The best soft top surfboards in the world

August 19, 2020 | Surfing
Soft top surfboards: the perfect boards for learning to surf and having fun in small waves | Photo: Shutterstock

The soft top surfboard is a surfboard with a smooth and spongy, cushioned deck that has become extremely popular among beginner and advanced surfers alike.

It is also known as softboard, foam surfboard, or just foamie.

First-timers love it because it offers plenty of stability, durability, and floatation, the main variables involved in the process of standing up and riding a wave for the first time.

Softboards are wider, thicker, and have more volume than a hard top surfboard, making it easier for anyone to catch even the smallest fat wave.

Also, in case of a wipeout - and it happens all the time when you're learning to surf - the board's soft deck will not be as harmful as a standard polyurethane (PU) surfboard.

They're also extremely comfortable to paddle and immensely forgiving.

In addition, foam surfboards are way less expensive than a "classic" surfboard, low maintenance, and easy to carry down the beach.

As for the intermediate and advanced surfer, the soft top board has increasingly become a must-have backup stick for summer and other fun sessions.

Experienced surfers are now riding it in pounding shore breaks and party wave events where surf etiquette has been put aside for a while.

Foam surfboards: cheap, durable, resistant and highly buoyant | Photo: Red Bull

Cheap and Heavy-Duty

In some cases, the foam top surfboard can be used during the black ball flag season, especially in some of California's most crowded beaches and surf breaks.

The soft top surfboard features an expanded polystyrene (EPS) core and a hot-rolled polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) outer shell.

The bottom is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), surlyn, or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) to protect dings and cracks.

In a way, these affordable wave riding vehicles are made out of the same materials as bodyboards. However, when compared to traditional PU surfboards, they're cheaper, heavy-duty, and won't break easily.

Foamies often include one or several full-length wooden stringers that add rigidity and firmness to the whole structure.

You'll find long and short soft top surfboards.

Longer models are the perfect pick for beginner surfers; shorter soft-tops are ideal for having fun in ankle-high surf.

Make sure to rinse your soft top surfboard after each session and remove old wax regularly.

Find the best foam surfboards in the market in 2020:

South Bay Board Co. 9'6'' Tortuga

South Bay Board Co. 9'6'' Tortuga

The 9'6'' Tortuga is the perfect entry-level surfboard.

This hybrid soft top longboard has 84 liters of volume, an extra-wide rounded nose, a broad chest area for easy paddling.

With its custom wax-free textured foam top deck, this CNC-shaped model features a double stringer system, and lightweight EPC core and a heat release valve for heat damage prevention.

The board comes with an FCS thruster fin setup and a leash.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Wavestorm 8' Classic

Wavestorm 8' Classic

The Wavestorm 8' is one of the most popular and best-selling soft top surfboards in the market.

It is a light and easy to handle board featuring an EPS core, three marine-ply stringers, and a robust bolt-thru fin system.

The textured deck skin provides all the grip you need, and the HDPE bottom slick will keep the board's shape in the heaviest conditions.

This 86-liter softboard comes with a thruster fin setup and a leash.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 200 pounds (90 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Wavestorm 7' Original New Modern

Wavestorm 7' Original New Modern

The Wavestorm 7' Original New Modern is an updated version of the classic design.

This 70-liter all-around Malibu-style surfboard features a soft-foam deck equipped with ultraviolet protection and a wider texture for better grip.

This is a transition model that will suit both light beginner surfers and seasoned veterans.

It is ready to be paddled - fins and leash are included.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 165 pounds (75 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Giantex 6'

Giantex 6'

The Giantex 6' is a soft-top version of a standard shortboard.

It is the perfect pick for children wishing to find their balance on a surfboard, but it will also be a fun weapon for lightweight riders and experienced surfers.

It features a fishtail for more traction and hold, and a wider surface area from rail to rail for easy paddling.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 155 pounds (70 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

South Bay Board Co. 6' Guppy

South Bay Board Co. 6' Guppy

 

The South Bay Board Co. 6' Guppy is a 40-liter entry-level foamie for young and small beginner surfers.

With its rounded nose and 21-inch chest area, it's the perfect softboard for easy pop-ups and stability during the initial waves.

The board features a lightly textured soft foam deck for easy waxing, two stringers for extra stiffness, and three safe, round edge fins.

Pre-teens and kids will love to ride it for the first in the whitewater and waves up to two feet.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 100 pounds (45 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Paragon 5'6'' Mini Simmons - Foamy

Paragon 5'6'' Mini Simmons - Foamy

The Paragon 5'6'' Mini Simmons is an extremely fun, 37-liter soft top surfboard designed for all experience levels.

Thanks to its flat front third of the board and board transitions from single to double concave with vee out the tail, it will provide you with a fast and loose ride.

The board features a hand-shaped epoxy core, a high-density wood stringer, and Hexcel cloth and epoxy resin finish. The top deck and rails are wrapped and vacuum-sealed with a texturized EVA foam.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 180 pounds (80 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Wavestorm 5'6'' Original New Modern Swallow Tail

Wavestorm 5'6'' Original New Modern Swallow Tail

The Wavestorm 5'6'' Original New Modern Swallow Tail is a scaled-down version of the classic best-selling template.

It's a very light model with 39 liters of volume, and the perfect pick for small and light riders.

Features reinforced fin-plug inserts to act as a water barrier water.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 140 pounds (64 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Boardworks 5' Froth Shortboard

Boardworks 5' Froth Shortboard

The Boardworks Froth! 5' is a 30-liter versatile and fun foamie.

With an egg-like outline, it is the perfect board for children and light/advanced riders surfing mellow, two-to-four-foot beach break waves.

Its EVA outer skin wraps a fully glassed, closed-cell Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) core for keeping it waterproof.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 130 pounds (59 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com

 

BZ Blackball 55''

BZ Blackball 55'

The BZ Blackball 55'' is one of the smallest soft top surfboards in the market.

It was designed to beat the black ball flag during summer, thanks to its lightweight, yet stiff EPS core.

The board features a squash tail for extra stability in all sorts of conditions and dual stringers for added strength.

Recommended Rider Weight: Up to 180 pounds (80 kilograms)

Buy: Amazon.com