Why Are Soft Top Surfboards so Popular?
Surfers are beginning to see soft-top or “foamie” surfboards in the lineup more frequently than ever before. There is an evolution in the sport, many beginner surfers and even more experienced surfers turning to foam boards to catch more waves earlier and deeper than they could with a glass board.
Today, the “foamy” or soft top surfboard has become much more popular and common among surfers worldwide. So, why is this surfboard considered one of the best options available for surfers?
Below, we detail the benefits and features of the soft top surfboard. We will also describe the different types of soft top options. Ready to find out why you may want to choose this surfboard to ride the waves? Let’s get started!
Soft Top Surfboards Explained
A soft-top surfboard is exactly what its name implies. It is a surfboard with a soft deck top.
Surfboards are typically constructed using either expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam or polyurethane (PU) foam. Afterward, an epoxy resin or a polyester material gets added on top of the surfboard. Either the polyester or epoxy resin hardens the surfboard.
Yet, soft top surfboards are made using EPS foam core and have synthetic or fiberglass wrapping. The top layer for soft top surfboards is Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) material, which is a softer substance.
A Safer Alternative
One can be identified simply by the name “soft top.” Glass surfboards increase the risk of injury exponentially. The glass deck, along with a nearly razor-sharp fin, or fins, on the underside, can harm a surfer in countless ways.
Soft top surfboards are also much easier to maintain. Like anything made of glass, fiberglass boards can crack and ding easily without delicate care. Repairs to a dinged surfboard can be pricey, and to many budget surfers, the ongoing cost of repairs does not equate to the enjoyment of riding the board. Soft tops can be tossed around like a rag doll and still surf just as well as the day they were purchased.
The Top Features of the Soft Top Surfboard
The best features of the soft top surfboard come from its EVA top layer and its compressed EPS interior. Essentially, these materials allow for the surfboard to have beneficial features, such as:
- Harder to ding and dent than hard-top surfboards
- Provide a comfortable and easy paddling experience
- Lighter weight when riding waves on the surfboard
- It floats better than hard-top boards
- Less likely to rot than other types of surfboards
Also, these specific surfboards are easier to maneuver and can catch waves quickly. Best of all, the soft top surfboards are more stable, which makes it much simpler to learn how to pop up and stand on the board when riding a wave.
The Different Types of Soft Top Surfboards
When it comes to foamy or soft top boards, you’ll find that they can come in different shapes and sizes. Four possible shapes and sizes you can pick from include:
- Beater or mini simmons
- Egg shape
- Fish shape
- Mini Malibu
The Beater comes in a very short size with its soft top. These surfboards are perfect for those who want to ride a shore break.
The egg-shaped surfboards are six feet in length and help improve flow when surfing across the waves. You can even duck dive on these surfboards.
The fish-shaped soft top boards have a tail shape at the end, similar to a fish’s tail. That makes the surfboard easily catch waves early. The shape also makes it easier to gain greater speed while on this type of surfboard.
Lastly, the Mini Malibu shape is often larger than six feet in length but less than eight feet in length. The longboard has a rounded shape at each end.
Why You May Want to Choose the Soft Top Surfboard
You’ll find numerous reasons to choose the soft top surfboard. For one, they are well-built and designed. In addition, the soft surfboard is a good choice for beginners. As such, if you have only just started to learn surfing, the soft top board may provide the best option.
Another great reason to pick the surfboard is its durability. You won’t see these boards getting dinged or dented anytime soon. If you’re looking to save money, you’ll find that the soft-top surfboard is much more affordable than other types.
The Pros and Cons of Soft Top Surfboards
The biggest pros of soft top surfboards are:
- Perfect for beginners
- Easy to maintain and doesn’t dent easily
- Have more volume as compared to fiberglass surfboards
- Float better than other boards
- Lighter in weight
The main cons of soft top surfboards are:
- More difficulty riding through turns and making complex maneuvers
- Absorb water more than other boards and become heavier over time
- Worse environmental footprint due to the difficulty of recycling these boards
Take Your Surfing to the Next Level
Beginner surfers will likely be more successful to learn surfing on a soft-top board. Soft top surfboards have more volume than fiberglass boards. They float well, paddle faster, and maintain stability on a wave more so than their fiberglass counterparts.
You’ll find yourself catching waves more quickly and maneuvering better on these surfboards. You can also choose a soft top surfboard among several different shapes. They’re excellent boards for beginners. So, if you’re looking to learn how to surf, consider getting a soft top board.
Pacific Surf School provides each surf lesson attendee with a soft-top board for these reasons. A higher wave count and more time on your feet each wave allows for a more fulfilling surf experience.
San Diego, Pacific Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, La Jolla, Manhattan Beach, Mission Beach, and Huntington Beach are just a few of the spectacular surfing sites along the Pacific coast where we host surfing classes. With so many alternatives, you’re sure to discover the ideal place for your surfing requirements.
We can help you reach your surfing objectives with our expert instructors and tailored sessions. We provide a number of instruction choices, including private, semi-private, and group surf classes! We also offer surf camps, which are an excellent way to immerse yourself in the sport while receiving customized tuition from qualified surf trainers.
Contact us today to book a lesson with us.
Feel free to browse the Wavestorm website to check out some options of “foamies”.