To catch small waves, your surfboard needs to be swift and manageable in order to enter the wave quickly. In order to do so, the board needs to be short, dense, and flat. Unlike longer boards, which were designed more for novices or relaxed surfers, shorter boards enable the surfer to perform a series of sweeping moves on the water because they consume less area on the face of the wave, thus leaving ample room for more activity on small waves.
Small wave surfboards, also known as fishtail surfboards, range in size from 6′ feet and under and also include various features to enhance your small wave surfing experience. For some of the best small wave surfboards available, check out this list of the 10 best small wave surfboards, which are ranked based on length, tail, features, quality, and user’s opinion, to help you discover the best small wave surfboard for your needs.
10. Thurso Surf Lancer 5’10” Fish Top Surfboard
The Thurso Surf Lancer 5’10” Fish Top Surfboard Package includes a 5’10” x 20″ x 2.75″ soft top board with a 33.6 board volume, which was designed with drift and reliability in mind. It includes a high-density EPS core for fun surfing and an HDPE slick bottom for increased speed. It also includes two wooden stringers for added strength.
Why We Chose the Thurso Surf Lancer 5’10” Surfboard:
- Soft, IXPE deck for added comfort, safety, and grip.
- Durable EPS core.
- Two wood stringers for increased resillience.
- Adjustable fin box for changing performance and ease of transport.
- Fish tail that gives the board more hold and traction.
- Good price.
9. Surftech Learn2Surf Blacktip Surfboard
The Surftech Learn2Surf Blacktip Surfboard is comprised of patented Surftech Blacktip Technology, which has been in use for more than 10 years. It also includes a textured soft foam deck, a durable multi-stringers core, and a reinforced tail and bumper for added performance.
Why We Chose the Surftech Learn2Surf Blacktip Sufboard:
- Available in various sizes, including 5’0 and 6’0 for small wave surfing.
- Comprised of durable, long-lasting Surftech Blacktip Construction for easy paddling and smooth gliding.
- Firm multi-string core.
- Reinforced rubber bumpers at the nose and tail for added safety.
- Includes Learn2surf technology for beginners.
- Includes a fish tail.
- Also includes fins.
8. SBBC 5’8″ Performance Hybrid Surfboard
The SBBC 5’8″ Soft Top Fun Performance Hybrid Foam Surfboard features a 68″ x 21″ x 2.75″ board that is specifically designed with small wave performance in mind. It features a traditional, Mahi fish shape and a bamboo strengthened bottom deck, which promises an energetic time on the water. It also includes an EPS foam core for easy skimming and an FCS quad fin box set up for varied activity.
Why We Chose the SBBC 5’8″ Performance Hybrid Surfboard:
- Traditional Mahi fish shape.
- IXPE foam board top.
- EPS closed cell foam core.
- Fish tail.
- FCS Quad Fin box set up.
7. Catch Surf Waker Surfer-Odysea Skipper 5’6″
The Catch Surf Waker Surfer-Odysea Skipper 5’6″ is a 5’6″ x 21.0″ x 2.875″ 42-liter board that is designed with the ultimate wake surfer in mind. It includes a built-in traction pad for added grip, a dual composite core for added stiffness, a high-performance quad fin system with wake fins for easy turning and carving in the wake, and an HDPE graphic slick bottom to display your surfer spirit.
Why We Chose the Catch Surf Waker Surfer-Odysea Surfboard:
- Durable HDPE graphic slick bottom.
- Built-in traction pad.
- Stiff dual composite core.
- 3 maple stringers.
- High performance quad-fin system with wake fins.
6. Bic Sport Dura-Tec Fish Surfboard
The Bic Sport Dura-Tec Fish Surfboard is a 5′ x 10″ x 20.5″ fishtail board that is comprised of patented Dura-Tec construction for a durable, long-wearing surfboard. It also includes an integrated 3D traction pad for added safety and a thruster fin set up for varied performance.
Why We Chose the Bic Sport Dura-Tec Fish Surfboard:
- Durable Dura-Tec Construction.
- Fishtail design for added performance.
- Integrated 3D traction pad.
- Thruster tri-fin set up.
5. NSP Elements HDT Fish Shortboard Surfboard
The NSP Elements HDT Fish Shortboard Surfboard is a 6′ fish shortboard designed using patented Elements Construction for a hard-wearing board that lasts. It also includes a pointed nose and a flat rocker profile for easy wave catching.
Why We Chose the NSP Elements HDT Fish Shortboard Surfboard:
- Fishtail design.
- Elements Construction.
- Pointed nose.
- Flat rocker profile.
4. Liquid Shredder Fish Foam Surfboard
The Liquid Shredder Fish Foam surfboard is a 5’10” x 21″ 28″ thick fish shaped board features a Shred-Comfort EPE deck for a soft, easy ride and wooden stringers for added stiffness. It also includes a retro round nose and twin fins, which are also needed to catch small waves.
Why We Chose the Liquid Shredder Fish Foam Surfboard:
- Shred-Comfort EPE deck.
- Fish shape board wide and easy to ride.
- Removable twin fins.
- Includes leash connection posts.
- Available in red, blue, and yellow.
- Reasonably priced.
Other great stuff: If you’re a fan of foam surfboards, check out these other options that are perfect for a faster ride!
3. California Board Company CBC 5’8″ Slasher Surfboard
The California Board Company CBC 5’8″ Slasher Surfboard features a durable HDPE deck along with an HDPE slick bottom for smooth performance on small waves. It also includes molded-in wood stringers for additional strength, a tri-fin system for added performance, and a PU padded surf leash to keep you attached to the board should you fall off.
Why We Chose the California Board Company CBC 5’8″ Slasher Surfboard:
- HDPE foam deck with high density EPS waterproof foam core for easy drifting.
- Molded in laminated wood stringers for added durability.
- Swallow tail for added performance.
- Includes tri-fin system.
- Includes PU leash.
- Vibrant graphics.
- Good price.
2. Wave Bandit Performer 6’0 Tri, Mint Surfboard
Wave Bandit is highly reputable for their high-quality surfboards, which include the Wave Bandit Performer 6’0″ Tri, Mint Surfboard. It includes an effective fish shape with a swallowtail, lightweight EPS core for ease of catching waves, double maple wood stringers for added support, and a tri-fin set up for various water conditions.
Why We Chose the Wave Bandit Perfomer 6’0 Tri, Mint Surfboard:
- Lightweight Expanded polystyrene core.
- Swallow tail for added performance.
- Double maple wood stringers for added stability.
- 4.5″ TPU tri-fin set up.
1. Rock-It 5’8″ Albert Surfboard
The Rock-It 5’8″ Albert Surfboard is a 5’8″ x 20.5″ x 2.5″ soft top surfboard that features a 6-ounce fiberglass cloth beneath the soft top for added resilience. It also includes a twin-fin design and a lightweight EPS foam core for super flotation along with two stingers for additional strength.
Why We Chose the Rock-It 5’8″ Surfboard:
- Soft top with 6-ounce fiberglass cloth underneath for added durability.
- Recycled EPS foam core.
- Super floaty twin-fin design.
- 2 stringers for added durability.
- Low cost.
Ultimately, the best small wave surfboard enables surfers of all levels to explore small wave surfing via an effectively designed board that is available at a fraction of the cost of traditional surfboards. After trying one of the best small wave surfboards on this list, be sure to share your take on your chosen board. Or, if you have experience with other effective small wave boards, don’t hesitate to share your input.