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Ultimate Guide to Beater Boards

If a beater board isn't tucked away somewhere into your quiver, then you're missing out on a hell of a lot of fun.

Beater boards are synonymous with messing around, a board that allows you to enjoy the purities of surfing to their fullest. Shredding lines as if a skateboard is below your feet, finless spins, quick turns, bodyboarding mini tubes. Beaters are the best, and we're here to tell you why.

What is a Beater Board?

If you're thinking that a beater surfboard is a secondhand, dinged up, and waterlogged board, that's not the kind of beater board we're talking about.

A beater board, typically ranging from 48" to 54" in length, is a term used to describe a small and floaty foam surfboard. These versatile boards can be ridden with or without fins, often configured as a twin fin or quad fin setup, and they can serve as surfboards, bodyboards, or even skimboards. While the Catch Surf Beater surfboard often takes the spotlight among beater boards, it's essential to note that beater boards encompass a range of small foam surfboards designed for various riding styles and preferences.

Although small in length, beaters are usually super thick; the added volume allows for huge amounts of versatility in wave choice and ability on a wave. This makes beaters a smile-inducing board choice for both beginners and experienced surfers alike, for although you can still throw wild airs whilst riding one, it's less about talent and more about pure fun.

Why Beaters are Rad!

Many of us might have a hard time determining if a beater is really worth it, as we'd rather go for the high-performance setups that bring out the best in our surfing.

But sometimes, the best thing you can do for your surfing is to bring yourself back to the roots of why you love riding a wave, and a beater surfboard is exactly how this can be done.

Wave Choice

See a sick little barrel peeling the shorebreak, but not willing to risk your shortboard for the view?

Beater boards allow you to ride waves that you otherwise may not, and for that, we love them.

They are durable little creatures of the sea, able to withstand some serious beatings (you know, hence their name), allowing you to also throw yourself into whatever shore break, sketchy reef, or big and dumpy closeout that you like.

As well as riding sketchy but exhilarating waves, the floatability of a beater surfboard makes them a good choice for overall poor or small conditions, and you'll often see a beater board or two out when it's firing, because hey, you can of course rip up good waves too.

So really, the ideal beater board conditions are any conditions at all.


You can stand up on a beater and ride it like a standard shortboard, you can bodyboard huge and small waves alike, and you can even throw the board into some shore break to skim.

You can pretty much enjoy the waves in whatever way you enjoy, or whatever way the conditions call for, and that makes beater boards incredibly versatile.

With pro-models available, you can also enjoy versatility in maneuverability; the shape and design of these fun shapes still making them plenty rippable. If you haven't seen a beater in action, just watch some of the pros shred them to pieces.

Fins or Finless

Beater boards give a choice to ride with or without fins. Usually a standard quad set up, their simple screw-in fins can be changed in a few seconds, adjusted to a twin fin set up or a finless beater board that will make you joyfully dizzy as you spin down the line.

Steeze Around the No Surf Rule

You know that stupidly ugly yellow flag that flies with a black ball in the middle, indicating the manifestation of a surfer's worst nightmare:

That you can't surf because the rules tell you so.

A blackball flag means you aren't allowed to surf, but a beater board might just be the key to sneak your way around this rule.

Because beater boards are small, rounded, made of only foam, and that they do not necessarily have to have fins, they are not a threat to recreational swimmers; and oftentimes, lifeguards let them slip by even when the no surf rule is in place.

It might not be the ultimate board choice if it's pumping, but at least it's one way to say screw you to the blackball!

How to Use a Beater Board

As with all foamies, you're going to need a decent bit of wax, especially because there is no tail pad. How to wax a beater board isn't rocket science, but do use the type of west best suited for your temperatures, and start with a solid base layer by creating diamonds across the deck with vertical wax lines.

Once the base layer is in place, proceed with the topcoat by circling the surf wax across the entire board, using the diamonds to increase texture and stick.

Next, all you need is a surf leash, and you're good to go!

And if you don't know what size beater board to ride, the longer ones provide more stability for surfing versus the smaller ones. So if your focus is standing up to ride waves, you may enjoy the 54" in pro-model, and if your focus is leaning more towards bodyboarding, skimboarding, and finless surfing, you may enjoy the smaller 48" model.

The thing about it is there's no bad way to use a beater board. You can literally do whatever you want with one, so have fun messing around and reaping havoc on any wave.

Toss yourself into closeouts, surf that shore break, bodyboard half the line and stand up on the other. Use a beater board as a way to express yourself through fun, and not through surfing that is meant to impress, and it will act as the perfect 'reset' to your standard surfing.

Beater Boards: A Summary

Even if your beater board does not become your staple surfboard, as that's not really the point anyway, it is at least worth leaving a beater in the trunk just in case you pass by a random wave and want to hop in!

Riding a wave may manifest in various means, and it's really important to dial back your surfing sometimes and not take it as seriously.

For the ultimate in convenience and versatility, don't forget to equip yourself with essential surf accessories like surfboard bags, surf ear plugs, and surfboard racks. These items can make your on-the-go surfing experiences even more enjoyable, whether you're chasing random waves or seeking out perfect, quirky, or challenging conditions. So, when you're considering a beater board for your quiver, make sure to complete your setup with these handy additions.

Visit our selection of Foam Surfboards if you now have a beater on your radar, as you surely should.