How useful is a softboard?
For whom a softboard makes sense is easy to answer. It is suitable for all surfers and those who want to become surfers. The risk of injury is significantly reduced by the soft finish. Softboards have more volume and glide faster, so you increase your wave yield significantly.
The more waves you surf, the greater the learning effect.
Soft decks are perfect for small waves near the beach. Since the foamies are very robust, they don't break down as quickly as a hard surfboard made of epoxy and fibreglass.
A foam board is perfect for the family beach day to just have fun in the small waves.
Buying a softboard: Here's what you need to look out for
- the right size
The construction of a Foamie
Softboards usually consist of an EPS core. Unfortunately, the quality is difficult to assess when buying a board, because it depends on the method how the core is foamed, how much water it absorbs and how stable it is made. Usually, a stringer is integrated into the EPS core to prevent the board from breaking or to keep it stable for as long as possible. The bottom is often reinforced with a PE epoxy glass fibre mixture.
Every manufacturer has their own method. On good, expensive boards, the EPS core is coated with a waterproof, more stable layer. The softboards from Torq and Go Surfboards offer very good workmanship and quality.
Some softboards come with a leash. Most of the time, these leashes are only designed for the most necessary things and do not offer you the safety you need when surfing. A leash with a swivel joint and a good Velcro fastener is important here. A leash can be replaced if necessary, but the attachment of the leash to the surfboard cannot.
An extra leash plug is much higher quality than the method of attaching the leash to the fin fasteners. This is inferior and not recommended. So make sure that the leash plug is installed separately.
Often a set of fins is included, which either have a soft edge or are made of quite soft material. These fins are also surfable and offer you a certain safety aspect at the expense of performance.
Much more important is how the fins are attached to the board. Some fins are screwed through the board with large plastic screws. This method makes sense for soft fins for beginner boards. The fins are not as susceptible to ground contact and especially when surfing in shallow water, you can sometimes glide right onto the beach.
It is important that the fins are always screwed in tightly, otherwise water can get into the core. Recently, high-quality brands have started to use fin boxes where the fins can be changed. Some are also compatible with FCS fins and Future Fins and have multifin boxes integrated into the board. If you have a board that is designed for performance, you should definitely pay attention to this!
The size of your softboard
The right size of the surfboard depends on various factors.
Your surfing experience is important. Beginners should never buy a softboard that is too small or too big, because you will either not catch the waves well or your manoeuvrability will be limited.
Your height also has a big influence. As a guide, you should stand up straight, stretch your arms upwards and then touch the nose straight with your fingertips.
Softboards for beginners? Of course!
However, not all softboards are suitable for beginners. A beginner's board should be adapted to your weight and height in terms of length and volume. The performance softboards are out of the question here and would only cause you unnecessary problems and get in the way of your learning progress.
You should look for a board that has the right length and an outline that is not too narrow.
How big should a softboard for a beginner be?
The size of a foam board for beginners depends on your weight and height. You should stand straight on the ground and stretch your arms towards the sun. If you can just reach the nose, then you have the right length for your Foamie. If your body weight is very high, we recommend a 10-15cm longer surfboard.
The perfect soft top for beginners.
To find the perfect beginner softboard for you, make sure the nose is wide. A narrow nose makes your board unstable and difficult to control. For the tail, you should choose a squaretail so that you can manoeuvre your surfboard well and to learn the first turns more easily.
For the fin setup, you should choose a thruster (board with 3 fins).
Of course, you should also choose the right length of surfboard. Here you can use your body length with outstretched arms as a guide.
- wide round nose
- 3 fin setup
- suitable length
Are softboards only for beginners or is there more to it?
That softboards are only suitable for beginners is a persistent rumour! There are now very great surfboards with a soft deck and the option to use performance fins. These soft deck surfboards are super fun in small waves and also bring experienced surfers a lot of fun in the waves. Having a softboard for the small days in the quiver is not wrong even as an advanced surfer.
Are you curious about what a performance softboard can do?
