This is list and a short explanation of all surfboard types and other wave riding vehicles that you can find out there. It is meant for beginners, but not all these boards are beginner boards. Also surfboard types evolve, change and blend from one into another so sometimes it is hard to pinpoint what a certain surfboard is. But this guide will give you a general idea.
NOTE: For more in depth look at surfboard types together with typical dimensions and intended use check this ultimate guide.
BEGINNERS: From the below mentioned surfboard types the best board for beginners is a mini malibu, second choice would be a hybrid. (If you go to surf school you will get a surfboard, but I wouldn't buy it as my first board.)
Shortboard - generally meant for performance surfing, not for beginners.
- Thruster - a surfboard with three fin setup is called a thruster
- Quad - a surfboard with four fin setup without a center fin is called a thruster
- Bonzer - a surfboard with 5 fin setup is called a thruster
Step Up Board - a board that you use when waves get bigger/stronger/hollower and your everyday shortboard is not enough.
Step Down Board - a board that you use when waves get smaller/weaker/mushier and your everyday shortboard is not enough. This can be a beginner board, but not for complete beginners.
Mini Gun / Semi Gun - a surfboard designed for bigger waves.
Gun - for seriously big waves.
Rhino Chaser - for the biggest of the seriously big waves.
Tow Board - when waves get to big surfers use a jet ski and a tow board to tow into waves.
Hybrid - a board that is between a shortboard and a longboard. Good for beginners and for any type of waves.
Egg - surfboard that looks an egg, a really short longboard. Good for small waves.
Fish - a split tail surfboard that looks like a fish. Good for small waves.
- Hybrid Fish - a modern type of fish.
- Lis Fish - the original fish design invented and shaped by Steve Lis.
Longboard (Mal) - long, wide and thick surfboard with round nose and lots of volume. Good for beginners but a bit clumsy because it's heavy.
Mini malibu -a shorter longboard, best surfboard for beginners.
Log - another name for a longboardboard.
Funboard - a common name for all hybrids, eggs, mini-mals... for boards that are wide and stable, have a rounder nose, wider tail, more thickness. Good for beginners.
Aerial Board - a light shortboard for busting airs. Usually people don't special boards for this...
Alaia - a thin, straight, round-nosed, square-tailed surfboard inspired by boards from ancient Hawaii.
Planing Hull and Mini Simmons - boards inspired by Robert Wilson “Bob” Simmons. Fast surfboards.
Softboard (Foamboard) and Softtop - 100% beginner boards, surf schools use them since they are soft an safe.
Surfmat - an inflatable mattress designed for riding waves.
Kneeboard - a board intended for riding on your knees.
Paipo Board - looks like a thin, lightweight boogie-board.
Bodyboard (Boogieboard) - soft short board that is ridden lying down or on one knee.
Skimboard - a wooden (fiberglass) board intended for skimming over the water surface.