Foam Surfboard Review - See The 8 Best Models
Miami, Florida - ( NewMediaWire ) - November 12, 2020 - In the past decade or so, the demand for foam surfboards has skyrocketed. At one time, criticized for their ‘kookiness,’ even the best surfers can be found riding around these soft-top logs when the conditions are right. However, foam surfboards are truly geared towards beginners, as they showcase some of the best elements for catching waves with ease.
CenterForSurfResearch.org has an article detailing some of the best foam surfboards on the market and what to consider when looking for the right one. Rather than spending time sifting through the myriad of surf websites or bugging the guys down at the local surf shop, find all of the necessary information on foam surfboards here.
Top 8 Foam Surfboards
1. South Bay Board Co. - Ruccus 7′
Surfers seeking out fun over everything else should look to the SBBC Ruccus 7′. Most of the same features found in the Verve can be found in the Ruccus foam board, including the HDPE slick bottom, the IXPE Fingerprint wax-less deck, the excess heat-release valve, tapered rails, and of course, the GoPro mount.
The main difference between the Ruccus and the Verve is the overall size. The Ruccus weighs only ten pounds and has a maximum carrying capacity of 200 pounds, making it more suited for younger or smaller surfers.
At 7′ long, the Ruccus foam board provides surfers with more of a shortboard performance style. It utilizes a pointed nose and squash tail, which, in combination, add far more maneuverability to the board compared to standard foam boards out on the market.
The Ruccus isn’t recommended for complete beginners, as it doesn’t offer the same surface area found on classic longboard models. With the narrower shape and added maneuverability, surfers sacrifice the complete ease of catching waves. A surfer with a higher skill level, however, may enjoy the versatile shape.
Just like the Verve, the Ruccus foam board comes with fins and a leash. Surfers also have the ability to purchase an additional traction pad, though the fingerprint-textured deck makes it a bit nonessential. However, surfers looking to play around with complex wave riding and experienced maneuvers may find the extra bit of traction beneficial.
2. South Bay Board Co. - Verve 8′
The Verve 8′ is one of the top foam surfboards from the South Bay Board Co. brand. With a high-quality fingerprint-textured IXPE (Irradiated Cross-Linked Polyethylene) deck, surfers can enjoy riding without the need for surf wax. Plus, IXPE provides serious shock absorption, which is good for busy beach days with tons of people in the water.
Even with the grip-like texture on this soft-top, the top of the board still easy on the skin, making it the perfect summer cruiser for when a wetsuit is no longer needed.
The board weighs 15 pounds overall and can support riders up to 230 pounds, making it an excellent choice for adults getting into the surf game. In the core of the board lies a single 2/3 fiberglass center rod stringer and two long wooden stringers, providing the board with serious durability and rigidity.
The bottom of the board features an HDPE slick bottom, making for an incredibly smooth ride. The core of the Verve, as with most of the board in the SBBC lineup, utilizes closed-cell EPS. Closed-cell EPS is very beneficial in the world of soft-top surfboards, as it helps to create a barrier between the board and the water.
Foam boards are notorious for water absorption. Over time, that extra water weight can cut back on performance and make the board far heavier to ride. Having the ability to ride without worrying about damage to the foam core is a true blessing.
To extend durability even further, Verve built a unique heat release valve into the deck, allowing riders to release heat that causes bubbling and delamination.
With tampered rails, a rounded nose and tail design, and an entry-level rocker, and a tri-fin setup, the Verve is one of those soft-top surfboards that is built for fun. Compared to many log-like foam surfboards out there, which are far better suited to beginner surfers, the Verve allows riders to hit the water with far more maneuverability.
Plus, every Verve board comes complete with fins, a leash, and a handy go-pro mount for when surfers want to capture the fun. Overall, SBBC’s Verve foam board has just about everything a beginner or intermediate surfer could want, outweighing its competitors by a long shot.
3. Liquid Shredder EZ Slider 9′
The Liquid Shredder EZ Slider 9′ foam surfboard comes in at 9′ in length and 17 pounds in weight. While it isn’t as much as a ‘shredder’ as the EZ Slider 7′ foam surfboard, it works perfectly for beginner surfers looking to increase their wave count with its classic longboard design. Even with its long shape, it provides some serious speed.
Rather than using HDPE slick bottom skin like many foam longboard manufacturers, Liquid Shredder decided to stick with a polypropylene bottom for this foam surfboard. This means that the surfboard is not as rigid as most of the other boards on the list.
With that said, it does come with a fiberglass center stringer and dual wooden stringers on the outside. The unique stringer system gives it a more balanced longboard feel. For a foam surfboard, it is difficult to get over how fast this board is. People often boast about how effortlessly this longboard paddles thanks to the torpedo-like shape.
The foam material is composed of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam and an expanded polyethylene deck.
The Liquid Shredder 9′ may just be the best foam longboard notion out there for complete beginners. Included in the price are three fins for a speedy tri-fin set up.
4. South Bay Board Co. - Guppy 6′
One of SBBC’s best boards for young surfers is the SBBC Guppy 6′. With the ability to support up to only 150 pounds, it may not be the ideal board for everyone. However, kids new to surfing may enjoy the small design that strikes a perfect balance between stability and performance.
With a shortboard-like design, a rounded nose, and a square tail, it has all of the qualities of a beginner foam board. Even with its small size, it matches up to longer foam surfboards in terms of buoyancy. Beginner surfers will feel a relaxed sensation when paddling out to get their first few waves.
One of the beautiful things about the Guppy is that it is extremely lightweight. Newer surfers often complain about board weight, as carrying a large foam board to and from the water can be fairly tiring. Even young surfers can run down to the water with this board in hand without making a fuss.
