Best foam surfboards - intro

Best Foam Surfboards – Complete Guide for 2021

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Once upon a time, foam surfboards were seen as inferior and anyone using them would receive disapproving gazes from other surfers. But this has changed over the years thanks to advancements in the materials and technology used to make foam surfboards. Go to any surfing destination and chances are most of the surfboards you’d encounter are foam surfboards.

Apart from the improved stability and performance of foam surfboards, another reason for their increased popularity is price. You see, foamies are cheap compared to other types of surfboard while still managing to be very durable and reliable. And this means people on a budget can easily take up surfing by buying the affordable and dependable foamie surfboards.

Foam surfboards are made for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers. And when you are in the market for a foam surfboard, you’ll find out that there are no shortage of foam surfboard brands around. About 12 foam surfboard brands entered the market in the last two years further increasing the number of foam surfboards available.

The 7 Best Foam Surfboards for 2021

Wavestorm 8′ Foam SurfboardOur Top Pick

Wavestorm 8' Surfboard, Sunburst Graphic

$267.65  in stock
2 new from $267.65
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

Wavestorm is one of the best manufacturers of foam samples and the Wavestorm 8′ surfboard is very popular among surfing enthusiasts. The length of this surfboard makes it ideal for beginners since it’s easy to paddle. Also, this foam longboard surfboard performs excellently on small waves.

The materials used to construct this surfboard are of very good quality from the soft foam to the 3 stringer system, rails, and barrier skin crosslink top. There’s also the bottom which is made of a high density polyethylene for improved durability.

You’ll find a leash, removable rubber fins, and a traction pax in the package saving you the cost of buying these accessories. The leash isn’t the best out there but it’ll work just fine. The rubber fins also work great although experienced surfers may want to use more expensive fins.

This surfboard can be used by beginner and intermediate surfers. Experienced surfers will also benefit from having this board as a backup board or for days when the waves are small.

 Specifications

  • Length: 8 ft / 244 cm
  • Width: 22.5 in / 57 cm
  • Thickness: 3.25 in / 8.3 cm
  • Volume: 86 liters
  • Weight: 11.5 lbs / 5.2 kg

Pros

  • Ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers.
  • Easy to paddle and balance.
  • Ability to catch any wave.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Difficult to maneuver especially when conditions are challenging. This is typical of hybrid boards.
  • Leash could be of better quality.

South Bay Board Co. 8′ Verve Foam Surfboard

SBBC ||- Surfboard -||- 8’ Verve Soft Top Surfboard -||- Wax Free Surfboards -||- Performance Focused Surf Board Includes Foam Surfboard, Leash, Fins -||- Deluxe Package Options Available -||

$479.00
$434.00
 in stock
4 new from $434.00
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

South Bay Board Co. is another brand that’s won the affection of surfers due to the quality foam surfboard it produces. With so many impressive features, this surfboard is one of the best you can buy. For one, you don’t have to deal with waxing this board. Yeah, you read right. You are in for a completely wax free experience.

At 8′, this board is essentially a hybrid or funboard offering you the best of both a longboard and a shortboard. The materials used to manufacture this board are of high-quality making it very stable, rigid, and durable.

Another standout feature of this board is the closed cell technology which prevents the foam top from absorbing water. Without this feature, the foam will absorb water over time, become heavier, and consequently less efficient. South Bay Board Co. also included a heat release valve in the board to make it more long-lasting.

You’ll find fins, leash, and a mouth included in the package.

 Specifications

  • Length: 8 ft / 244 cm
  • Width: 23 in / 58 cm
  • Thickness: 3 in / 7.6 cm
  • Volume: 80 liters
  • Weight: 16 lbs / 7.2 kg

Pros

  • Good starter board.
  • Wax free experience.
  • Ability to catch any wave.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Difficult to maneuver especially when conditions are challenging. This is typical of hybrid boards.

Liquid Shredder EZ-Slider 7′ Foam Surfboard

Liquid Shredder EZ-Slider 7ft Red-Premium Foam Deck Surfboards-Wax-Free, Soft-Top, Slick Bottom-Includes Removable 3 Fin System-FunShape for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Surfing

$236.12  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

A fitting name for this board as you’ll be shredding the waves with it. At 7′, this board is a shortboard and offers superb maneuverability. You want to perform tricks on the waves, then the Liquid Shredder is the board for you.

I like that this board performs well on most waves which is one of the reasons why shortboards are very popular in several surfing destinations. The compact size of this board also makes it easy to store and transport. So that’s another point in favor of the Shredder.

