What are the best surfboard brands? This is a question that a lot of beginner to intermediate surfers ask themselves. It is also a question that we get asked frequently. In this article, that is what we are going to answer. So, let’s take a look at the top surfboard brands.
The best surfboard brands have built their reputation over time. These brands include the South Bay Board Co, JS Industries, Channel Islands, Pyzel surfboards, chilli, DHD, Cabianca, FireWire, and Rusty Surfboards. These brands offer the best service, the best quality, and are recognizable names in the industry.
Our list of the top surfboard companies primarily consists of premium brands. You will find quite a few budget-friendly surfboards on the list. However, for most of the boards on this list, you are looking at paying a premium price even for the most budget-friendly offering from some of the companies. So, with all of that said, let’s get straight into it.
Best Surfboard Brands Today
- South Bay Board Co.
- JS Industries
- Channel Island Surfboards
- Pyzel Surfboards
- Chilli Surfboards
- DHD Surfboards
- Cabianca Surfboards
- Firewire Surfboards
- Rusty Surfboards
South Bay Board Co
We are going to start this off by talking about the South Bay Board Co. Like most family-owned businesses, this company started relatively small. There were a few things that helped them become one of the industry leaders when it comes to not only selling surfboards but also other types of boards used in the surf.
These include quality, service, variety, design, and distribution.
The value that you get from a South Bay board is phenomenal. This is a store that designs, develops, and then shapes its boards before selling them to you. By doing this, they cut out the middleman to reduce costs. By buying one of their boards, you can be assured that you will be getting great performance and great value.
One thing that sets them apart is their customer service. They take great pride in their products but they also take pride in making sure that their customers are always heard and any issues are tended to swiftly.
- Best Budget Model: 6′ Guppy Beginner Surfboard: $189.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: 5’8 Lil Noche Pro Surfboard: $689.00
Right, when talking about JS Industries, we are talking about a company that supplies surfboards to some of the world’s best surfers. This is another company that started off small. The JS stands for the initials of the man behind the company, Jason Stevenson.
The company is situated in New South Wales, Australia. It was established in 1999. With all of that being said, it is important to note that they do sell their boards worldwide.
They use three main technologies when developing their boards. They have PU and carbon fusion, the EPS and carbon fusion, finally, they have something known as HYFI. I don’t want to get too technical in this article. So, let me just say that HYFI makes their surfboards extremely light with just the right amount of flex.
Now, we need to talk about the team of surfers that they have on their roster. A stand-out rider is Jeremy Flores who has won the Billabong Pipe Masters twice and the Tahiti Billabong Pro. They also have Conner Coffin who is a great rising star in the professional surfing world.
- Best Budget Model: Monsta series: $650.00 – $750.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: HYFI series: $825.00
Channel Islands Surfboards
Channel Islands Surfboards was established in 1969. That is over 50 years ago. The goal of the company was to be focused on “hardcore surfing”. They pride themselves on their design and innovation. The company is situated in Santa Barbara, California.
Channel Islands Surfboards allow you to build your own custom board which is a nice touch. You start out by selecting the base of your board and then you can customize everything from the dimensions to the shape.
Much like most of the boards that we are going to speak about in this article, Channel Islands Surfboards as a company is associated with some of the most elite surfers in the world.
These surfers include Legends like Tom Curran and Dan Reynolds as well as Lakey Peterson. They are also associated with the South African Jordy Smith. Jordy has used a board designed specifically for him.
- Best Budget Model: Bonzer Shelter: About $500.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: Happy series: $725.00 +
What do you get when you have a passionate surfboard shaper start his company on the North shore of Hawaii? A place that is known for having one of the best waves in the world. Well, you get a board that is built for performance, durability, and so much more.
Although John Pyzell grew up in Santa Barbara, California, he started his company in Hawaii all the way back in 1995. Today his surfboard company and his brand are one of the most recognizable names in the surfing industry.
Pyzel has quite a large roster of surfers but there are two that stand out for me. As of writing this article, Pyzel has Alana Blanchard, one of the best female surfers in the world.
They also have a Surfer who I have looked up to over the years. John John Florence Who, according to some statistics, is the best Surfer in the world. This is according to his consistency and his results over the years.
Like I always say, you can judge a brand by the people who represent it and if these two trust the brand, you should as well.
- Best Budget Model: Shadow: $730.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: Ghost Pro: $760.00
Chilli Surfboards is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with within the surfing community. The man who shapes their surfboards, Jamie Cheal has been perfecting his craft since 1995. It was in 2004 that the late Andy Irons took one of his surfboards out in the world tour and on it, he claimed his third world title.
Chilli Surfboards are loved by beginners, intermediate, advanced, and even elite surfers. Chilli uses lightweight materials. They also use carbon in their designs which adds flexibility and strength.
The new “twin-tech” technology uses a combination of fiberglass and carbon strips. This allows them to replace the traditional stringer with these light materials. Basically, it all means that you get better performance and a lighter board.
Chilli sponsors surfers from the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Portugal. They are leaving their footprint all across the world.
- Best Budget Model: Grom Youth: $625.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: Faded 2.0: $700.00
DHD surfboards is another Australian company. They produce surfboards that are used by some of the best surfers in the world. I am sure that you are starting to find a recurring theme in this article. Yes, most of the best surfboard brands sponsor the best surfers in the world.
To sum up what DHD is all about, you need to look at the man behind the company. Darren Handley, not only is he the man behind the company he is also the man who designs, develops, and shapes most of their boards.
His goal is to create high-performance boards. You can also say that his boards are developed for hardcore surfing.
