The standard foamie surfboard shape used to come in one variation – long, thick and wide, relegated to surf schools and learners. They looked pretty crappy and used to make more experienced surfers everywhere groan at the sight of them.
Well the foamie game has totally changed! The amount of choice that we now have when it comes to soft surfboards is almost overwhelming.
Not only do they look a hell of a lot cooler, with amazing designs and materials, softboards now come in almost every style and shape you could possibly want from short high performance weapons to cruising longboards and everything in between.
If you’re in the market for a foamie surfboard, but you’re not quite sure what shape to go for, this guide will help to point you in the right direction.
This style of foamie surfboard is a hybrid surfboard/bodyboard and they were originally designed as a way for surfers to “beat” the restrictions of surfboards in certain busy beach locations.
Beaters can be ridden lying down, kneeling, or standing and come in twin fin and single fin configurations (and finless of course). Catch Surf came out with the original Beater but other brands have also introduced similar style concepts in their ranges.
With a short length of around 4 – 4’6” beater boards excel in dumpy shore breaks.
Suited to: More experienced surfers due to small length
As surfers have opened their minds to more alternative craft over the years the Mini Simmons style shape has become very popular and with that goes for the foamie surfboard too.
Short, wide, a big square tail and twin/quad fins make these boards extremely fast down the line and perfect for not so perfect conditions. That said, they go really well in good conditions too!
Suited to: Intermediate to advanced surfers or lightweight kids, due to small size of these boards.
Check out our review of the Catch Surf Stump here.
Our top picks:
High Performance (shortboard style) soft surfboards
As mentioned earlier, it wasn’t long ago that foamie surfboards were basically big and cumbersome. Designs have come a long way and the performance level that some companies are bringing to their softboards is amazing. Brands like Softech, Catch Surf, and MF Softboards are particularly well regarded for this. Ok, ok – they can’t compare to traditional performance boards but they can surf surprisingly well.
Check out our review of the Catch Surf Skipper here.
Suited to: These boards cater mainly to intermediate or experienced surfers, learners can do better by looking at more stable boards.
Full rounded template, lots of volume and overall user-friendliness is what defines a good foamie egg surfboard. The good thing about the shorter versions of these boards (6’0”) is that they can duck dive, but they pack so much volume that they are easy to paddle and catch waves early like a longer board.
Suited to: More user friendly and bouyant than the above boards, these boards are well suited to beginners (kids and lighter adults) through to advanced.
The Fish soft top is one of the more popular styles with most brands including one in their range. Perhaps because a regular fish is a high volume board to begin with, creating soft version is a natural fit.
Short, wide and packed with volume, with a loose style of surfing in mind the fish is a perfect small wave board, particularly for those that prefer to stick to shorter boards. They’re fast and quick to generate speed in smaller waves due to limited rocker, easy to paddle and catch waves like a longer board but with much better turning and ripping ability.
Suited to: Generally suited to wide range of surfing abilities.
The following fish foamies are very well regarded with positive customer feedback:
The mid-length combines the best of both short and longboard worlds and that’s why they are so popular. A good funboard in the mid length range doesn’t necessarily lack in the performance department either and many surfers love the fact that they are great all rounders – they can go well in anything from small to head high + waves.
Check out our review of a great mid length, the Softech Bomber here.
Our top picks:
Mini-Mal Foamie Surfboard
For learners, you can’t go past the stability and ease of surfing that a traditional mini mal shape of around 8’0” will provide. This is basically where the soft surfboard was at for a long time serving learners and they are still the best surfboard for beginners.
Suited to: Beginners
Soft top Longboards are also often thought of being restricted to learners, but realistically, anyone can have an amazing amount of fun on one. Most foamie longboards come with tri fin setups but there are a number of great models out there with more traditional longboard elements that can appeal to experienced longboarders too. Packed with volume, you’ll never go without waves even on the smallest days.
- Catch Surf Plank or SBBC Tortuga for single fin purists
- Catch Surf Log
- Rock-it Moby