A performance softboard is perfect for small beach break conditions. Your wave yield is significantly increased by the extra volume. This allows you to ride an incredible amount of waves in one session. The surfing behaviour of a performance foamy is incredibly fast and forgiving. Radical turns and practicing cutbacks make the fun in the wave immeasurable. Airs are easier due to the high speed.
Your fun machine for small beach break waves.
What advantages do softboards have over hardboards?
These are the advantages of softboards compared to hardboards.
- extremely high fun factor
- Performance in small waves
- learning curve
- very robust
With softboards, the safety aspect is unbeatable. You endanger yourself and other surfers much less and the soft softdeck and rails protect you from injuries.
The fun factor is incredibly high due to the high wave yield and brings immediate fun in many surf conditions.
The price-performance ratio is good, although the prices for good softboards have risen significantly in recent years.
In small waves, the Foamies glide super fast and you get an incredible number of waves, which also significantly increases your learning curve.
What disadvantages do softboards have compared to hardboards?
These are the disadvantages of softboards compared to glassed hardboards.
- Significantly poorer performance
- fun factor decreases with good skills
- not exactly environmentally friendly
- bad to recycle
- worse to turn
Softboards offer significantly worse performance than hardboards and the fun factor decreases as your skills improve.
Foam boards are not manufactured in an environmentally friendly way and cannot be recycled.
Softboards don't perform nearly as well as good hardboards.
Buy the right softboard for children.
These are the things you have to look out for when buying a softboard for children!
- soft fins
- do not buy too cheap
The size of a softboard for adults is very important and should be adjusted to the size of the child. We at Surfganic.com recommend a board that is 10-15 cm longer than the size of the child with outstretched arms.
The foam surfboard should also have soft fins to reduce the risk of injury from sharp fins.
And you should make sure that the softboard is not too cheap, because most of the time they don't even last a summer holiday and cause a lot of waste.
Safe the planet for our children!
This is how you recognise a high-quality softboard!
You should definitely pay attention to these things if you want to buy a softboard.
- The board must not be too light
- good workmanship between the PE bottom and the foam
- embedded stand-alone leash plug
- fin boxes compatible with FCS and Fututre Fins
- waterproof core
- integrated stringers or sandwich construction
When buying a quality softboard you should pay attention to the following things! A board that is too light is an indication that the core is of inferior quality and the material has been saved. However, the softboard must not be too heavy either, because then it will be too sluggish in the water and cannot be steered well.
The leash plug must be independent and firmly glued. The attachment of the leash to the fins indicates poor and inferior workmanship.
You should always give priority to a stringer or sandwich construction, as these boards are much more durable and do not break as quickly.
Take a close look at the transitions between the different materials and their workmanship. Here you can immediately see how well a softboard is really made.
How robust is a softtop surfboard?
In order to answer the question of how long a softboard lasts, we should take a look at the influences a softboard is exposed to.
How long a foam board lasts depends on how often you use it and how you take care of it.
You should clean your surfboard from salt water after every use and never leave it in the sun. Protect it with a board bag or surfboard sock, because the UV radiation and heat will destroy the surfboard.
Make sure you never drive your surfboard onto the beach and protect it as best you can from damage during transport.
The better you treat your surfboard, the longer it will last. Of course, quality is also important. You can find good softboards in the mid-price segment. I would leave the cheap boards alone, as they often don't even last a holiday and pollute our environment.
Conclusion from Surfganic.com:
With good care, a softboard can last several years.
How expensive is a softboard?
The price of a softboard naturally depends on the quality of the surfboard,
We have listed here the prices from which you can buy which quality level.
- under 100€ scrap
- up to 150€ bad quality
- up to 300€ average quality
- over 400€ good quality
- over 500€ highest quality
Which softboards are the best?
Of course, you can't say exactly which softboard is the best, but there are manufacturers who offer very good quality at a reasonable price. Go Softboards builds very good high-performance softtop surfboards. Torq has also been offering its own softboard line for a short time, which is convincing all along the line. Quality always pays off, because even if you only surf the board for a year, you can sell the used board again for a good price.