When you think of some of the best surfers in the world, Mick Fanning comes to mind. He is a former World Tour surfing champion. In fact, he has won it three times. If DHD surfboards are good enough for Mick Fanning, trust me, that says a lot about the brand.
- Best Budget Model: XRS: $715.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: 3DX EPS: $795.00
This brand is lesser known than most of the others on this list. However, Cabianca surfboards are increasing in popularity. The company was started by Surfer and shaper, Johnny Cabianca.
He has been traveling the world for the past 35 years. His goal is to constantly keep learning so that he can come up with ways to improve his already fantastic line-up of surfboards.
Gabriel Medina from Brazil is one of the team members on the roster of Cabianca surfboards; he is also ranked number two in the men’s championship tour for 2020 and currently for 2021.
- Best Budget Model: Muleke Grom: $578.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: Bandida: $613.00
FireWire surfboards is a company that cares a lot about innovation. One of their mottos is that they want to “elevate the surfing experience” which I find very refreshing. Oh, and with Kelly Slater involved in the business, you can be sure that their boards are made to shred. Remember, Kelly is one of the most recognizable surfers even outside of surfing.
With companies like FireWire leading the charge in innovation, I’m excited to see what board they bring out every time they announce a new model. They are also very transparent about the materials and new technologies that they try out on their boards.
They partner with surfing Legends like Rob Machado to develop new boards and they sponsor a lot of young up-and-coming surfers such as Kai Martin and Rosie Smart.
- Best Budget Model: Sci-Fi 2.0: $820.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: Flat Earth: $835.00
Rusty Surfboards has a long and detailed history that is too in-depth for us to fully cover in this article. What you should know is that the man, Rusty, has been shaping boards for decades. It was in the 80s where his company, Rusty Surfboards really took off.
One of the technologies that they use in their boards is called “the torsion spring”. It is truly fascinating what they have achieved. It has allowed them to create a sturdy but flexible board. The board is also lightweight due to the fact that it does not contain a stringer, or at least, a traditional stringer.
Rusty sponsors a wide range of surfers ranging from their global team, their big wave surfers, their regional team, and obviously, their groms.
Rusty has left an impact on the surfing community. It is a brand that you can trust because they have stood the test of time. The Rusty logo with the funky looking “R” followed by nothing more than just the Dot is recognized by almost everyone in the surfing community across the world.
- Best Budget Model: The Keg: Starts at $695.00
- Best Top-of-the-line Model: The Torsion Spring Yes Thanks: Starts at $855.00
Top Surfboard Brands: FAQ
Now, we have given you a list of the best surfboard brands, we gave you a list that contains companies that release top-of-the-range surfboards. Now we need to talk about a few things that you should know before you go and buy your surfboard.
What is The Best Surfboard Brand for Professional Surfers?
When you are just getting into surfing and you want to give yourself the best possible advantages. One of the ways that you can do this is to use boards that the professionals use. What boards do professionals use though?
JS Industries has produced some of the best surfboards in the world. It comes as no surprise as Australia has a very diverse set of surf spots and so, Australian shapers have kind of perfected their boards to suit most conditions.
The reason why we chose JS industries is because a lot of surfers have been world champions and they won their titles while surfing these boards.
What are the Best Surfboard Brands for Beginners?
I decided to answer this question in this article because I think it is safe to assume that a lot of the people reading this article are just getting into the sport of surfing. With that being said, let’s take a look at what surfboard brand is best for beginners.
The South Bay Board Co is my choice when it comes to the best surfboards for beginners. The reason why I went with this brand is because they make one of the best mini-mal boards.
There are more than three different types of surfboards. However, the three basic types are your shortboard, your mini-mal, and the longboard.
The mini-mal is, in my experience, the best beginner surfboard out there. It is long enough and contains enough volume to keep you afloat while also making it easier to paddle for waves than a normal surfboard. Finally, a mini-mal is easier to stand up on than a shortboard. However, it is not as easy as a longboard.
What makes up for this is the fact that a mini-mal is easier to paddle than a longboard. So, learning how to stand up will take a little bit of time but once you have that down, a mini-mal will be easier to maneuver than a longboard.
What are the Best Longboard Surfboard Brands?
I would hate to start repeating myself, but I do need to answer the question as accurately as possible. With all of that being said, here is my choice for one of the top surfboard brands for longboards.
See also: Best Wetsuit Brands
Again, the South Bay Board Co is the winner when it comes to the best longboard brands. When it comes to longboards, they just seem to get everything right; this includes longboards and mini-mals.
What are the Best Australian Surfboard Brands?
With its beautiful coastlines and amazing surf spots, Australia has produced some of the best surfers in the world. This obviously means that they have a booming surfboard industry. What is the best Australian surfboard brand?
DHD surfboards are built for performance. You can expect to pay a premium price but it is important to remember that these boards are shaped by one of the best shapers in the world. If you want a board that is durable and performs well, you should seriously take a look at DHD surfboards.
See also: Best Bodyboard Brands
Now, there is some debate as to whether or not JS Industries is better than DHD, however, the debate tends to be very subjective. Both of these brands produce top-of-the-range boards and some people prefer one brand while others prefer the other.
This is where I get to be slightly more opinionated as this is where we close off the article. Taking a look at some of the boards from some of the brands that we spoke about is the best thing that you can do. However, it is important to remember that you should always get a board that you feel most comfortable with.
It may sound a little bit cliche but I believe that in some way, a connection can be instantly developed with you and a board from the first time that you ride it. Having said all of that, remember to have fun, get stoked, and be happy.