Softboards are trending and they’re staying
Easy to surf, fun, safe and perfect for small waves. Know what we´re talking about? Of course you do, you read the title, it´s softboards! Also known as soft top surfboards or foam boards. Traditionally used for surf schools for beginners. Lately they´ve been becoming more popular. Welcome to the soft revolution.
Next we´ll tell you all you need to know about this type of board and give our own opinion on soft top surfboards. Perfect for beginners and intermediate level surfers that are looking to advance.
What is a softboard?
As its name say, they are soft boards. Made with a sponge-like material called foam. It has a characteristic that is important and differentiates itself from other boards in the market: it avoids strong blows to you or other surfers.
What are the sizes of a foam board?
The sizes of a typical softboard range between 6´and 8´. These are boards with lots of volume. A 6´ softboard can have between 37 and 40 liters. While an 8´ soft will be between 55 and 61 liters.
The most common initiation size for softboards is 8´ and in surf schools you´ll see the boards range between 7´ and 9´.
What makes a soft top surfboard different from the rest?
The main difference is the material used to make the softboard. Foam boards are made with a material called EVA covering it.
For who are softops made for?
Foam boards are ideal for learning to surf. Since these types of surfboards are soft, they are ideal for kids. If you are thinking about getting your kids, nephews or nieces first surfboard, we recommend this as a good first option.
But soft tops surfboards are perfect for adults too, and even advanced level surfers that are looking for a surfboard to enjoy on those summer days or when there is little sea.
The new softboards that are appearing in the market, like the Mick Fanning Softboards, are perfect boards for intermediate level surfers that are looking for a board to progress with.
Difference between the traditional foam board and the new epoxy surfboards
These last few years we´ve seen a ton of surf brands launching new collections of epoxy softboards. Its main difference with respect to softboards from surf schools is that the boards are rigid and behave the same way a fiber board will behave. That is, they don´t flex out of shape and its form wont take on the form of the wave.
Another big difference with the traditional soft tops is the new epoxies come with FCS II plugs. Made to offer you a looser, more radical and fresher surf session.
In which type of waves does it work?
The softboard is made for small waves with little force. For places in the sea that isn´t used to being big, perfect for places like the Mediterranean.
Epoxy softboards work with waves with 0.5 meters to 2 meters. Ideal to get the fire going with crumbly waves and have fun with those days with bad waves. Jamie O´Brien for example is capable of surfing Pipeline on top of his softboard without breaking a sweat. All of this depends on your surfing level.
What are new softboards made of?
These new foam boards that are revolutionizing the market are made with an EPS foam nucleus with a CNC machine. That is, they follow the same process as the majority of the epoxy boards from the big brands.
What advantages does a softboard have over a fiberglass board?
In EnelPico we are of the idea that everyone should have a softboard in their quiver. In fact there are many advantages that a foam board gives you.
- Since they are made with a soft material it will avoid causing harm to you or the rest of surfers.
- They are the types of boards with which you have fun even in bad wave days.
- Their great volume and stability will help you when you are just starting. You will paddle easier, catch more waves and it´ll be easier for taking off.
- Experimented surfers will be forced to surf more relaxed, flexing and make rounder turns. Something that they will notice when changing from their typical board.
- More economical than fiber boards.
- If they are damaged, their repairs are cheaper.
- They are more durable.
- Popular choice for parents that want to get their kids their first surfboard.
- A good surfboard for summer waves, they will get the most out of the smallest waves that will bring you a smile no matter how crumbly the waves are.
Tips for surfing a soft top
Just like with a longboard, the ideal way to surf with a softboard is to be relaxed, flexing and trying to make rounder turns.
Softboards for kids
Thanks to their material being kinder, they are ideal as first boards for kids. The most prestigious brands for softboards are the ones especially for kids. As is the Softech Rocket Launch 5´4”. One of the most fun boards for youngsters and kids.
Softops as an initiation board
The fact that surf schools use foam boards for beginners is not a coincidence. The softboards in surf schools are usually big in dimensions. Usually between 7´, 8´ and 9´. With that they guarantee stability, paddling power and standing up.
Softboards for intermediate surfers
If you are an intermediate surfer and you are looking for summer waves or to have fun with crumbly waves, a softboard is a good choice. Also these types of boards will make you surf flexing more and making rounder maneuvers.
The best foam board brands
There are many brands that are joining the softop fever. Some of these brands are Softech, Catch, Ocean & Earth and the recently launched Mick Fanning Softboards.
They were almost the first in appearing. Today they are one of the most well-known brands for softops internationally. In their team we highlight Kyuss King. He even has his own model in the brand: Kyuss King Fish 4´8”.
Softech offers the latest in fun and performance with softboards. Made with highly durable materials, Softech boards are made to resist the harshest of treatments and are available in a wide range of colors and sizes.
Apt for all levels of surfers. From beginners that are looking for their first board to mid-level that are looking to improve their styles.
2. Ocean & Earth Softboards
Ocean & Earth, the Australian brand that was founded by Brian Cregan and Graham Williams in 1978 in Southern Qld (Australia), another worldwide reference in the foam board market. Their softs are made for beginners and people that are starting from scratch like the Ezi Rider 6´.
3. Mick Fanning Softboards
Without a doubt the surprise of the year. The three time champion of the world brings his own surfboard brand to the world. He launches with 3 models; Beastie, Little Marley and Eugenie. Quality and shape made for intermediate to high level surfers that want to progress.
Our favorite, the Little Marley, we´ve reviewed it here.
How much does a softboard cost
The price of a soft top surfboard ranges between 120 euros for one from Decathlon and 500 euros for an 8´ Beastie from Mick Fanning. As we say sometimes buying cheap is expensive. You can´t compare the quality of a Decathlon softboard, and a softboard made from the latest materials.
Anyway, if you don´t know whether surfing is for you or not we recommend you don’t spend too much money on a surfboard. There are always economical options and you can find good deals so as to not spend too much. Check out our surfboard outlet and find a softboard that adapts to what you need.
Is it worth it to get a second hand softboard?
We think that it´s not worth getting a second hand foam board when they are already quite cheap.
What size do I need?
If you have any doubts about the most appropriate size for you level of surf, we recommend that you visit or surfboard recommender. You can also contact or chat with us directly by clicking on the bottom right chat box.
Where can I get a softboard?
In Single Quiver we have a wide range of softboards available and technical material so you can enjoy your surf sessions. Also we give you the opportunity of splitting your payment up to 12 monthly installments.