Foam Surfboard Width
The length of your board is important, however width also needs to be taken into account as this is a key determining factor in volume. Having a wider board not only gives stability in terms of more volume, but also gives you more room to play with when learning to pop up and stand on your board. Foam surfboards which are at least 20 inches wide are best for beginners. Be sure that your board isn’t too wide to carry under your arm though, as dragging your board will damage it which will only make it harder to ride.
Fins on Foam Surfboards
Fins on the base of the board reduce sideways movement when standing. As a beginner, you will be learning to surf in a straight line, directly back to the beach, so more fins will help you stay on course. 1 or 3 fins gives good stability, and you will probably see this set-up on most foam boards, but you can see up to five on some beginner boards too.
We can go into much more detail on fins, but for beginner boards, the most simple thing to remember is that the more fin surface area, the more stability. The bigger the fin and the more ‘cant’ it has (the more it curves towards the tail of the board), the easier the board will be to control.
The downside is that greater surface area of fin increases drag, and slows the board down. When you progress you will be able to use boards with smaller fins which can generate more speed for you to play with.