Beginner Boards | Surfboard Types Explained

All surfboards are designed with a specific purpose.

There is no surfboard that excels in all areas so make sure you choose a board type that suits your needs.

Surf Shops Australia has labeled all surfboard models into specific categories so they can be easily identified. 

Full Surfboard information can be found in the product overview description (tab) including, surfboard Type, Recommended Surf Level & Ideal Wave Conditions. Read through this information for a full description of each surfboard model. 

Surfboard Type Descriptions

Mini Mals: 

This design has become very popular due to its versatility, offering an enjoyable ride in most wave conditions & suitable for all surfing levels. Mini Mals are cut down longboards generally 7'0 to 8'6 in length (longboards are classified as over 9 foot in length). Mini Mal very user-friendly & functional for beginners to experienced surfers.

Good paddle power to get your wave count up; Nice & stable so you can get to your feet with ease; Enough performance to push & develop your skills.

No matter what your ability these boards are a lot of fun in small to medium wave conditions.


Click on the image to search all Mini Mals

Mid-Length | 1ft to 8ft

Mid-length boards have a great blend of performance characteristics that every surfer can appreciate. The boards shorter length in comparison to longboards allows the surfer more freedom in the lineup & a short turning arc on the wave face.

Mid Length surfboards differ from Funboards & Mini Mals with more top end performance. Surfers that like to push their surfing will really enjoy this board type. A versatile option no matter what craft you surf or how you surf.


 Click on the image to search all Mid-lengths


This surfboard type is a mix between a Fish/Grovel board & a Mini Mal. Funboards are really versatile, offering an enjoyable ride for all surfing levels in a range of wave conditions. Generally, shorter in length with less nose & tail area compared to Mini Mals. The refined design creates more manoeuvrability for the rider & an easier surfboard to manage in the water.

Lightweight beginners will enjoy the surfboards user-friendly nature & more manageable qualities. Advanced surfers will enjoy the ability to catch waves with ease & still have some performance to push their surfing in small wave conditions.


Click on the image to search all Funboards


Provide the ultimate in fun and safety for beginner to intermediate surfers of all ages. These boards are incredibly buoyant, stable, easy to ride & great for building confidence in the water.

Softboards are a really good option for any beginner surfer young or old who wants a safe surfboard to learn on. Stable surfboard, easy on the knees as you learn to pop up to your feet & not as intimidating when you don't have control over the surfboard.


Click on the image to search all Softboard

Fish / Grovel Boards: 

More performance & progressive than, Softboards, Mini Mals or Funboards. Only jump to this surfboard type if you have some experience surfing or a good level of fitness & sporting background.

The benefit of jumping to a Fish/Grovel board is the ability to push your surfing further than you could on the other surfboard types. However, this learning stage is critical to get right & could mean the difference between frustration or having amazing fun. Slightly easier to duck dive compared to Softboards, Mini Mals & Funboards.


Click on the image to search all Fish / Grovel Surfboards

Recommended Surfing Skill Level | Suitable For All Skill Levels


What's the main difference between surfboard Types

Mid Length / Mini Mals / Fun boards/Softboards: These three board types are very user friendly & suitable for beginners to advance surfers.

Mid Length Surfboards with more top end performance to push your surfing to the next level.

Mini Mals Surfboards are wider throughout with more stability & paddle power making them the easiest surfboards to surf.

Funboards Surfboards are shorter & smaller throughout making them easier to handle in the water & suited to light weight surfers.

Softboards Surfboards are have the same characteristics as Mini Mals but have the benefit of a soft foam top, making them a really good starter surfboard & safer. The drawback of a foam & PVC slick bottom softboards is the limited performance & therefore limiting a surfers ability to progress their skill level compared to fibreglass surfboards.

Apart from these differences all the beginner surfboards types are very friendly & forgiving, depending on your preferences & needs choose accordingly.

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