Surfing is a highly addictive adrenaline-pumping water sport. If you tried catching waves before, you probably would agree. Imagine making a successful 360 while facing a massive wave or going backdoor.
These are exhilarating experiences you can’t miss. But more than the fun and excitement that it offers, surfing also stimulates you physically and emotionally. That is one of the reasons why surfing became a popular sport.
List of Best Foam Surfboards
- South Bay Soft Top Surfboard
- Wavestorm 8’ Classic Surfboard
- California Board Company 6’2” Fish Surfboard
- Liquid Shredder FSE Soft Surfboard
- Wave Bandit Performer Tri
- Wavestorm 8’ Classic Pinline Surfboard
- Rock It 7’ SHORTBUS Soft Top Surfboard
If you want to catch surf, you need the best surfboard that is strong enough to support your weight in the water. And when it comes to surfboards, one thing is for sure. Only the best surfboard can give you the best experience.
There are different types of surfboards but one of the most popular nowadays is foam surfboard (foamie). Foamie is light, strong, buoyant and easy to maneuver.
Best Foam Surfboards – Comparison Table
In the past, most foam surfboards are really long and are not that appealing. Over the years, they have evolved and are now available in all shapes and sizes. Many of these foamie surfboards now are very stylish and they make a great option for surfers of all skill levels.
Since foamie surfboards are gaining in popularity nowadays, choosing the best foam surfboard can be a bit challenging because of the wide array of products you can choose from. To help you out, we’d like to share our top 3 choices for best foamie surfboards:
- South Bay Soft Top Surfboard – it is a top-of-the line long foam surfboard that doesn’t require waxing. With its impressive construction, finger-texture and use of EPS, it promises to deliver top performance.
- Wavestorm 8’ Classic Surfboard – There is no question as to the popularity of Wavestorm in manufacturing foam surfboards and this is one of their best-sellers for beginners. It has a strong and sturdy deck as a result of using EPS and slick HDPE.
- California Board Company 6’2” Fish Surfboard – You should consider getting this fish-style foam surfboard if you are now ready to test your beginner surfing skill. Its fish design helps you navigate smoothly in water.
How to Choose the Best Foam Surfboard
The type of foam surfboard that you have can greatly affect your learning pace as well as your overall experience in the water. Before making a decision, take the time to check the following features:
Surfboards come in several styles which include:
- Egg – It got its name from its egg-shaped rounded nose and short stubby size. It is more like a mix between a shortboard and a longboard. While it is not as round as a real egg, it does have a distinct ovular shape. If you want to learn to catch surf, egg shape surfboards make a great choice.
- Fish – This is a popular surfboard design and works well with intermediate surfers and expert surfers. It’s called by its name because it has a split tail just like a fish tail. This unique design lets you catch surf with ease. It also supports smooth transitions when making turns. Typically, fish soft top surfboards have a little rocker that makes it easier to boost your speed in small waves.
- Hybrid – There are many variations of a hybrid design but the most popular one is the combination of the egg and fish styles. There are also hybrid designs that feature the high-performance characteristics of a shortboard plus extra width and tail. Hybrid soft top surfboards are an excellent choice for intermediate and expert surfers.
- Mini Malibu – Mini malibus soft top surfboards are generally between 6 and 8 feet long and with a rounded longboard shape. This style of foam surfboard is more popular among loggers and those who can’t let go of their longboard. It is very forgiving when it comes to wiping out which also makes it a good choice for beginners.
- Gun – A gun-shaped foam surfboard has a pointed nose and tail. It is the least common design and is commonly used by intermediate surfers.
Manufacturers normally use a combination of different materials to construct soft top surfboards. Some of the most common materials include:
Polyurethane – polyurethane surfboards (PU) or more popularly known as fiberglass surfboards are considered the more traditional surfboard and they have been around for more than 50 years now.
Typically, they have a polyurethane inner core with fiberglass cloth wrapping. This type of soft top surfboard can flex better in the water, however, it is prone to damage.
Polystyrene – this material is what epoxy soft top surfboards use as an inner core. Aside from surfboards, it has also a wide range of applications including protective packaging, bottles, trays, and disposable cutlery. Since polystyrene in itself is not very strong, it is typically coated with an epoxy resin, hence its name.
