Thinking of grabbing a MF Softboard? Here’s my hands on review and whether a Mick Fanning surfboard is worth it…
When 3 times world champion Mick Fanning released his MF Softboard range it really divided opinion.
What was a world class surfer doing putting his name on a soft top surfboard?
Would they be any good?
Were they really as performance orientated as they claimed?
A few years later the MF Softboard range are some of the best selling softboards out there – so I decided to put the Little Marley through its paces and figure out if the fuss was worth it…
MF Softboard Review – Should You Get One?
MF Softboard Range
Lets kick things off with running through the MF Softboard range!
One of the biggest draws of the Mick Fanning surfboards is that there is a solid choice of boards to choose from, with something for all styles and skills levels.
So whether you want a high volume quad, fun little twinny or a standard thruster setup you’re all covered…
Price = from AU$555
Beast by name, beast by nature – this high volume, mini mal style softboard which is super easy to paddle and will certainly up your wave count.
Ideal for beginners or those looking for an alternative to a longboard, there’s heaps of summer fun in this one.
Size Range: 6’0 – 8’0
Fin Setup: Thruster
Best For: Beginners upwards
Price = $550
My personal favourite, this fun little quad setup is ideal for experienced surfers looking for a high volume model to smash around in the summer surf.
Also a great cross over option for groms looking for something that’ll help them push their surfing, whilst mum and dad can still steal it for a session too!
Size Range: 5’2 – 5’10
Fin Setup: 5 fin setup
Best For: Lots of fun!
Price = AU$550
Taking some inspiration from the shapes of the 70s the Catfish can be ridden as either a quad, twinny or thruster setup – making it one of the most diverse shapes i the MF softboard range.
Great for anything under head high this is one of the most fun and popular boards in the quiver.
Size Range: 5’4 – 5’10
Fin Setup: 5 fin setup
Best For: most quivers
Price = AU$545
For those looking for a standard thruster setup the Eugenie is the go to board.
It’s a great option for those looking to learn to surf (due to its more traditional outline) but packs in lots of small wave performance if you’re a more experienced surfer too.
Size Range: 4’10 -5’10
Fin Setup: Thruster
Best For: Progressing
Price = from AU$570
A collab between Micks long time shaper DHD, the Black Diamond is a soft top version of one of his regular boards.
Similar in outline and volume to the best selling Hypto Krypto this is a great cross over board for those on a mini mal looking to drop down to something shorter.
Size Range: 5’10 – 6’10
Fin Setup: Thruster
Best For: High end beginners onwards
Price = AU$550
For those who want to give a twinny a test but dont want to drop the money on a full blown board, this is the small wave summer board you’ve been looking for.
Keep it loose and fast with the twin fin setup, or add in a stabiliser to give it a bigger wave range,
Size Range: 5’4 – 6’0
Fin Setup: 3 fin, but best ridden as a twinny
Best For: those hunting for a twinny
Price = AU$429
For those taking their first steps into surfing, the Super Soft is the most forgiving board in the MF lineup.
Wide rails, lots of volume and safe flexi fins this is the go to for surf schools and absolute beginners.
Size Range: 6’6 – 9’0
Fin Setup: Thruster (flexi fins only)
Best For: total beginners
When it comes to buying any surfboard, the build quality and construction is super important – after all you want something durable and that’s built to last, especially if you’re just starting to learn to surf.
The MF Softboard range comes with a forgiving foam top, which wraps around the rails and the slick bottom is also pretty spongy too, making them nice and safe for kids, learners and crowded lineups!
The biggest downside when it comes to construction of the MF Softboards is the lack of standard stringer running through the core of the board. They’ve swapped this over for a carbon fibre strip running down the centre – but a buddy of mine who owns a surf shop has warned me that this has resulted in a creases and snaps.
For learners it’s all good, but if you’re an experienced surfer it’s something to be aware of, especially in larger or more dumpy waves.
Sure you can push them performance wise, but sometime it’ll be a few shortcuts on the construction that’ll push back at you!
Overall they’re pretty solidly built and have a proven track record as the go to board for heaps of surf schools (which is always a good test of any board!), but I’m hoping the 2021 range will add in the much needed solid stringer.
Performance – Who Are They For?
So when it comes to the performance aspect of the MF Softboard lineup, who are they aimed at?
Well there are three groups that are going to be totally frothing on these boards!
The first is those looking to learn to surf. The MF Softboard range offers plenty of fun, volume, paddle power and safety across the lineup. And of course the option to add in a standard set of fins also allows you to up the performance of the boards as your surfing progresses.
The second group are the groms. Kids will love the range of boards as they allow them to quickly progress and choose from a range of styles, all whilst having the saftey aspects of a traditional softboard – so they’re a firm favourite with parents looking to get their kids surfing without compromising too much on performance.
The final group are experienced surfers. If you’re looking for a board that’s fun and packs in plenty of volume for a summer bash around the Mf range will allow you to rip up your local beachie in sub par conditions and throw your standard fin setup in to keep the performance.
Be Careful With Fins!
One word of warning on using your MF Softboard – if you do opt for the FCS2 fin setup be careful when inserting and removing your fins.
I found out the hard way that the slick bottom can be pretty easy to split if you’re not careful when applying pressure to the fin – so that’s certainly something to keep in mind.
MF Softboard v JJF By Pyzel
One of the main comparisons a lot of people have been asking me about is how does the MF Softboard range compared with the new “fun-formance” JJF by Pyzel range?
Well in terms of build quality the JJF by Pyzel boards are head and shoulders above the MF range – both in terms of durability and performance.
BUT, one of the key differences when it comes to which one to buy is also cost – with the JJF models starting at AU$749, which is a solid AU$200 difference!
Ultimately if you’re looking for a fun softboard for your kids or to mess around on, the MF Softboard is still a solid choice, unless of course you have heaps of disposable cash, in which case the price difference wont matter!
…full review of the JJF by Pyzel softboards coming soon!
The MF Softboard range was certainly one of the breakthrough soft tops surfboards that brought a solid range of styles and of stood out due to the ability to add in a standard set of FCS or Futures fins to keep the performance.
Yes there are slight compromises in construction and a softboard is never going to replace any of your standard surfboards – but the bottom line is that they’re super fun boards to ride.
And that’s the key word with the MF softboards I think – fun.
They’re fun for beginners, groms and experienced surfers and for that reason I think they’re a solid addition to any beach day!
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