What is a Soft Surfboard?

As a matter of fact, a soft surfboard is exactly what it sounds like - it's a surfboard made from slightly softer material than what is used for standard surfboards. Soft boards are often referred to as "foamies" because of their soft foam construction, and this makes them incredibly buoyant. These boards are ideal for beginners, allowing them to catch waves very easily. The dimensions of a soft board also help its stability, which makes it easier for an amateur surfer to stand up on the board.

Why Buy a Soft Surfboard?

Aside from the buoyancy and stability that make these boards great for beginners, a soft board is a great financial choice. It might be difficult for an aspiring surfer to decide between investing in an old or new board. On the one hand new boards are, well, new. But a new surfer might feel hesitant dropping $600 on a brand new longboard when they're not sure what to expect from the sport. At the same time, you don't always want to shell out $200 to $300 on a used board when you can't be sure how it was handled and treated by its previous owner. A soft board is the desired middleground for this dilemma. Soft boards come in both longboard and shortboard designs, providing options when it comes to selecting new equipment. There are several factors and advantages that make soft boards a great choice.


Regardless of a surfer's skill level, price is always an important factor to consider. Because soft boards come in various sizes, price will fluctuate accordingly, but you can bet that a quality soft board will be more cost effective than its standard counterpart. The prices for soft boards are tough to beat, so it's a great way to start out.


Soft boards used to be associated with a slight compromise in performance, but not anymore. Soft tops are now designed like modern shortboards and longboards while incorporating stronger safety features that are helpful and beneficial to beginners. Many soft top brands are designed by professional shapers who are trained to have performance in mind, so quality no longer needs to be sacrificed. Many of these professional shapers use the exact same designs used for traditional hard boards.

Other Advantages

Soft boards are great for travel because you don't need to worry about dings on the deck and rail.

In terms of safety, not only are these boards more buoyant and balanced than traditional boards, but the softer material used for the deck and rails will soften blows to the head - these boards are safe in more ways than one.

Soft boards are durable, thus saving time and money. It is costly and often time consuming to fix dings to your board. Soft boards are cheaper off the rack to begin with, but also need less maintenance after use.

Because these boards are not easily damaged, they maintain resale value very well. It can be difficult to sell a dinged surfboard, but when you're done with your soft top you can sell it and make the majority of your investment back.


As with all things, there are pros and there are cons. Soft boards can often be a bit heavier than traditional hard boards. Also, some soft tops can cause board rash. Just remember to wear a rash guard or t-shirt if you're not surfing in cold water.


There are many brands that produce quality soft boards, but three companies in particular seem to stand out above the rest:

Catch Surf hand shapes its rails using the same technique and design used on its hard boards. Each board at Catch Surf is created using high tech CAD software for shaping. Many of its designs can only be found on hybrids. The flush mounted fins won't allow water to penetrate the board, and the stringer system is made by hand into the core using wood.

Liquid Shredder also creates great boards, sharing many of the quality features used by Catch Surf, such as the solid hard wood stringer system. Boards are hand shaped, and the shapes are known for being high performance.

Finally, Surftech uses fiberglass sandwich construction when creating its boards. Designed by professional shapers, these boards have soft rails and a hard bottom, and are great for surfers transitioning between beginner and intermediate levels.

All in all, soft surfboards are a great choice for beginner and even intermediate level surfers. Between safety, affordability, durability, and performance, everything is coming up in favor of soft tops.

Back to the guide list