Best soft top longboard surfboards - intro

Best Soft Top Longboard Surfboards – Our Guide for 2021

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Every surfer should have a longboard, full stop. These 8’+ boards are ideal for beginners as they are perfect to master the basics of the sport as they are very stable and easy to balance or paddle. But longboards aren’t meant for beginners alone as intermediate and experienced surfers can have tons of fun on them on small days. Also, surfers can perform various tricks such as cross-steps, hang fives, etc. on longboards.

Soft top longboards, also called foam or longboards, have become very popular over the years in the surfing community. This is due to the advancements that soft top longboards have undergone since the first one was released years ago. Nowadays, soft top longboards are affordable, durable, and perform excellently.

The popularity of surfing means there is no shortage of soft top longboards on the market. You’ll find tons of foamie longboards on the market with every one of them promising you an enjoyable surfing experience. But not all of them perform as they promised. I’ve carried out extensive research and testing to come up with a list of the best soft top longboards available on the market today. Here we go!

The 7 Best Soft-Top Longboard Surfboards for 2021

South Bay Board Co. 9’6″ Tortuga Surfboard

South Bay Board Co. - 7'7/8'4/9'6 Hybrid Surfboards - Wax-Free Soft-Top Surfboard with Hard Epoxy Bottom Decks - Patented Heat Damage Prevention System - Future Fins & Leash Included

$849.00
$764.00
 in stock
5 new from $764.00
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

South Bay Board Co. is one of the best manufacturers of foam surfboards and their 9’6 Tortuga Hybrid is popular among surfing enthusiasts. This Tortuga Hybrid is made of a soft top deck and a glass stern bottom deck which results in a surfboard with superb performance. The foam top provides a wax free experience meaning that you never have to apply wax to improve grip as you would for other surfboards.

The Tortuga’s nose is extra round for improved stability and the incredible buoyancy of the board leads to an enjoyable surfing experience. I like South Bay’s patented heat release valve which improves durability by preventing delamination. And the EPS closed cell foam core prevents the foam top from absorbing water which can reduce the board’s efficiency later on.

Fins and a leash are included in the package saving you the cost of buying these accessories. And the high-quality materials used to manufacture the Tortuga confer durability.

 Specifications

  • Length: 114 in / 289.5 cm
  • Width: 23.5 in / 59.7 cm
  • Thickness: 3.25 in / 8.3 cm
  • Volume: 92 liters
  • Weight: 18 lbs / 8.2 kg

Pros

  • High-quality materials and excellent construction.
  • Superb stability.
  • Easy to paddle and use.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • A bit difficult to maneuver. Typical of longboards.

Rock-It 8′ Big Softy Surfboard

Rock-It 8' Big Softy Surfboard (Blue)

$379.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

There’s a saying in surfing that says “He who has the most fun wins.” Rock It believes in this saying and designed the Rock It 8′ Big Softy to provide you with loads of fun. As long as you have fun while on the waves, you are a winner.

I like the ease of use and stability that this board provides. The proprietary EPS foam is very comfortable and of high-quality. Underneath the foam are three marine wooden stringers that are coated with an epoxy nano-coating. The reason for this is to prevent water absorption which can impact the performance of the board later on. Also, the foam top is coated with a UV resistant layer to improve durability.

The texture of the top layer is designed as such that it doesn’t require wax. You can still decide to add wax for improved performance but it is optional although I’ll advise you to still apply wax. And according to the manufacturer, the zebra striped pattern is supposed to be a deterrent for sharks.

 Specifications

  • Length: 96 in / 243 cm
  • Width: 22.7 in / 57.6 cm
  • Thickness: 3.3 in / 8.3 cm
  • Volume: 81 liters

Pros

  • Excellent construction.
  • Wax free experience.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Wavestorm 8′ Classic Longboard SurfboardOur Top Pick

Wavestorm Classic Soft Top Foam 8ft Surfboard | Surfboard for Beginners and All Surfing Levels | Complete Board Set Including Accessories | Leash and Fins, Blue Brushed

$217.99  in stock
2 new from $217.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

I doubt anyone can talk about the top manufacturers of foamie boards without mentioning Wavestorm. That’s how popular the brand is and they are renowned for producing quality surfboards at an affordable price. The Wavestorm 8′ Classic is no exception.

It’s easy to paddle and balance on the Classic and intermediate and advanced surfers can pull off several tricks with this board. Wavestorm incorporated 3 stringers in the Classic for improved rigidity without sacrificing flexibility. For those that don’t know, stringers are thin strips of wood that are found on the entire length of surfboards. Their function is to improve stability and the more stringers there are, the better. The Classic has 3. Jolly good.

This board performs excellently on small days and is perfect for beginners to hone their skills. Overall, the Wavestorm Classic is a bargain you should take a closer look at.