Epoxy surfboards was first introduced in the 1990s but they just gained popularity in 2005. Compared to fiberglass surfboards, epoxy surfboards are generally stronger, lighter and floats better.
Moreover, it is also less prone to water-logging which happens which a surfboard takes in water over time. One drawback through is that since polystyrene requires more time to produce, it is also more expensive.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) – Also known as styrofoam, is rigid and is the most lightweight among the three. Even though it is lightweight, it is sturdy enough to withstand load and back-fill forces which make it ideal for surfing boards.
Because of these characteristics, expanded polystyrene is gaining momentum as a good alternative to polyurethane foam in making soft top surfboards.
When choosing a surfboard, you should consider your skill level and weight and equate that to the size of foam surfboard you are getting.
Generally, the larger waves you want to ride on, the smaller the size of surfboard you’ll have to use. That’s why you’ll often see skilled or experienced surfers using small surfboards.
Bigger and longer surfboards are better for beginners or learners. Think of an 8- to 9-foot longboard surfboard as an option. Long surfboards are more user-friendly as they are balanced, easy to paddle and quick in catching waves.
These boards also have more volume so they are great for catching smaller and flatter waves.
If you are an experienced surfer, you have more freedom in choosing the size of your surfboard. You just have to make sure that the board can support your weight.
Of course, you’ll want a surfboard that will last. Durability comes in as an important factor to consider when buying a surfboard. The durability of a foam surfboard mostly depends on its materials and the technology used in the manufacturing process.
For instance, soft top surfboards with expanded polystyrene core are known to be very durable and resilient. Another known technique to make the foam surfboards durable is by coating it with epoxy resin.
Surfing requires balance. If you constantly practice, you’ll get better sooner but before that, consider getting a foam surfboard with a traction pad.
This feature gives you a better grip of the board and helps keep your balance, preventing you from slipping off the board especially when turning. For most surfboards, you can find it at the back of the board.
Another important feature worth checking are the fins. Some surfboards have fins at the back, middle part or at either side. They are vital for speed and maneuverability especially when you are making sharp turns.
This is a good feature to have especially for learners or beginners. With fins, you can easily make quick turns while maintaining your stability.
If the board has fins, check also if it is removable to allow you to easily carry and store your board. You can simply remove the fins to prevent them from breaking during transport or while in storage.
Some foam surfboards also come with a leash or cord that is attached to the tail of the surfboard. This attaches to the ankle using a Velcro strap. When you sustain a wipe-out, you don’t have to worry about losing your board or going far from it if yours has a leash.
The best foam surfboard doesn’t have to be costly, just as the cheapest product isn’t always bad in quality. Other factors determine the price including the features, construction, size, and even the popularity of the brand.
Depending on your preference and style, you can get a foam surfboard with basic features anywhere from $70 to $200. Better quality surfboards typically cost over $300 and above.
Q: Are foam surfboards safe?
A: Yes, they are safe. As the foam materials used for these surfboards are buoyant, they help you float in the water. They don’t have the tendency to sink in the waves.
Moreover, foam boards are also generally sturdy and do not easily flex, which is better for balance. Stability and balance are two vital features that can help you when tackling waves.
Q: How is foam surfboard different from a regular surfboard?
A: The main difference is the material used. A regular surfboard generally has a foam core but it is covered with hard fiberglass. In contrast, a foam surfboard has a foam core while the other part is made of foam too.
Q: Should I get a foam surfboard or a regular surfboard?
A: If you are a beginner surfer, foam boards are the way to go. These boards are more buoyant and stable than regular surfboards. They help you easily maneuver your board without tipping over.
Moreover, regular surfboards have a hard surface, causing a hard impact which isn’t good if you are wiping out or falling a lot.
Q: Which size of surfboard should I choose?
This will generally depend on your skill level. Think of it this way. Larger surfboards are best for smaller and flatter waves while smaller surfboards are for big waves. If you are a beginner surfer, it’s best to use a larger and taller foam surfboard.
Q: Do you have to wax a foam surfboard?
Some foam surfboards have a grippy top deck surface. This is the type that doesn’t need waxing. However, those with a slicker deck need wax. If you are not sure if your board needs waxing, it is best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Q: How do you take care of a foam surfboard?