The foam used to manufacture this board is expanded polyethylene which is very comfortable. The bottom material is different being made of HDPE and simple polypropylene. These two materials perform well and are long-lasting.

You’ll find a very strong leash and a removable tri-fin system in the package saving you the cost of buying these accessories.

 Specifications

  • Length: 7 ft / 213 cm
  • Width: 21.5 in / 54 cm
  • Thickness: 3 in / 7.6 cm
  • Volume: 49 liters
  • Weight: 11 lbs / 4.9 kg

Pros

  • Compact and easy to store and transport.
  • Excellent maneuverability.
  • Performs in most wave conditions.
  • Fast and durable.

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners. Shortboards require prior experience to use them.

Catch Surf Wave Bandit Performer 5’6″ Foam Surfboard

Wave Bandit Performer 5'6", Black

$223.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

If you think the Liquid Shredder above is responsive, you are going to be blown away with the Wave Bandit Performer. The Performer is super agile and responsive and ideal for surfers wanting fast maneuvers to pull off tricks and stunts on waves.

The fish tail design of this board allows you to catch more waves especially in slow waves. As a result, this board performs well in most wave conditions. There’s a reason it’s called the Performer anyway.

You’ll need to have some experience before using this board. However, the level of surfing experience needed isn’t that advanced and you can transition to the Performer after becoming very comfortable with your beginner surfboard.

Thanks to the EPS waterproof foam used to manufacture the deck, this board will not absorb water or decay. The marine grade plywood stringers make this board very rugged and durable allowing you to use it in tougher conditions.

 Specifications

  • Length: 5 ft 6 inches/ 167cm
  • Width: 21. in / 54 cm
  • Thickness: 3 in / 7.6 cm
  • Volume: 42 liters

Pros

  • Compact.
  • Super agile and responsive.
  • Can be used in most wave conditions.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners.

Giantex 6′ Foam Surfboard

Giantex 6' Surfboard Surfing Surf Beach Ocean Body Foamie Board with Removable Fins, Great Beginner Board for Kids, Adults and Children

$125.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

The Giantex 6′ surfboard is an excellent and versatile board that can be used by both kids and adults. If you are thinking of getting a surfboard for your kid, you should seriously consider this product.

I like that this board is very compact and lightweight making it easy to carry in and out of the water. The compact size also makes transportation and storage a lot easier. And the different available color schemes is something kids will appreciate.

The construction of this board is top-notch making it very stable, rigid, and durable. This board is designed to be used on smaller waves and as long you use it in these conditions, it’ll perform excellently. And with minimal maintenance, kids are going to use this board for a very long time.

Accessories such as removable fins and leash are included in the package saving you the cost of buying them.

 Specifications

  • Length: 6 ft / 182 cm
  • Width: 20 in / 59.8 cm
  • Thickness: 3 in / 7.6 cm
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs / 1.6 kg

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Perfect for kids and adults.
  • Very easy for kids to handle.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Should be used on smaller waves. I don’t expect you to allow your kids to surf on bigger waves anyway.

South Bay Board Co 7’7″ Elefante Foam 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

$669.00
$602.00
 in stock
5 new from $602.00
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

Another South Bay Board product on this list. The 7’7″ Elefante is a magic board that promises you loads of fun. Being a hybrid board, the Elefante has the best attributes of a short board and a longboard.

The components of this board such as the foam, I-Beam Stringers, and wooden armor are made of high-quality materials resulting in a board with superb performance and durability. There is also the patented heat release valve which prevents heat buildup in the board enhancing the durability.

Another standout feature of this board is the closed cell technology which prevents the foam top from absorbing water. Without this feature, the foam will absorb water over time, become heavier, and consequently less efficient.

 Specifications

  • Length: 7 ft 7 in / 231 cm
  • Width: 23 in / 53 cm
  • Thickness: 3 in / 7.6 cm
  • Volume: 67 liters
  • Weight: 13 lbs / 5.9 kg

Pros

  • Superb performance.
  • Patented heat release valve.
  • Ability to catch any wave.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Difficult to maneuver especially when conditions are challenging. This is typical of hybrid boards.

Rock-It 6′ Albert Foam Surfboard

Rock-It 6' Albert Surfboard (Red)

$259.98  in stock
3 new from $259.98
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of December 1, 2021 11:05 pm

The Rock It 6′ Albert is a wonderful surfboard that will have you ruling the wave. The length of this board makes it perfect for kids or adults that are looking for the challenge of a smaller board. Adults that want to use this board shouldn’t exceed 175 lbs and will do well to have prior surfing experience.

The tail fish design means this board performs well in smaller waves. And the top of the board is made of UV resistant soft top material for enhanced durability. With minimal maintenance, this board has the potential to last for a very long time.