 Specifications

  • Length: 96 in / 243 cm
  • Width: 22.5 in / 57.4 cm
  • Thickness: 3.25 in / 8.5 cm
  • Volume: 86 liters
  • Weight: 11.5 lbs / 5.2 kg

Pros

  • Excellent value for money.
  • High-quality materials.
  • Superb performance on small waves.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

South Bay Board Co. 8′ Verve Surfboard

South Bay Board Co. - 7' / 8' / 8'8 Premium Foam Surfboards - Wax-Free Soft-Top Surfboards - Beginner Surfboards for Kids & Adults – Fins & Leash Included - Patented Heat Damage Prevention System

$639.00
$579.00
 in stock
4 new from $579.00
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

Another South Bay Board surfboard for your delight. Go South Bay! The 8′ Verve is designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers. As you’d expect of a South Bay Board product, the Verve has a fingerprint surfaced foam that brings about a wax free experience. The top foam itself is of high quality and is comfortable thereby improving your surfing experience.

Thanks to the rounded rubber tail and the dimensions, the Verve is more responsive than typical longboards while offering superior stability. If you want a longboard that allows you to make turns easily, you should take a look at the Verve.

I like that the core of this board is made from compacted close-cell EPS (expanded polystyrene), a material that prevents the core from absorbing water. Without this core, the foam top will absorb water over time, become heavier, and the board will become less efficient. Fins and a leash are included in the package saving you the cost of buying these accessories.

 Specifications

  • Length: 96 in / 243 cm
  • Width: 22 in / 55.8 cm
  • Thickness: 3  in / 7.6 cm
  • Volume: 86 liters
  • Weight: 15 lbs / 6.8 kg

Pros

  • Wax free experience.
  • High-quality materials.
  • Close-cell EPS core.
  • More maneuverable than most longboards.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Paragon 9′ Surfboard

Paragon Surfboards Performance Soft-Top Surfboard | Handshaped, Fun & Easy to Ride | 5'6" | 7'6" | 8'0" | 9'0" (Green/White, 9'0" x 22 3/4" x 3 1/16")

$599.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

The Paragon 9′ soft top surfboard model is for beginner and intermediate surfers looking to have fun in the water and rapidly improve their surfing skills. Experienced surfers will also enjoy using this surfboard especially on small waves.

Thanks to Paragon’s FoamTech material, this surfboard is faster and lighter than you’d expect from a 9′ board. There is also the high-quality EVA foam that eliminates the need for wax thereby offering you a wax-free experience. And this board can easily support surfers that weigh up to 220 lbs.

Three fins are included in the package to improve your surfing experience. In case you don’t know, surf fins allow you to maneuver your board more efficiently or go straight through the waves.

 Specifications

  • Length: 108 in / 274 cm
  • Width: 22.75 in / 57.8 cm
  • Thickness: 3.06  in / 7.8 cm
  • Volume: 74 liters
  • Weight: 15 lbs / 6.8 kg

Pros

  • High-quality materials and excellent construction.
  • Superb stability.
  • Easy to paddle and use.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • A bit difficult to maneuver. Typical of longboards.

Wavestorm 9′ Original Surfboard

Wavestorm 9ft Original New Modern Surfboard Longboard, Navy

$965.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

A superb option for surfers of all abilities, this 9′ surfboard comes with a simple design that most surfers seem to like. Weighing 16.7 lbs, this board isn’t overly heavy considering its length. This board is perfect for surfers new to the sport as it’s ease of use and buoyancy means they can comfortably learn the basics of the sport. Intermediate and advanced surfers can make use of this board on small days or when they want to pull a couple of tricks.

As expected of a Wavestorm board, the materials used to manufacture this board are of high-quality. I like that the EPS (expanded polystyrene) core is very comfortable and durable, another reason behind the popularity of this board.

The bottom of this board is made of HDPE to reinforce it and make it more durable. You’ll find a high-quality leash in the package. I was impressed with the quality of the leash since most manufacturers don’t really pay attention to the quality of leashes they put with their products. Also, you’ll find fins in the package saving you the cost of buying them.

 Specifications

  • Length: 108 in / 274 cm
  • Width: 24 in / 60.9 cm
  • Thickness: 3.5  in / 8.9 cm
  • Volume: 98 liters
  • Weight: 16.8 lbs / 7.6 kg

Pros

  • Perfect for surfers of all experience.
  • Lightweight, especially when you consider the size.
  • High-quality materials.
  • Easy to use.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • A bit difficult to maneuver. Typical of longboards.

California Board Company 9′ Surfboard

California Board Company Foam Surf Board, 9-Feet (Color: Brown/Wood graphic)

$419.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 8:52 am

The first thing you’ll notice about this 9′ California Board is the brown finish which makes it look like it was made from wood. I gotta tell you, I think the color is dope! But this beauty is more than just aesthetics since it offers superb performance.

This board is perfect for beginners since it’s very comfortable and will catch waves easily. If you already have surfing experience, then you can buy this board for smaller days. Either way, this is a board all surfers should seriously take a look at.

The EPS core is 100% waterproof and won’t absorb water. You should by now know the benefits of having a soft top longboard that doesn’t absorb water. There is also the HDPE slick bottom and traction pad for improved grip. And you’ll find a high-quality leash and 3 fins in the package.

