Beater board surfboard is the latest trend that has quickly become one of the most popular surfboards for any dedicated surfer’s quiver.
Actually, it’s not only the seasoned surfers who have started to ride those small, funboards, but it is also the best ‘one-for-all’ funboard that small kids and adults can both ride alike. We’d even go as far and say that beater board surfboard is the safest surfboard out there, hence the reason it can beat the ‘no-surf-rule’ on beaches that allow no watercraft.
The term “beater board” in surfing has two meanings:
- Beating the “no-surf” rule on beaches. On some beaches, lifeguards have pulled up the yellow flag that has a black dot in the middle, the “blackball flag”. The flag indicates the surfers to not surf in that area for safety reasons. Generally, no watercraft allowed – anything that can show a threat to recreational swimmers, especially fiberglass surfboards with sharp fins and noses, the beater board can be surfed without the fins, and it’s made of foam!
- The fact that foam boards can take the beating, therefore these boards are safer to ride on waves you normally wouldn’t surf. Shore breaks, sketchy waves, or anywhere where getting wiped out is very likely.
Table of Contents
The Beater Board is a mixture of a bodyboard, surfboard, and skimboard, designed for having fun in small waves or beach breaks.
Surf Beater Board Characteristics
- Made of foam
- Short in length 48″ / 54″
- Retro styling
- Twin-fin set-up that’s easily removable
Best Wave Type: Poor surf conditions, shore breaks, sketchy waves – pretty much any wave where a regular surfboard would nose-dive, or where you wouldn’t risk damaging your expensive PU/Epoxy board.
What Size Beater Board Do I Need?
48″ is best for surfers under 160lbs, while anything above 54″ is great for adults and surfers weighing 160-200 lbs.
6 Best Beater Boards of 2022
1. Catch Surf Beater Original
Widest variety of designs – comes as 48″ or 52″
MSRP from $240
48″ = 4’0″ x 20″ x 2.5″ @31L
54″ = 4’6″ x 20″ x 2.5″ @35L
- 2x maple ply-wood stringers
- High-density bottom
- Board Slick: HD PE
- Dual Composite Core
- 3.5″ keel fins
- Can be made to finless by getting the finless conversion kits
Whether you need the board for messy/low conditions or simply want to have fun by doing airs or surfing the close-outs, there’s no better board for it!
The Catch Surf “Original” beater board is something every competent surfer is aware of. They have been the best-selling beater boards due to the wide variety of different designs and the two main sizes. You can use it as a skimboard without the fins, bodyboard, or a surfboard. The retro design and awesome paint job are what make those boards clearly stand out and put them in the top position. Catch Surf specializes in making foam boards, and they have been doing it very successfully!
Note: You’ll need wax for grip.
2. Catch Surf Beater Original PRO
For harder carves and added drive
MSRP from $249
48 =” 4’0” x 20” x 2.5” @31L
54″ = 4’6” x 20” x 2.5” @35L
- Strong, water-resistant core
- Tapered D-rails
- Twin-channel crescent tail for finless performance
- Dual composite core
- Dual maple-ply wood stringers
- High-density bottom
- High-performance fin system
- 4″ Beater Pro keel fins
- Pop-through leash plug
If that list of features didn’t make you question the real durability and expected field of use the beater boards are designed for, I don’t know what will! This is seriously the most durable and best beater board you could get! Besides the durability, the board has a twin-channel crescent tail for 360 degree turns on the waves, when going finless! The whole board is seriously designed to max out your fun on the waves. The only thing to note about the beater pro is that it requires wax for grip and there doesn’t seem to be a leash included!
The Pro is an upgraded version of the Original beater.
3. Wave Bandit Performer Mini
The biggest board on the list – 58″
MSRP $150 Wave Bandit
4’10” x 19 1/2 x 2 15/16″
- Custom template
- Rocker for better performance and easier take-offs
- Dual-wood stringers
- Composite core made of high-pressure construction
- 4.5″ removable fins
- Pro-style leash
A bit larger than your average or traditional beater board, but this twin fin Performer is your ideal choice when you’d like to catch those gnarly last-second waves near the shore. Matter of fact, you can ride all sorts of waves with it, and it’s also a great cheap entry-level surfboard for kids to learn on! It’s made of foam and comes with everything you need, expect the wax for grip!
4. Wave Bandit – Shred Sled X Ben Gravy
MSRP: $100 Wave Bandit
48″ x 17 15/16″ x 2 5/8″
- Dual-composite core made of high-pressure construction to provide stiffness for speed!
- Easily removable fins (Included)
- Leash plug + leash (Included)
Anyone who has watched surf videos on YouTube has most likely come across Ben Gravy. He has the most fun out there as he’s actively seeking out the most un-surfable waves. The Shred Sled is his vision of the beater surfboard, and it sure is on the cheaper end of those types of boards. The Wave Sled is an awesome deal as it’s got everything you need – the board, two fins, and even a leash! I believe there’s no better way to spend $100 than getting into it with this one!
5. The 4-4 / The 5-5 by KonaSurf Co
The good-quality alternative to many other well-known brands!