This board should be used in slow waves as it isn’t built for use in tougher conditions. Also, you’ll find fins in the package which improve the surfing experience.

 Specifications

  • Length: 6 ft / 182 cm
  • Width: 22.4 in / 53 cm
  • Thickness: 3 in / 7.6 cm
  • Volume: 49 liters

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Very easy for kids to handle.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Best Foam Surfboards – The Guide 

What is a Foam Surfboard?

Foam surfboards are surfboards that have 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 Foam Surfboards

The major advantages of foam surfboards are their affordability, stability, lightweight, ease of paddling, and ability to catch waves. They are ideal for beginners as they are comfortable to ride. Intermediate and advanced surfers can also have foam surfboards as backup boards for summer or for small days.

Contrary to what some people may think, foam surfboards are very durable while also requiring little maintenance.

Foam surfboards aren’t without any cons as their soft rails means it’s more difficult to turn and maneuver them. This isn’t really a concern for beginner surfers although more experienced surfers may rue not being able to turn easily. Also, foam surfboards will absorb water over time. This will make them heavier which will reduce their efficiency.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Foam Surfboard

Design / Shape

The first thing to figure out after deciding to go for a foam board is the design of the board. Surfboards come in different designs or shapes with each design having specific uses or advantages. Check out my article on types of surfboards for more information.

Talking about designs, foam surfboards can be longboards, funboards, and fishboards. Longboards are over 8′ long and come with a round nose and wide deck. They are ideal for beginners and can also be used by more experienced surfers. Funboards are hybrids of a longboard and shortboard and are more responsive while providing a good level of stability.

Fishboards have a characteristic fish tail design and are very agile and easy to maneuver. However, they aren’t the most stable boards and should be used by surfers with prior experience.

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 foam surfboards is that they have a high volume which makes them easy to paddle and catch more waves.

Materials (Types of Foam)

There are different types of foams used to manufacture foam surfboards. IXPE (Irradiated Cross-Linked Polyethylene) foam is one of the most commonly used foams and is advantageous over other foams in terms of thermal insulation, being waterproof, and shock absorption.

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam is another type of foam used to manufacture foam boards and has the advantage of being the lightest I am material. However, it’s more prone to water absorption but there are now measures used by manufacturers to counter this.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) foam is used for the bottom of foam surfboards due to its incredible strength, lightweight, and resistance to weather and impact.

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

Grip (Do You Need Wax?)

If you don’t want to be constantly slipping and falling when surfing, your board should have a good grip to give you security and stability. Luckily, foam surfboards have a smooth deck which provides a good level of grip, one of the main reasons why they are recommended for beginners.

You can even use foam surfboards without applying wax. But a bar of wax is just about $2 and you should endeavor to apply it to get a bit of extra grip. There is nothing like too much grip, homie.

Leash

A surf leash is a piece of rope that is attached to the surfboard and then to the ankle of the surfer. The purpose of a surf leash is to ensure the board doesn’t separate from the surfer. This ensures that the surfer doesn’t lose his/her surfboard. I’m sure you don’t want your surfboard disappearing in the water.

Best foam surfboards - guide

Beginner vs. Intermediate vs. Advanced Surfers

Beginner surfers should go for longboards (8′ and more) as this type of board has a high volume making them very buoyant and easy to paddle. Longboards also do well on small waves allowing beginners to hone their skills on them before taking on bigger waves.

After mastering the basics of the sport, you can yourself an intermediate surfer. You have a crucial decision to make here as you have to decide whether you want to continue with a longboard or transition to a shortboard. If you want to continue with a longboard, you should take a look at a quality soft top longboard or even hard longboards if you have the budget.

If you decide to transition to a shortboard, I’d advise you to start with a funboard and eventually make the transition to a shortboard. This will let you get used to the shorter length of a shortboard.

Advanced surfers can pick any surfboard they want. They can have a foam longboard or funboard as a backup to their hard surfboard or for days when waves are small.

How to Care for Your Foam Surfboard?

Foam surfboards require less maintenance than other types of surfboards. The biggest threat to your foam board’s durability is sunlight and water absorption. About sunlight, make sure to store your board away from direct sunlight. And store your foam surfboard in a warm area after use to allow it dry completely over time.

Final Thoughts

Foam surfboards are all the rage now and rightly so. Their affordable prices make them an interesting option for beginners of all skill levels. Put in their durability and performance and foam boards become a no brainer.

Every surfer can do with a foam surfboard. Go through this article and choose a foam board design that suits your level of experience and start riding the waves to your heart’s content.

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