Whether you’re a grom or a bona fide shredder, the best soft top surfboards are a fun and convenient alternative to your typical fibreglass board that you can ride all the way in. We recommend steering away from cheap crap and maxing out on length if you want to ride anything bigger than a shorey. Have a look for boards that feature FCS or Futures Fin boxes, because standard soft top fins are notoriously rubbish.
Also referred to as foam surfboards, the best soft top surfboards have evolved over the years and are no longer just flimsy boards with a basic soft fin. These are just surfboards that aren’t covered in a hard resin, typically made from a specialised, water-resistant EPS foam covered with ethylene vinyl acetate for better protection. On the bottom, foam top surfboards use a hard flat sheet to help with frictionless speed when you’re out to catch surf that may be a bit more modest than what experienced surfers are used to.
However, don’t go thinking any board with a soft foam deck is just for beginners. A lot of advanced surfers love using them to just have a good time on beach breaks. And beginners – well, these are the best boards to learn on while you work on your confidence and technique. This is because a soft surfboard (or ‘soft boards,’ as some people call them) will invariably offer excellent durability and stability while helping with easy paddling thanks to the lightweight body.
If you want a great foam top surfboard, there are plenty to pick from but some are better than others. A big part of Australian culture is surfing, so you better believe there are several companies out there making soft surfboards with as much care as a fibreglass board.
What’s Your Fin Setup?
Surf top surfboards are versatile, but the stock fin setups they come with can often be limiting. Most of your foamies come with soft plastic fins. You’ll want to experiment a bit here and upgrade pretty much as soon as you plan to set up. Play with the shape and size of your fins, and there’s no wrong way to do this. You might want a thruster fin setup, or go minimal for more release. You get to design your own surfboard models, so don’t just stick with what you’re given.
Best Soft Top Surfboard – Table Of Contents [Not Ranked]
1. Mick Fanning Soft Top Surfboards
- Lengths: 7’0, 7’6, 8’0, 8’6 9’0
- Construction: MF Epoxy Lam, MF Epoxy Pro, Super Soft
- Fin System: FCSII/Futures + 10 Inch Box
Who knows surfboards better than Mick? With three WSL World Championships under his belt, the man knows his surf tech. These soft-top surfboards are made with experienced surfers in mind with speed, power, and flow as priorities of the building process. The MF Epoxy Pro was designed for maximising your fun when the surf’s not giving much, serving up a good mid-sized board that comes in a couple of great colours. It’s also friendly enough for beginner surfers and advanced surfers alike, so consider this Australia’s top foam surfboard if you will.
- Mick Fanning-approved
- Solid range of sizes and two strong colour choices
- Not a conventional beginner board
2. Spooked Kooks
- Lengths: 8’0”
- Construction: 8LB PE Deck, Bamboo veneer reinforced EPS Foam Core
- Fin System: Futures Fin
Spooked Kooks have some sick colours and designs, bringing back the glory days of short shorts and thick mo’s. With a range of customisable options backed by solid engineering, Spooked Kooks is a winning company and the Dead Hippy eight-footer is the classic embodiment of Spooked Kook’s throwback culture. It’s a longboard made for finding the sweet spot on the wave and riding it all the way in.
- Decent volume to find your way around the board
- Cool designs and colours
- A little limited if you find yourself in bigger waves
3. Softech Surfboards
- Lengths: 5’10”, 6’4″, 6’10”, 7’4″
- Construction: Epoxy core with single stringer, high density PE foam deck, ultra-thin soft HDPE slick bottom
- Fin System: FCS II
Softech has got something for everyone as the soft top surfboard market continues to grow in popularity with surfing old hands. The boards can cop the biggest waves and replica their fibreglass forefathers in durability. The Middie soft top surfboard does exactly what it says on the tin as an all-rounder that hits that Goldilocks zone of challenge.
- Approaching fibreglass performance with a soft top
- Great for all-round conditions in the water
- Hard to fault
4. DRAG Board Co.
- Lengths: 5’6″
- Construction: EPS Core, PE Deck with SPER sub deck compression reinforcement, HDPE slick
- Fin System: Thruster finbox getup with supplied hard SB fins
These guys are all about having the best time the waves can offer and for them, softies are a huge part of good times. A DRAG board is guaranteed to shake up your shredding experience for the better. The Dart 5’6 Thruster is a little pocket rocket of fun and is perfect for shories or just chasing sneaky runners. Get around the rad flame and aqua colour combo.
- Dynamic fast ride
- Great range of colour choices
- Might be a little short for true beginners
5. Catch Surf Boards
- Lengths: 6’0″, 7’0″, 8’0″, 9’0″
- Construction: Stiff Dual Composite Core, Old-School PE Deck
- Fin System: High Performance Fin System
The kings of the soft top surfboard, Catch Boards, are dominating the American and Australian markets. Offering some of the best company collabs and a huge range of boards, the fellas got exactly what you’re looking for. Not for your average grom, the Odysea LOG x Jamie O’Brien Pro are some of the ultimate shore-break boards that arrive in a couple of epic styles. Great for a range of different skill levels, there’s a reason Catch Boards are so popular out in the swell.
- Ideal all-rounder board
- A lot of bang for your buck
- Hard to fault, especially for the money
Soft Top Surfboards – Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the easiest soft top surfboard to ride?
One of the easiest soft top surfboards to ride comes from Softech Surfboards with premium materials for extra durability.
Is An 8ft surfboard good for beginners?
Yes. An eight to nine-foot surfboard would be ideal for beginners as an entry-level surfboard as it’s much easier to stand on.
Should you buy a fiberglass or foam surfboard?
A fibreglass surfboard will be more fragile than a foam surfboard in general, but the sacrifice in durability offers much better performance with faster speeds.
What size of soft top surfboard should you buy?
That all depends on your experience. Go for one of the bigger soft top surfboards if you’re a beginner and make sure you get as much width and thickness as possible. This will make it much easier to catch waves and stand up.
What surfboard is easiest to paddle?
A longboard is generally easier to paddle because you’ve got more surface area. This will make it easier to catch waves earlier and ride them for longer.
What is the most durable soft top surfboard?
The most durable soft top surfboard are ones with thick foam padding, which generally compromise on performance to offer easier, less expensive boards.