Your foam surfboard will last long if you take care of it, and doing so is relatively simple. After each use, rinse your foam board with fresh water. This is important to remove the saltwater that degrades the material integrity.
Let it dry before storing it. If it is a colored board, it’s a good idea to keep it away from direct sunlight which can cause the color to easily fade. The best storage place for your foam surfboard is where the temperature is moderate, as extreme temperature can cause it to warp.
South Bay Board Co. gave their best to complete the Verve series which is composed of performance-focused 7- and 8-foot long surfboards. These are user-friendly and incredibly durable surfboards which make them ideal for beginner surfers. It is also a good choice for kids and adults alike.
One of the most impressive things about this soft top surfboard is its used of fingerprint-textured deck that gives you complete wax-free surfing experience. You’ll never have to deal with re-applying and cleaning off wax.
The overall construction of the Verve is also impressive. It has two full length wooden stringers, one fiberglass rod stringer in the middle, and a diamond weave slick bottom deck with impact dispersing netting. All of these foundational features support the board to make it durable, rigid and stable.
Another notable component of this soft top surfboard is its closed-cell EPS molded foam core. Being resilient, it can handle rough usage and compressive stresses when you are riding on it and shredding waves.
And unlike other types of foam that absorbs liquid, this one does not. This in turn prevents water-logging which causes surfboards to become heavier and less efficient over time.
Moreover, this surfboard comes with a leash, Go Pro mount and 3 bottom fins to improve speed, steering and maneuverability.
Comes with extra features such as the leash and fins
The deck is very stable and durable
Molded foam core keeps the board efficient over time.
With 100% satisfaction guarantee
It is a long surfboard which can be challenging to transport
The Wavestorm always precedes its reputation wherever there are people surfing. It is one of the most popular foam surfboard brands in the US, and this classic surfboard is one of their best sellers.
This 8’ classic soft top surfboard is a great choice for new learners due to its soft, light and stable characteristics. It is also easy to handle and maneuver. Most importantly, it is more forgiving especially for beginner surfers who are prone to wiping out.
Wavestorm was able to achieve these characteristics by using a strong expanded polystyrene core and incorporating a 3-stringer system at the bottom.
If you read through this review, you’ll notice that most of the high-end surfboards that we listed use EPS as it is one of the strongest and most rigid materials for surfboards.
Moreover, To keep this board even more stable and flexible, it also incorporated a barrier skin crosslink top deck as well as rails.
Moreover, this surfboard also uses a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) slick bottom skin, giving it that much needed strength. HDPE has a high strength-to-density ratio, which means it is really strong. It is also hard and opaque and can withstand higher temperatures unlike most foam materials.
Apart from its quality materials and ergonomic design, you’ll also love the extra features that you get with this product including the removable rubber fins, traction pad and a leash.
From a reputable manufacturer with years of experience in making soft top surfboards
Strong and durable because of its use of slick HDPE
Comes with removable fins for ease in navigating
Some customers reported issues with the leash
This fish design surfboard is ideal for intermediate and experienced surfers. If you are still a learner but you got that confidence to push yourself to the limits, this surfboard is also for you.
The CBC fish soft top surfboard uses high density waterproof EPS foam core and foam deck. EPS does not soak water, making it an excellent material for foam surfboards. If your board causes water-logging, it becomes heavier with use. This in turn reduces its efficiency and buoyancy.
Aside from using expanded polystyrene, it also has a high density heat laminated IXPE slick bottom, making it extra durable.
Additionally, it does have what the first two surfboards have – 3 fins plus 3 layers of resin-coated laminated wood stringers as well as a PU surf leash. All these components create a surfboard that allows for smooth and fast turns and easy transitions.
Fish shape makes this board easy to maneuver
The fins and leash allow for better surfing experience
Uses expanded polystyrene which does not cause water-logging
Some customers reported issues with speed
A 9-foot surfboard measuring 24.5 in wide and 3 inches thick. It is a long surfboard! Looking at it, many would agree that it is shaped like a torpedo. That same feature allows it to glide smoothly and effortlessly across the surface. It is a fast surfboard, perhaps one of the fastest in this list.
