The Wavestorm Taquito was the first short (ish) board I successfully surfed a river wave on. I had surfed SUPs and kayaks, but since I was coming at river surfing from a whitewater kayaking background, I couldn’t manage to pop up on short boards, even those designed for river surfing.
Then along came the Taquito. It’s actually a kid’s paddleboard, but at 7 feet with a fair bit of rocker, it fits onto river waves. It has enough float to allow beginners to pop up, even with a sloppy pop up, and it has enough of a planing surface to surf small, green waves that are otherwise restricted to SUPs. It also has a real finbox, so you can plug in true longboard fins, rather than the big (and stiff) fin that comes in the set. I like the 6″ FCS Dolphin fin, but lots of others will work. Just keep in mind that the fin box isn’t quite as long as a standard longboard/SUP finbox, so longer fins may not fit. The board is durable too; it’s nice when you’re starting out to not worry about smashing your board into rocks and doing ding repairs before you come out again.
Downsides are the single fin setup has its limitations; it may be worth plugging in cheap screw-in fins to set it up as a thruster. It’s also too long for some river surf waves.
You can find the Taquito at Costco, but if you don’t have a membership or prefer to get big boxes in the mail, you can order through Amazon as well, which is where I’ve affiliate-linked here and above: