The Best Foam Surfboards [inc short, long & softops]

Desperate to hit the swell for the first time, but don’t know how to surf (or want to waste precious time learning)?

A foam surfboard is for you.

Why foam? The best foam surfboards give greater buoyancy than your average traditional surfboard. That means you’ll spend less time falling off, and more time catching waves.

Of course, you can’t have that as a benefit without a slight compromise. More stability and buoyancy means as you grow from a beginner to intermediate, you’ll struggle to carve.

If you just want to jump right in, get surfing and aren’t too worried about massive progression, a foam surfboard is for you.

And our guide to the best foam surfboards below, covers all the best brands and products currently available. We’ve included softop foam surfboards, 7 foot, 8 foot and even 9 foot boards.

Read to jump in?

This Year’s Best Foam Surfboards

South Bay Board Company Verve 8’8 Foam Surfboard

south bay surf co verve foam boardVerve 8’8 is the real deal when it comes to the best foam surfboard on the market. You’ll spend more time surfing than swimming, as the Verve 8’8 can support weight up to 200 pounds thanks to it’s 74L capacity.

You can cruise onto a swell thanks to the double concave bottom deck, as it directs the water to the board’s fins. There is an entry-level rocker, which avoids pearling (when the nose of your board digs in and you end up face planting the water).

The wax-free fingerprint textured softtop foam deck of the board is ridiculously comfortable, so you won’t get chaffing when paddling out as you would with a traditional surfboard.

Worried about hitting other surfers or your board being swept away? No need, thanks to the help of the 8-inch leash. And that’s secured with three surf pins and pin key.

It’s light and easy to move thanks to the travel handle, and protection against impact damage is provided by the 6 oz resin layer on both the bottom and the softtop of the board.

That’s coupled with a triple-stringer system along with HDPE plastic netting and a rubber bumper. And the list goes on…to prevent heat damage, there is a heat release valve layered with bamboo.

Overall, this is the best foam surfboard for the money; it offers an economical way to get involved with surfing, without needing to be an expert.

Pros

  • Heat damage and board protection
  • Efficient water channeling with a double concave bottom for an extra smooth ride
  • User friendly longboard, get surfing today!

Cons

  • Foam can wear if it’s rubbed against rocks
  • Some reviews mention the leash has come detached on occasion

Model Specs

  • Dimensions: 98x24x4.75 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Volume: 49 L
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Weight Capacity: 180lbs

California Board Company 9′ Foam Surfboard

California Board Company 9' Foam SurfboardThis board from the with California Board Company 9 foot foam surfboard is a good option for beginners and intermediate surfers.

The California Surfboard Company has one of the best fin systems of any foam board manufacturers. The tri fin system gives even the most novice of surfers plenty of control, giving you the ability to carve.

The core of the surfboard is made of 100 % waterproof EPS, so you’ll stay buoyant all day, which can’t be said of the cheaper products on the market. California Board has a high-density polyethylene bottom along with similar quality durable IXPE/XPE Deck.

Compared to other boards, this 9 foot foam longboard offers a higher-quality leash that consists of double Velcro attachment. With excellent stability and durability, it is one of the best options available for all skill levels.

Pros

  • Unique wood-like design
  • Tri fin system for better control and speed
  • Quality leash with easy removal and sturdy attachment

Cons

  • Lack of shape
  • Heavier than many foam longboards

Model Specs

  • Dimensions: 104x24x4 inches
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Volume: 80 liters
  • Skill Level: Beginner and Intermediate
  • Weight Capacity: N/A

Giantax 6′ Foam Surfboard

Giantax 6 Foam SurfboardMade of durable top foam along with slick HDPE high-speed bottom, the Giantax a unique combination of durability and speed, Giantex is the best foam board on our list for kids and children alike.

We love the fact that this a 6 foot foam surfboard from Giantex is strong yet responsive at the same time. It features an EPE deck, EPS core, along with a PP hard, slick bottom. So, you’ve got the stability you’ll expect from the best foam surfboards on the market, but you’ve got control, allowing for precision when carving too!

The three fins provide control along with speed and a fishtail.

With the help of included instructions, you can quickly assemble the Giantex foam surfboard, and you’re good to go. You can remove the fins to transport the board with no hassle.

Pros

  • Strong and responsive base
  • Fins and fishtail provide good control
  • Colorful design

Cons

  • There have been instances where the paint has worn off quickly
  • Being a smaller board, the focus is on precision and not stability, so not as suitable for beginners.

Model Specs

  • Dimensions: 72 x20 x3 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Volume: n/a
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Weight Capacity: 200lbs

South Bay Board Ruccus 7′ Foam Surfboard

South Bay Board Ruccus 7 foot Foam SurfboardAnother premium beginner level foam board from South Bay Board Co, the Ruccus 7′ measures 96″ x23″ x3″ in dimension, offers 74 liters of volume, and has a rider carrying capacity up to 200 pounds.

Catering for anyone who is a newbie, the Ruccus 7′ has a double concave bottom deck that helps direct water to the board’s fins. This feature is also great for maneuvering. There are three surf fins to give you complete control along with speed.

Pearling is not an issue, either thanks to the entry-level and forgiving rocker.

We love the fact that the foam deck is wax-free and fingerprint texture, so it’s about as comfy as you’re going to get.

Protection against any impact is given by 6 oz resin. There is also a triple stringer system along with HDPE plastic netting and rubber bumpe, again, for protection.

Surfing in particularly hot spots? With the help of a heat release valve and bamboo layers, the Ruccus 7′ is protected from damage against heat.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Three surf fins offer a great contrast of speed and control
  • Highly durable and built to last

Cons

  • Foam is thinner than most.
  • Nearly double the weight of other foam surfboards on the market.