As for its construction, The Liquid Shredder soft top surfboard uses an expanded polyethylene which is not as durable and rigid as the expanded polystyrene.
On the positive side, the expanded polyethylene is comfortable to touch and it has an anti-slip texture when wet. This in turn reduces slippage. As a reinforcement for the bottom part, this shredder also uses a polypropylene material to improve rigidity and strength.
Includes 3 removable fins
Surprisingly fast to maneuver
Comes with a 90 Day non-Commercial use Warranty
Leash not included
EPE is not as rigid and durable as EPS
The Wave Bandit Performer Tri surfboard has a fish-shape style that is perfect for shredding and flying down the line. It catches big waves easily too. This high-performance surfboard is certainly a good fit for intermediate surfers all the way up to experienced shredders.
One of the reasons why this surfboard performs well is its unique style and construction. Fish-shape surfboards are highly capable of catching big and small waves due to their wide tail. You could even catch smaller waves that may just pass you by if you are using another style of surfboard.
Aside from its shape, this surfboard also boasts of a solid construction and high density slick bottom. It features twin wood stringers and dual-composite core to achieve maximum stiffness of the board. It also comes with a 4.5-inch performance thruster fin set.
Catches waves easily
Solid overall construction
Requires surf wax. This is a drawback since there are many foam surfboards that save you the hassle of waxing.
Do you want to be a team Wavestorm rider? If you do, the Wavestorm 8′ Classic Pinline Surfboard is an excellent gear to use to start learning. This learner board is lightweight, soft and easy to handle, helping beginners slowly develop that confidence to ride with waves.
And the best part of owning a Wavestorm is that it has a community of passionate surfers that use this brand wherever surfing will take you. It is a good conversation starter.
This 8-foot classic surfboard is one of the best-selling and high-performing surfboards from Wavestorm. It’s been constantly refined season after season.
As a result, you get a surfboard that is well-balanced, paddles great, and is definitely fun to use. It is a versatile surfboard as it catches and handles small and big waves.
To achieve its overall quality, this Wavestorm soft top surfboard uses a strong and rigid EPS core. EPS is considered one of the strongest materials for surfboards.
It integrated quality materials such as a crosslink top deck, high-density (HDPE) polyethylene slick bottom skin, a 3-stringer system and rails. It does come with other bonus features like removable bolt thru fins, a traction pad and ankle leash for improved performance and better experience.
Uses HDPE and EPS which are quality materials
Fins are removable for easy storage
Comes with a leash
Some customers reported issues with the leash
This is another foam surfboard that works well for beginners and anyone else who wants to catch some waves. It is an all-around classic mid-sized fun board that is easy to ride and is small enough for ease in carrying and storage.
The Rock It SHORTBUS soft top surfboard is unlike any regular foam surfboard as it uses environmentally sensitive manufacturing processes. The entire board is heat laminated and does not use harmful chemicals, toxins, dyes or glues.
Their facility also uses collected rainwater. On top of that, all the materials used in this board are recyclable. Now that is being environment-friendly!
One of the easily noticeable features of this board is its vibrant color which can show your personality. It is also UV resistant so it does not easily fade. As for its construction, it uses three marine wooden stringers that are coated with an epoxy nano-coating designed to prevent water absorption.
This is an important function to prevent water-logging which can compromise the integrity of the board. It is also surrounded by a proprietary EPS foam which is a strong and rigid foam that makes this board extra durable.
It has a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects
Uses high quality proprietary EPS foam
Could use some wax to improve grip
Deciding which foam surfboard to buy can be a tough decision especially if you know of many good brands that seem to offer something to call your attention and choose their products.
When choosing the best surfboard, it’s important to look beyond the aesthetics and check its materials, overall construction, design and features. And with that, our top choice among the best foam surfboards is the South Bay Soft Top Surfboard.
If you are looking for a perfect beginner foam surfboard, you can’t go wrong with this one. It is a good mix of quality construction and materials and ergonomic design.
As a result, you get a surfboard that is highly buoyant, does not take in water, is not hard to use, and is quick to maneuver. It also features a unique finger-texture surface that improves your balance and eliminates the need for waxing. Now that’s a surfboard that can take your surfing skills to the next level.
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