MSRP $170-$190 Kona Surf CO
4’4″ (52″) @27L (For riders up to 160lbs)
5’5″ (66″) @45L (160 and above)
Designs: Grey, Purple, Green, Blue, Red
- Two Wooden Stringers
- Heated Lamination HDPE Slick bottom
- IXPE deck with two layers of EPO and XPE core
- Three fins & a leash included
The 4-4 and 5-5 are very well-made beater foamboards for gnarly shore breaks. The brand has an awesome variety of surfboards for literally anyone – from beginner surfers to experts; affordable longboards, hybrids, shortboards, longboards, etc. What stands out the most about their beater boards has the thruster setup. Check out their website for VIDEO INSTRUCTION about the board as well!
6. ZEFR – Fusion Board
Size: 48″ x 22″ x 2″
- Compression-molded (Heat and high-pressure)
- Fast fused PE-foam
- Tentacle Grip Traction (No wax needed)
- Two removable fins
- Leash plug and a leash (Included)
The Fusion beater board by ZEFR has a classical design that’s ready to take the blast on those shore breaks. The company has a lifetime warranty against bubbling or waterlogging, which is a clear sign that it’s built to be used among rougher breaks too. It is very lightweight while having plenty of volume to get up on those small and slow or fast and hollow shore breaks. The only thing that sets the Zefr Fusion Board apart from others is that there’s no wax needed! Definitely worth consideration as it’s got everything you need to paddle in and hold on!
Beater Board Extras
What leash to use on a beater board anyway? Check out each deal as most of them have a leash included. The Catch surf offers a 6″ Beater-series leash in case you broke one. Their leashes go together well with their boards since they both share the retro styling throughout the leash and the board!
Again, all the beater boards are equipped with a set of fins, but you’ll find a selection of extra fins on their websites.
If you want to max out the longevity of your beater board by keeping it out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time, the board bag comes really handy when you want to travel comfortably and stash more stuff in the board bag! The bag looks super retro while having quite a few features to
Beater Surfboards FAQ
Beater Board History – Where Did It All Start?
The modern beater board is rather new to the surf industry, but its closest board, the bodyboard, came around in the 70s.
Bodyboard vs Beater Board
Bodyboards are generally 37″ long, which might be a bit tricky for beginner surfers to really stand up on and really ride the wave. While beater boards can be surfed while proning or kneeling, bodyboards require more torque (provided by large fins) to get on the wave!
How Much Does The Beater Board Cost?
As low as 100 for the Wave Bandit up to $350 for Catch Surf Original Pro with fins, leash, and bag included!
Why should I buy a beater board?
- It’s a must-have board to your quiver for several reasons: 1. It’s cheap! 2. The beater board allows us to ride small and sketchy waves 3. It’s fun on shore-breaks like nothing else. 4 You don’t need to worry about breaking your expensive EP/PU board.
- Surfboards made of foam do not delaminate, bubble, or get waterlogged!
- Great for beginner surfboards.
- It can be ridden where a regular surfboard may not be allowed.
How to wax a beater board?
You can wax the whole top surface as you’ll need that grip all over the board when standing up on a wave.
How to use a beater board?
When using the finless step-up, you can use it like a skimboard, otherwise, you just use it as your regular surfboard. Bear in mind that due to the beater boards’ being short in length, they are quite twitchy to ride in the beginning.
Beater board tricks / Surfing styles: Stand-up, drop-knee, or prone. You can easily practice jumps with a beater board! Make sure there are no other beachgoers nearby for safety precautions, as practicing jumps you don’t really want to use the leash!
What size beater board should I get?
Beater board usually come in two sizes: 48″ for kids, riders weighing less than 160lbs, and 54″ for grown-ups and bigger surfers.
Is the beater board worth it?
As there’s no other board that allows us to have so much fun on shore breaks, they are totally worth it! No questions asked. There are always trends in the surf culture, but the beater stands out due to its safe foam core and small sizes which are something you’ll need on those kinds of waves!
Beater board size chart
Beater boards don’t really have a weight limit as they are made of thick foam.
- 48″ for smaller surfers, up to 160lbs – Great for parents who’d like to get a funboard for their kids to learn surfing on!
- 54″ for heavier surfers 160lbs+.
How to stand up on a beater board?
Pop-up and stand back
Make sure your chin is up when paddling and use your legs for increased speed. Those boards need quite a last-minute paddle-in and a fast pop-up. Once you are standing up on a beater board, try to keep your body weight lower to keep that extra stability! Pumping the board also helps to pick up more speed. Those boards can be ridden as bodyboards or simply kneeling on the board, too!
Fin or finless beater board?
The finless beater board allows you to do 360 turns and use it as a skimboard. Fins add that extra stability to ride the waves like a regular surfboard. The Catch Surf Original Pro and the Kona have thruster fin set-up for extra stability!
Cheap beater boards
As the beater boards are short in length and made of foam, they are the perfect cheap surfboards for kids to learn surfing on!
For low-quality surf conditions – there’s no better board than the beater board!
What are the best beater surfboard brands?
At the moment there are currently two main brands that produce the original 44″ and 54″ beater boards:
- Catch Surf
- Wave Bandit
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I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.