.)

The Odysea Log by Catch Surf was made famous by Jamie O’Brien scoring barrels at Pipeline on a softop. The 9 foot version is even easier to score waves for those who didn’t grow up next to the world’s most famous breaks. The high volume makes the board buoyant and easy to paddle and the PE deck offers plenty of grip, without the wax.

The board features a dual composite core with wood stringers that provide incredible stiffness for a foamie. Lastly, pop-thru fins help the board track more easily through the water and across the waves.

Check Price on Backcountry

South Bay Board Co. Premium Foam Soft Top ($299)

Pros: Double concave bottom deck increases speed and control, while the pulled-in squash tail allows for cleaner turns
Cons: Lacks performance

Available in three different sizes in multiple colors, the South Bay Board Co. Premium Foam Soft Top is a great beginner board for riders of all sizes. Designed for beginners, the SBBC Foam Soft Top features a rounded nose for extra float, nose rocker to prevent nose diving, a widened chest area for easier pop-ups, a pulled in squash tail for cleaner turns, and a double concave bottom deck for added speed and control. Additionally, the board has a patented heat release valve to prevent de-lamination, a wax-free foam grip, EPS closed cell foam core, and one fiberglass rod plus two wooden stringers with bamboo body armor shell to ensure the board is extra durable.

Check Price on Amazon
surf shop window of surfboards

Here are a few things to keep in mind should you choose to go the online-route for your surfboard purchase. Photo: Carolyn Christine//Unsplash

Where Should I Buy a Surfboard Online? Types of Online Retailers

As with everything these days from shoes to lavender-scented toilet paper, there are countless online retail options for those looking for a stock dimensions surfboard, and with all of these options it can be difficult to determine which retailer is going to sell the equipment to fit your specific needs.

Online surfboard retailers tend to fall into four main categories: surf specialty sites, outdoor and adventure sports retailers, online behemoths (you can actually ask Alexa to order you a Wavestorm; more on that in a jiff), and brick and mortar surf shops with a slick online presence. The latter category may be slightly bending one of the earlier rules we established, but hey, rules are meant to be slightly bent. Let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of each of these categories.

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Surf Specialty Websites
For the discerning performance-oriented surfer who keeps tabs on the latest surfboard models from the shapers putting boards under the feet of some of the world’s best surfers, surf specialty sites offer the huge advantage of having the most variety in equipment. A quick perusal of one such example, Boardcave, reveals that current inventory includes sleds from DHD, Timmy Patterson, and Pyzel — the logos of which you might recognize being held up behind world champ surfers being chaired up the beach in recent years. Just sayin’.

Catch Surf Odysea Log

If you’re looking for a foam surfboard specifically, be sure to check out our Best Soft Top Surfboards article. Photo: Quincy Sileo//The Inertia

Outdoor and Adventure Sports Retailers
The next category comprises those websites where you could order a new surf poncho, wetsuit, surfboard leash, surf wax, or maybe even a new traction pad if you’re feeling saucy. Think Backcountry, Evo.com, or REAL Watersports. If there’s one knock on these outdoors retailers it’s that the selection is typically not as broad as surf/watersports-specific retailers, or that it leans heavily in the fun board-slash-approachable equipment and is less performance-oriented. Still, these retailers can be great for discounted equipment and often offer more affordable shipping costs.

Behemoths
Did you know you can buy a surfboard on Amazon? That’s right, everything from A to Z includes S for surfboard. For the most part, this is sort of a buyer beware situation with the sole exception being foam surfboards. So, if you’re an absolute beginner or looking for a Wavestorm or a Catch Surf Beater to flop around on in the summer months, you can actually use your Prime membership for a speedy delivery. Just keep an eye out for knockoffs, and do your research somewhere other than the five-star-review section.

Brick and Mortar Surf Shops
Finally, some brick and mortar surf shops have gotten savvy and developed slick online retail operations. Some examples include Cleanline Surf in Oregon, and REAL Watersports in the Outer Banks. There are lots of options. Depending on the shop, selection can be a mixed bag, which is the primary disadvantage. But, shops with established relationships with brands have the major advantage of carrying exclusive stock from board builders that none of the above retailers carry.

Wavestorm

The Wavestorm remains one of the best value foam boards out there. Photo: Quincy Sileo//The Inertia

Other Considerations When Buying a Surfboard Online

Surfboard Shipping Costs
The single most important variable when buying a surfboard online is shipping costs. Period. And these vary widely depending on the retailer. For example, Boardcave’s best estimate for shipping on surfboards up to 6’6” in length is $80 for Hawaii, $180 for the East Coast, and $220 for the West Coast. Compare that to evo.com, which estimates $69 for standard ground shipping on shortboards and $99 for longboards in the continental US but $199 for Alaska and Hawaii. Other sites like Backcountry don’t provide shipping estimates. Keep in mind, as well, that in most cases, surfboards are excluded from free shipping offers. Because shipping costs can vary so considerably across retailers, and even with the same website depending on board length, our best advice is to contact the retailer directly to get an estimate before you purchase.

What If Your Surfboard Arrives Damaged?

Lastly, for any that have had the unique displeasure of handing a surfboard bag to a baggage handler at the airport and praying it arrives in one piece on the other end, you may be wondering, what if my board shows up damaged? Fortunately, most sites offer some recourse, but that recourse is usually simply contacting customer service. Which can be a mixed bag to say the least. Alas, the potential headache of dealing with a back and forth with customer service is one of the trade-offs you make for the convenience of buying a board online.

Return to Top Picks | Return to Where to Buy

Editor’s Note: Need a wetsuit to stay warm in the water? Check out our guide to the Best Wetsuits and Springsuits, as well as the Best Wetsuits for Women. We also feature Boardshorts for men and women for when the water is warm,  For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

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