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The Ultimate Softboard Guide – Soft Top Surfboard Fun For Everyone!

Looking for a soft top surfboard? From beginners to experienced surfers, these foam surfboards are heaps of fun! Find the best for you!

Every surfer should own a softboard – whether you’re looking to learn to surf or an experienced surfer a soft top surfboard is always a solid addition to the quiver.

For beginners, foam surfboards offer a safe, fun and stable way to get the basics nailed and are a cost effective way to get into surfing.

For experienced surfers a good foamie session is a great way to have fun, let your hair down and enjoy some less performance based summer waves!

So if you’re on the hunt for your next soft top surfboard, here’s 7 awesome softboard companies producing some of the best, funnest and also performance based foam surfboards out there – so you can choose the right fit for you!

The Ultimate Soft Top Surfboard Guide – Softboard Fun For Everyone!

Pros and Cons Of Softboards

Before we get started, if you’re new to surfing and are busy doing your research then good job, a softboard is a great way to get you into the water and start your stoke!

For experienced surfer, you can skip this bit and head straight to the recommendations!

As with all things there are both good and bad sides to grabbing a softboard – also known as a soft top surfboard or foamie – so lets quickly get them covered so know what you’re getting into…

Pros

  • Safer for beginners (inc flexi fins) for both the surfer and other water users
  • Lots of volume – resulting in lots of waves
  • Super stable
  • Generally cheaper than standard boards (with the exception of some more performance based brands)
  • Slightly tougher than standard boards

Cons

  • Size and weight
  • Lack of performance against standard boards (especially beginner softops)
  • Not as easy to repair
  • Spare fins aren’t as easy to come by

Generally speaking though, for beginner surfers, sofboards offer a safe, fun and cost effective way to start surfing and there are boards available in all shapes and sizes. So whether you’re grabbing one for a kid who can’t wait to get in the water right through to teens and adults there’s something to suit.

And of course once you’ve reached the next step in your surfing journey and move onto more performance based boards, keeping that foamie in your quiver is a great option for some small day fun!
 

 

 

MF Softboards

From $549AUD

mick fanning softboard soft top surfboard guide3 times world champion Mick Fanning recently took the soft top surfboard industry by storm, launching the MF Softboards range – which really combined practicality with performance.

With a varied range of shapes – from quad fin grovellors to cruisey mini mals – the ability to opt for flexi fins (perfect for beginners or groms) or your standard fin setup really upped the game in terms of performance.

And for this reason the MF Softboad range has become hugely popular for experienced surfers looking for summer fun, or beginner who want a board which can take their progression that little bit futher.

My personal favourite in their lineup is the Little Marley – a high volume, super fun grovellor board which you can ride as either a thruster or quad fin setup

Read my full review here

Beginner Models: Yes

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: FCS2 or Futures

Cost: From $549AUD

 

 

 

Hayden Shapes

From $699AUD

hypto krypto hayden shapes softboard soft top surfboard guideThe world famous Hypto Krypto – which took the high volume shortboard to the masses – is now available as a soft top surfboard too, in their patented FutureFlex Soft technology.

It’s everything everyone loved about the original Hypto – the paddle power, higher volume, forgiving shape – all packed into a neat and performance based softboard.

Availible from 5’4 through to 6’8, it’s certainly not the cheapest softboard on the market at $699AUD, but for those who loved the Hypto but have perhaps progressed to a more performance orientated board this is a great addition to the quiver and also a solid option for the groms too.

They’ve also recently added the “Loot” model as a softop option too, further expanding the range of foamies, which I’d expect to grow even more in the future.

Beginner Models: No

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: Futures

Cost: From $699AUD

 

 

 

Catch Surf

From $275USD

The Catch Surf softboard range is probably one of the most well known – with pro team riders such as Jamie O’Brien, Taj Burrow and Seth Moniz all boasting their own signature foamies, as well as collaborations with Lost Mayhem too.

catch surf softboard soft top surfboard beater board guideThe two most well known models from the Catch Surf collection have to be the Odysea and the Beater board – both of which have become firm favourites with beginner and experienced surfers alike.

The Odysea range is a thruster setup running from 5’0 right through to 9’0 (so a great range of sizes for all levels of surfers, including kids) and the Beater board is a short, high volume twinny which has become a go to favourite for experienced surfers looking for some alternative fun!

They perform super well in the water too, you’ve only got to check out some of JOBs vlogs with him getting barrelled at pipe on a softop to see what they’re capable of!