 Specifications

  • Length: 108 in / 274 cm
  • Width: 24 in / 60.9 cm
  • Thickness: 4  in / 10.1 cm
  • Volume: 91.7 liters
  • Weight: 15  lbs / 6.8 kg

Pros

  • Comfortable to use.
  • Waterproof EPS core.
  • Very stable.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • A bit difficult to maneuver. Typical of longboards.

Best Soft-Top Longboard Surfboards – The Guide 

What is Considered a Longboard?

A longboard is any surfboard that is at least 8′ or more. They are the longest type of surfboards and their increased length have a number of advantages such as increased volume, ease of paddling, and so on.

What is a Soft Top Board?

A soft top board, also called a foam board, is a board that has a smooth, spongy, and cushioned deck. The deck is made of a foam material which may vary depending on manufacturers.

Foam surfboards have become very popular in the surfing community because they are affordable making it easier for more people to take up surfing. They are also stable, easy to paddle, and catch a lot of waves.

Pros and Cons of Soft Top Boards

The main advantage of soft top boards is their price and durability. Soft top boards are affordable and as such can be bought by surfers on a budget. Check my article on how much it costs to take up surfing. Also, soft top boards are lightweight, have a high volume, and are very stable. The foam top is also more forgiving than that of hard boards.

Soft top boards can easily catch waves and can be used by all surfers. You’ll also like that soft top boards require less maintenance and are long lasting and durable.

The major shortcomings of soft top boards is that they aren’t the most responsive and their foam tops can absorb water over time which will make them heavier and consequently reduce their efficiency.

Soft Top Longboards vs. Fiberglass Longboards

Foam surfboards are affordable and durable. It’s unlikely that a foam surfboard can sustain damage that will make them completely unusable. As I said earlier, they may eventually absorb too much water, become heavier, and less efficient.

But soft top boards make it possible for a lot of people to enjoy surfing (due to their price). If you are a beginner, on a budget or surf at certain times of the year, you should go for soft top boards.

Fiberglass boards, on the other hand, are on another level. They are faster, lighter, and seriously outperform soft top boards. But they are very expensive! Also, fiberglass boards are more susceptible to damage than foam surfboards and must be handled and maintained properly if they are to last a long time. Surfers typically start with foam boards and may transition to fiberglass boards if they have the budget.

Best soft top longboard surfboards - guide 1

Why Choose a Longboard?

You now know a longboard is at least 8′ and more and that the increased length makes them more stable and buoyant, features that come in handy for beginners that are yet to master the basics of the sport.

For intermediate and advanced surfers, a longboard can serve as a backup board or reserved for days when waves are small. Also, a longboard allows surfers to perform various tricks such as cross-steps, hang fives, and so on.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Foam Surfboard

Material

There are different types of foams that can be used to manufacture soft top longboards and they include IXPE, EPS, HDPE, PP, and EPE.

IXPE (Irradiated Cross-Linked Polyethylene) is a quality foam that is waterproof and more resistant to temperature. This foam is also popular for its high shock absorption properties which makes it one of the best foams available.

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam has the advantage of being lightweight and boards made from this material are usually among the lightest on the market. However, the material is more prone to water absorption but there are now measures used by manufacturers to counter this.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) foam is commonly used for the bottom of foam surfboards as it’s more rugged and tougher than other foams.

PP (Polypropylene) and EPE – Expanded polyethylene foam are other foams used to manufacture foam boards.

Thickness

Longboards, especially those aimed at beginners, are usually thicker to increase buoyancy to make it easy for beginners to master the basics of the sport. Beginners will do well to go for soft top longboards that are at least 3″ tick. Intermediate and experienced surfers can do with thinner boards. Also, thinner boards are easier to maneuver, something people with prior surfing experience will appreciate.

Volume

The volume of your surfboard is determined by the weight of the surfer on the board and has an effect on the buoyancy of the board. And the more buoyant your board is, the easier for you to turn the board, catch more waves, and paddle faster. Apart from your weight, the volume of your board is also determined by the length, width, thickness, as well as the skill of the surfer.

The good thing about soft top longboards is that they have a high volume which makes them easy to paddle and catch more waves.

Fin Setup

Fins improve stability and control of surfboards and your soft top board will benefit from them. There are two types of fin setup and that’s the single and tri fin setups. Beginners may start out with one fin but three fins offer better performance.

Manufacturers typically design fins to be removable so users can switch between the two fin setups.

Beginner vs. Intermediate vs. Advanced Surfers

As I’ve said a couple of times already, soft top longboards can be used by either a beginner, intermediate, or advanced surfer. For beginners, the best board they can start with is a soft top longboard. For intermediate and advanced surfers, soft top longboards can be backup boards, be used for pulling off tricks, or used on small days.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the benefits of soft top longboards, the next thing is for you to get one of them. I’ve already said that every surfer should have a longboard in their arsenal and going for soft top models is a no brainer.

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