Just like most of the boards in the new SBBC lineup, the Guppy utilizes a heat lamination process to increase overall durability. Riders will be can catch waves for many seasons while retaining the original integrity of the board. Plus, the soft-top design makes it one of the safest surfboards around, perfect for the unavoidable tumbles that most surfers will go through as they move into higher skill levels.
5. South Bay Board Co. - Heritage 8′8
For adults learning to catch waves for the very first time, the SBBC Heritage 8′8 is a prime soft-top choice. It is one of the best foam longboard models on the market, meeting all of the requirements of a beginner-friendly surfboard. With serious buoyancy and tons of surface area, it may just be one of the most forgiving soft-top surfboards on the market today.
Larger adults need larger boards when learning to surf. Boards that are too short (even beginner surfboards) can be far more difficult to control. With a long 8′8″ design and the ability to support up to 230 pounds, it is the perfect soft-top board for adults.
The Heritage was designed with accessibility in mind. Complete beginners enjoy the longboard design, and intermediate riders find that its small-wave performance makes it a great choice for summer beaches.
The Heritage draws from the design of a classic longboard and uses a double concave bottom deck to provide faster paddling and a smoother wave-riding experience. With an intelligent design and long/wide deck, it provides more than enough surface area for beginner surfers to feel stable when popping up.
In terms of durability, it sits up there with the rest of the SBBC foam surfboards. This particular board uses a high-quality polyethylene deck design, hard-wearing foam, and PVC-lined fin holes. No matter the amount of trouble this board gets into, it will hold up.
6. Liquid Shredder EZ Slider 7′
Liquid Shredder is another great foam surfboard company. The 7′ EZ Slider foam surfboard is perfect for those seeking out a more exciting foam board option. Even experienced riders praise the performance-centric design of this high-quality foam top.
At its core, the board utilizes a minimal design. It uses an EPE (expanded polyethylene) deck and an EPS foam core. The polypropylene slick bottom creates a smooth riding experience as well.
The board comes with double maple wood stringers for added durability and rigidity, something not often found in foam surfboards. The foam board comes with a textured deck material, preventing the surfer from slipping and sliding when the board gets wet. Plus, it is incredibly comfortable to ride without a wetsuit.
The Liquid Shredder EZ Slider foam surfboard was designed with fun in mind. It caters itself to almost any type of surfing conditions and can hold its own in various surf spots. The shape gives it a mixture of exceptional stability and performance, perfect for waves of all sizes.
7. THURSO SURF Lancer Fish 5′10
Those looking to hit the waves with performance in mind should check out the Thurso Surf Lancer 5′10″. This unique twin-fin foam surfboard uses a fish shape for added fun.
The beauty of the Lancer Fish is the low price point, making it one of the best value boards on the list. While there are plenty of reasons to love this foam surfboard and its fishy shape, the surfing speed it provides might be the best thing about it.
Those getting into the waves for the very first time might not want to choose this type of board, as it is a bit harder for the beginner surfer to control. However, compared to many fish surfboards out there, this particular foam board comes with a wide deck design, providing a bit of added stability for the burgeoning surfer.
In terms of design, the Lancer 5′10″ soft-top surfboard comes with a wide swallow tail, giving riders a bit more hold on the face of the wave. While it does have a faster and looser feel compared to the other foam boards on this list, it can still help semi-beginners and intermediate riders increase their wave count.
The board comes with just about everything a surfer might need to get started, including soft twin fins and a leash. The leash, unlike many beginner leashes found on foam top board, is pretty legitimate consider the fact that it swivels to help maintain balance while surfing.
The Lance 5′10″ is an excellent choice for people under 200 pounds, though it may be more suited for young riders of smaller sizes thanks to the low weight design.
8. Costco Wavestorm
The Wavestorm is probably the most popular foam surfboard on the market today, mostly because just about anyone can purchase one of these logs from Costco. Some of the best riders in the world have even come together to host Wavestorm world championships.
The beauty of the Wavestorm is that it works for waves of all sizes. These foamies can be found at just about any beach around the world, as they are great beginner boards. These boards may just have the most recognizable color pattern of any soft-top surfboard on the market.
Every Wavestorm board uses an EPS core and tri-string system to complement the soft-top construction. The barrier skin crosslink deck complements the rails to provide an extremely flexible, stable, and comfortable soft-top experience. Of course, it’d be a shame not to mention the HDPE bottom skin, which adds an element of fun to this foam longboard.
The Wavestorm comes with a traction pad and removable rubber fins. The company even included a leash too, providing riders with everything they need to get out in the water right away.
While the Wavestorm may feel a bit limited for those stepping up into the realm of experienced surfing, it might just be the best soft top board around for those getting their feet wet for the first time. Plus, it provides access to surfing for just about everyone, which is a wonderful sentiment.
Bottom Line - Which Foam Surfboard Is Best?
There are plenty of things to consider when searching for the best foam surfboards. Does the board come with decent fins? Does the board require wax application? Are there multiple color options to choose from to obtain a more personalized ride?
For those just starting out, having the ability to obtain a package upgrade might be worth it, as these usually come with various accessories. Having an included board bag for traveling, for example, might be quite helpful.
Overall, the SBBC Verve is the top board on the list. With the high-quality EPS foam construction, the HDPE slick bottom, and a crosslink water barrier skin top deck for a wax-free ride, there are plenty of reasons to love this board.
Plus, it’s hard to ignore the maneuverability of the tri-fin set up and the included leash and traction pad.
Foam tops are standard for beginners, though they have come quite a long way in the surfing game. As of now, soft-top surfboards are becoming a more popular option for riders of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels looking to learn or obtain a different sort of ride than a traditional epoxy board.