When if comes to all the soft top surfboard brands on this list Catch Surf certainly has the most options in terms of shapes, lengths and styles too – so there really is something for everyone.

Beginner Models: Yes

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: Catch Surf Fins boxes

Cost: From $275

 

 

 

Softech

From $309AUD

softech softboard soft top surfboard guideOut of all the soft trop surfboards on the list the Softech range is certainly the easiest on the wallet – with boards starting at $309AUD, running through to $679 for their surf school range.

With team riders such as Mason Ho, Sally Fitzgibbons and even Filipe Toledo, advanced surfers are as well taken care of as beginner surfers too.

For beginners shapes like the Roller and the Zepellin are staple favourites with they’re forgiving outline and high volume, with options like the Bomber, Wildlife and Mason Twinnie being great options for the more experienced surfer.

Beginner Models: Yes

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: FCS2 or Softech VFS Fins (Original Series Boards)

Cost: From $309AUD

 

 

 

Almond Surfboards

From $375USD

almond softboard soft top surfboard guideIf you’re looking for a high performance softboard then the Almond Surfboards “R Series” is going to be a tough one to beat.

Built using a similar construction to the JJF By Pyzel boards, the Almond Surfboards quiver has a range of super fun shapes – from a 5’6 quad fin (which mimics the mini simmons) through to a 8’0 single fin.

Built with eco friendly materials, 100% compostable and with performance in mind, this range of soft top surfboards is certainly aimed at the more experienced surfer though and the styles and shapes are less suited for those just learning to surf.

But if you’re looking for a performance softboard these should certainly make the shortlist.

Beginner Models: No

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: Futures

Cost: From $375USD

 

 

 

Softlite

When it comes to choosing the right softboard Softlite have made things super easy on their website with a pretty easy to navigate menu and 5 core lines of boards.

softlite softboard soft top surfboard guideFor complete beginners the Koolite series offers the best way to get started, with plenty of volume, fogiving outlines and even inbuilt carry handles so they’re easy to get to the water.

The other two solid beginner options are the Chopsticks and Test Tube range – which run from 6’0 through to 8’0 – with the Chopsticks being super easy on the wallet, whilst the Test Tube range ups the game in terms of shapes, performance and materials.

Both ranges are a staple for surf hire shops in Australia so you know they’re built solidly!

Then for higher level beginners and more experienced surfers the Fish Stick (a fish style board) and Pop Stick offer some alternative shapes and are also great options for kids learning to surf.

Although the Softlite range isn’t super performance based, there’s plenty of summer fun to be had with their range of boards and with a great variety of colours to choose from.

From $429AUD

Beginner Models: Yes

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: Softlites own fins, or FCS1

Cost: From $429AUD

 

 

 

JJF Pyzel

From $500USD

Alongside Mick Fanning, John John Florence is another former world champion entering the softboard market. Working closely with his long time shaper, the JJF Pyzel softboards

jjf by pyzel softboard soft top surfboard guideOut of all the soft top surfboard options on this list it boasts the best construction (alongside the Hayden Shapes and Almond Boards) and is super solid, without sacrificing too much performance. This build quality and the JJF/Pyzel branding does come at a price though, and they’re the most expensive softboards on the list as well.

Currently the JJF By Pyzel range includes 3 models – the Gremlin, Astro Fish and The Log. Both the Gremlin and the Astro Fish are refreshes of the hugely popular small wave grovellor boards by Pyzel, whihc have been tried and tested for years, with The Log offering a longer option for those starting out or wanting something a bit more cruisey.

If you have the budget for it this is the best option in terms of shape and build quality, although admitedly if you’re dropping that much cash on a foamie, an extra $150 will get you a full blown Pyzel surfboard – so perhaps you’d simply be better off grabbing one of those instead!

Beginner Models: Yes

Intermediate Surfer Options: Yes

Fin type: Futures

 

 

 

Which One Should You Choose?

With so many options which brand or board should you pick? Well obviously there are a few things you need to take into account – with the main being cost and performance. But to help you out here are a few suggestions to help you pick:

  • Best for beginners = MF Beastie, Softech Roller or Softlite Chop Sticks
  • Best budget option = Softech or Softlite
  • Best for performance = Almond or JJF By Pyzel
  • Best construction/durability = Almond or JJF By Pyzel
  • Best brand for board options = Catch Surf or MF Softboards
  • Best for experienced surfer, small wave fun = Catch Surf Beater, MF DHD Twin or Hayden Shapes Hypto

 

 

Which softboard are you going to grab?

Any other soft top surfboard options you’d add to the list?

 

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