Model Specs

  • Dimensions: 96 x23 x3 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Volume: 49liters
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Weight Capacity: N/A

Wavestorm 8′ Classic Foam Surfboard

Wavestorm 8ft Classic Foam SurfboardThe last spot on our list of the best foam boards belongs to the Wavestorm 8 foot foam surfboard. We were tempted to offer up a 7 foot foam surfboard here, but we prefer 8 foot and 9 foot boards.

The a classic foam safeboard comes with a three stringer system and strong EPS core that is designed for all skill levels.

The Wavestorm 8 footer is a heck of a sturdy board. The three stringer system adds to the thickness and rigidity of the board. What we like most is that it comes with a resilient WBS-IX (water barrier skin), which helps keep the water out. The skin is made of crosslink with a textured grip, so you won’t be ending up with blisters by the end of your ride.

HDPE slick bottom provide stiffness to the board, giving the Wavestorm a 200 pound load capacity.

It comes with removable bolt-thru fins and a removable ankle leash traction pad to aid stability.

With AGIT globals patented graphic technology, Wavestorm will make your surfboarding experience simply unforgettable.

Pros

  • Strong EPS core with three stringer system
  • Soft WBS-IBL prevents water from getting inside
  • Detachable ankle leash traction pad

Cons

  • Offers less stability than other boards of a similar side and weight
  • Lower capacity than other boards we’ve reviewed (200lbs max, compared with others at 230lbs capacity).

Model Specs

  • Dimensions: 96×22.5×3.25 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Volume: 86 liters
  • Skill Level: All
  • Weight Capacity: 200lbs

Foam Surfboard Buying Guide

Making a purchasing isn’t easy. Now we’ve suggested some brands and boards, you need to dig into the finer details to choose the best foam surfboard for your style.

Longboard or shortboard?

Well, the answer is both and it totally comes down to your personal choice. Long and shortboards have their own benefits and demerits.

Longboards are generally at least 9 feet in height and come with a single or three fins setup. Shortboards, on the other hand, are less than 7 feet in length and may or may not have a stringer. You can have multiple fins in such boards.

If you are a beginner, it is best to opt for a longboard. This is because they are more stable and easier to control compared to short boards. You can catch waves faster with long boards and also ride in small waves.

Compared to a longboard, it is easier to perform cutbacks and turns on a short board. They offer more speed in your surfing. You can quickly duck dive with it. Such surfboards are easy to carry around due to their small size and more useful in fast hollow waves while almost useless in small ones.

Design

Building a great surfboard requires both science and art. We want something pleasing to both our eyes and, at the same time, is function.

Design involves surfboards floating ability, length, width, outline, tail, nose, rail, fins, rocker, and stinger. There are also long and shortboards that outline length and width, and we’ve already talked about that.

The tail shape generally affects the way your board moves in the water. There are many shapes to choose from, including square, pin, and swallow. Nose shape is the front of your board and affects the buoyancy, paddling, as you take off inside the water.

Rails are the edges of the board which are required for taking turns and generating speed.

Rocker is the whole curvature of the surfboard. More curvature helps you drop easier and make the turns tighter.

Fins, on the other hand, are your steering wheels. They allow you to turn around the board the way you want. Most the best foam surfboards use a three fin setup – as it provides both speed and control. The stinger is responsible for giving strength and flex memory to the surfboard and located inside the center of the foam blank.

Durability

Surfboards are either made of polyester or epoxy EPS. The material used to make the a foam surfboard determines its durability and performance.

Epoxy surfboards are generally made of polystyrene foam along with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. The end result is a more durable product.

The wooden stringer is not a must in the case of epoxy surfboards. The rigid material of epoxy resin is enough, so one doesn’t have to use a stringer. These kinds of boards are the lightest and strongest.

They have a unique feel that one can get under their feet. Suitable for every level of people, epoxy boards can stay on top of the water, paddle faster, and can provide more speed. These boards are also environmentally friendly.

Unlike epoxy, the poly boards are made of polyurethane foam, fiberglass cloth, and polyester resin. They are reinforced with a wooden stringer. With the help of poly boards, surfers report that they can get much better cuts. However, due to their flex, it’s not exactly hard to damage the deck.

And, polyester also ages much faster. If you keep it in the sun, the polyester resin turns yellow, which results in a more used look. The compounds used to make these boards are also toxic to the environment, which a lot of foam surfboard companies are looking to move away from.

Volume

The space that your surfboard generally occupies is known as the volume. It is one of the principal factors that determine your choice of surfboards. Bodyweight, along with your skill level and wave types, determines how much of a volume you need on your board.

A foam surfboard with more volume is generally for those who are beginners. They’re more comfortable to paddle, as they are more buoyant and stable.

Compared to higher volume, low volume boards are useful for faster turns with little to zero effort. They are much suited for intermediates and beyond due to less stability, it’s much harder to catch waves on a foam surfboard with little volume.

A beginner should take a board with the same volume as his weight. On the other hand, an intermediate surfer can grab a foam surfboard that is 35 to 40% of their body weight. Most surfers will try and get more volume, as it may help them catch more waves.

What’s Next?

Chose something from our list of the best foam surfboards, and like what you’ve read?

Bookmark this page and check back soon, we’re constantly writing up surfing reviews and tips, like our big guide covering how to surf, and my guide to the best surf boots.

Grant's a motorcycle geek, outdoor enthusiast & confirmed racing nut. He road tests all the gear he buys, and then gives his feedback here on NoobNorm. He also details any quick fixes he stumbles upon, whether that's to stop brakes on motorcycles sticking, or unusual noises coming from gaming wheels.

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