What to look for when buying a Softop Foam Surfboard
A few factors beyond price to consider when you’re buying a foam surfboard:
Volume is one of the most important factors when buying any surfb0ard. In general most are buying a foam board to have fun, so more value is key in most cases. Volume will help you catch waves earlier, so it’ll be easier to get to your feet.
Materials + Heat Resistance
Most foam boards are made of EPS foam, but there are variations in foam type, what stringer is inside, what the bottom materials are, etc. In general most of the foam boards are built with similar materials, but some are more durable and resist the heat better. *The last thing you want is to leave a board in your car at work and then it warps due to the heat. So check the specs to see how well they resist heat.
The foam on the R-Series is surprisingly resistant to heat. We have heard plenty of questions about the black foam in the sun. Under normal circumstances, the board should have no issues at the beach for a normal day of hanging out—which is much different than a black, glassed board.
However, in general, don’t leave a surfboard sitting direct sunlight, on the roof of your car, resting on tailpipes, or in conditions where the heat is above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
First check if the board price includes fins! Most usually come with fins, unless you are looking for something more high performance. Some foam boards have proprietary fin systems, while others allow you to use performance fins from FCS and Futures. Most fins that come with foam boards are softer and safer than traditional fins
Country of Origin
This is more important that ever with the supply chain issues we’re seeing nowadays. It is awesome to see so many boards made in the USA like Almond or Formula Fun.
Width / Length
The most common length for a foamboard is 8’0″ or “Mini Malibu”, as that is a good size for most beginners to learn on and has enough volume to help most catch waves. Most foam boards are wider than your average board (to add volume), but we’re seeing a performance trend in construction where many of the boards mirror the fiberglass volume, width and shape.
Wax or No Wax?
Some foam boards have a textured top, which prevent your feet from slipping around, others need a good bit of wax. *In our opinion, the foam boards with a texture top make for an easy day at the beach with no worries about forgetting the wax at home.