best soft top surfboard

8 Best Soft Top Surfboards of 2019

Thinking back to when I first tried surfing, I realize I was foolishly punishing myself trying to learn on a fiberglass surfboard. Maybe that was the reason I was I felt discouraged at first. Fiberglass surfboards were uncomfortable, unforgiving, and wow, did it hurt each time that board hit me when I bailed (back in the days before I learned to fall away from the board). Little did I know soft top surfboards were actually a thing! These days I would encourage anyone learning to pick surfing up on a soft top board first of all so they don't get the punishing introduction to the sport that I received all those years ago.

There's no arguing that soft surfboards are for beginners - and once you've put your pride aside from a minute you'll quickly realize there is a valid reason behind it. First, they are stable, so it's easy to get up, and once you're up, you're hooked. Second, as a beginner you're gonna fall. A lot! You will make mistakes and using a soft top surfboard is forgiving and will allow you to learn faster and enjoy your time in the water more . It is also buoyant so, paddling is easy-peasy and way less tiring. These boards are so versatile that even experienced surfers enjoy using it them sometimes for a bit of fun and goofing around.

When researching the top soft top surfboards people are learning on in 2019 we had a lot of fun riding these boards ourselves, as well as talking to some of the big surf schools to find out which they'll be investing in for their students. Armed with this info we're able to confidently list down the 8 best soft top surfboards, tried and tested, that hundreds of newbies will be learning on out in the waves this year.

Best Soft Top Surfboards : Top Picks

Giantex 6'   Surfboard 

Best for Beginners 

Giantex 6' Surfboard
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    Good for both adult and children beginners
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    Can carry surfers weighing 200 pounds 
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    Has funky designs 

Rated by: Thomas

Gold Coast Heritage Surfboard 

Best for Big Waves 

Gold Coast Surfboards
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    Can carry surfers weighing 230 pounds 
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    Bottom deck is made of Diamond Weave Slick HDPE 
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    Can keep up with the waves 

Rated by: Thomas

Wave Bandit Shred Sled 

Best for Small Waves 

Wave Bandit EZ Rider
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    Needs surf wax for grip 
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    Best for small and calm waves 
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    It has removable twin fins.

Rated by: Thomas

Giantex 6' Surf Foamie surfboard 

Quick Summary

Giantex 6' Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

First on the list is the Giantex 6' Surfboard Surf Foamie Boards Surfing Beach Ocean Body Boarding Red. This soft top surfboard is suited for adults and children just starting out.

This surfboard is made of durable top foam with an HDPE high-speed bottom. It is 72 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 3 inches thick. It weighs 10 pounds and can carry a surfer weighing a maximum of 200 pounds. I'm a little over 200 pounds and was surprised at how well this surfboard still supported me.

The Giantex 6' Surf Foamie Board is made of EPE or expanded polyethylene, providing consistent durability and great cushioning that feels pretty much shockproof. 

Together with its EPE component, its core is also made of EPS or expanded polystyrene. I'll admit it also helps that it has funky designs and comes in bright colors, though I'm not sure whether they'll make you a better surfer.

PROS

  • It is good for both adults and children beginning to learn.
  • It has a funky design and comes in bright colors. 
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    It is lightweight.

CONS

  • The paint has a tendency to fade easily.
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    It cannot be left under the sun because it can create bubbles on the board.

Liquid Shredder 70 FSE EPS/PE Soft Surfboard 

Quick Summary

Liquid-Shredder-Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

The Liquid Shredder 70 FSE EPS/PE Soft Surfboard is 7 feet in height, 20 inches in width, and 2.75 inches in thickness. The core is made of EPS (expanded polystyrene), in between a deck made of EPE (expanded polyethylene) and a bottom made of PP (polypropylene). It also has two wooden stringers that provide the stiffness needed for optimal performance.

The Liquid Shredder 70 FSE EPS/PE Soft Surfboard is hand-shaped and heat-laminated to guarantee high performance. This is something you feel immediately once you are out on the water.

This surfboard feels solid and fast! It doesn't feel hard and abrasive against the body, making it comfortable to paddle on. The added buoyancy doesn't hurt either.

PROS

  • It is lightweight and portable.
  • It comes with three fins. 
  • It is affordable. 

CONS

  • It does not come with a leash.
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    The fins are made of plastic and could break easily.

THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Surfboard Package 

Quick Summary

THURSO SURF Lancer

Rated by: Thomas

Next on the list is the THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Surfboard Package. It is 5 feet and 10 inches in length, 20.08 inches in width, and 2.76 inches in thickness. It weighs 6 pounds and can carry riders weighing a maximum of 200 pounds.

The complete package comes with the surfboard, 6-inch high-end double stainless steel swivels, twin fins, anda  triple rail saver ankle leash.

One thing I found quite cool about the ankle leash is that it is made of strong recycled plastic. A feature I appreciate about the THURSO SURF is its solid performance and smooth glide. If you're stepping up a level this surfboard can make you feel like a more experienced surfer in the water, even when sometime clearly you're not. 

The THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish Soft Top Surfboard is extremely lightweight and floats easily. It has two wood stringers for rigidity, and a fishtail that provides the board with more stability once you learn to turn. I personally felt some great traction riding this surfboard and it can definitely increase the confidence of a rider beginning to execute turns in the wave. Another feature worth mentioning is the adjustable fin box that makes the surfboard easy to transport to the beach.

PROS

  • It is lightweight.
  • Despite its size it can carry larger riders. 

CONS

  • The adjustable fins can sometimes fall off easily and may have to be reattached.

South Bay Board Co. Soft Top 8 Feet and 8 Inches Heritage Surfboard 

Quick Summary

Gold Coast Surfboards

Rated by: Thomas

Seen riding the waves for a long time, the South Bay Board Co. has become something of recognized name in soft top surfboards.

Measuring in length at 8’8" the Heritage Surfboard is  23 inches at its width, and 3.25 inches in thickness. This water armour is probably the one that has the biggest rider weight capacity at a whopping 230 pounds. And, yes, people still surf at 230 pounds!

This South Bay Board Co. complete package comes with the surfboard, three rounded safe edge screw-in surfboard fins, five 2-inch fin screws, one 2-inch leash plug crew, and one 9 feet surfboard leash.

The 8’8 Heritage Soft Top Surfboard is made special with a croc skinned top deck fortified with IXPE foam. Its bottom deck is made of Diamond Weave Slick HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene); the materials and construction make this surfboard one of a kind. Being on the heavier side myself I can vouch for this as I never found this board hard to maneuver in the water, and found paddling out easy despite it's formidable size.

PROS

  • Its rider capacity is up to 230 pounds.
  • Due to its size it really gets carried along in the waves, providing an awesome surfing experience. 

CONS

  • This surfboard can be a little heavy for some people.

Wave Bandit Shred Sled 48 Twin 

Quick Summary

Wave Bandit EZ Rider

Rated by: Thomas

The Wave Bandit Shred Sled 48 Twin is a board that was made for smaller waves.

This egg-shaped, full-rounded nose, rounded-square tail, and slight rocker surfboard measures 4 feet in length, 18 inches in width, and 2.5 inches in thickness. I recommend this surfboard for when it's a bit calmer out, where it really comes into its own and virtually guarantees fun!

The Wave Bandit Shred Sled 48 Twin has a dual composite core, HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)  slick bottom.

It also boasts of high-pressure construction. It has twin fins that are removable. Its pro-leash style is included in the package. 

As awesome as this board is, I cannot recommend it for those who are looking to catch the big waves, though though If you have some calmer days and still want to get out there you'll be happy to have this little rocket in your quiver.

PROS

  • You can still go out on smaller waves.
  • It has removable twin fins. 
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    It has a pro-style leash.

CONS

  • It's small, so takes some practice to stand up.

Wavestorm 8' Surfboard with Sunburst Graphic 

Quick Summary

Wavestorm Surfboard with Sunburst Graphic

Rated by: Thomas

When it was my turn to test out the Wavestorm 8' Surfboard, I was told repeatedly that it's considered the most popular learner surfboard in the United States. When I tried it I immediately understood why - it's lightweight and comfortable to use in the water, can take a battering, and is quick and easy to replace.

The Wavestorm 8' Surfboard is made of soft water barrier skin crosslink top deck, rails, plus EPS (expanded polystyrene) core with three marine-ply stringers, and a textured traction pad that provides a stable and grippy surface for your feet while surfing.

With its  HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) slick bottom, it can solidly support those heavier riders (recognizing a theme here?) with a maximum weight of 200 pounds. The vibrant graphics are by the AGIT Global's Patented Graphic Film Technology.

PROS

  • This surfboard provides a lot of grip and stability.
  • It is a great learner surfboard. 

CONS

  • It may be a little pricey for true beginner surfboard.

Wavestorm 8' Surfboard with Brushed Graphic 

Quick Summary

Wavestorm Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

Next on my list is the Wavestorm 8' Surfboard with Brushed Graphic. If I am being honest, the reason I decided to test this baby out is because of its design and color.

Its features, characteristics, and the ride feel are similar with the Wavestorm 8' Surfboard with Sunburst Graphic, except that this surfboard’s design is more elaborate.

PROS

  • It has a more elaborate design than the Wavestorm Surfboard, Sunburst Graphic.
  • It comes with fins, leash, and surfboard sock. 

CONS

  • A little expensive for someone who just wants to try surfing.

8. Liquid Shredder FSE EPS/PE Soft Surfboard

Quick Summary

Liquid Shredder 70 FSE EPS/PE Soft Surfboard

Rated by: Thomas

Last but not  least on my list is the Liquid Shredder FSE EPS/PE Soft Surfboard. This classic surfboard has been around for a long time and with good reason.

It measures 6 feet in length, 20 inches in width, and 2.5 inches in thickness. It weighs around 9 pounds with a volume of 44 liters; just enough to carry surfers weighing a maximum of 120 pounds.

I have to admit that as cool-looking as this surfboard is, it did not support me the way I wanted it to. That’s not really the surfboard’s problem, though compared with the other soft top and foam surfboards listed here it's less stable.

The Liquid Shredder surfboard is made of EPS (expanded polystyrene) core, EPE (expanded polyethylene) deck, and white PP (polypropylene) bottom. It also has two wooden stringers that provide rigidity required for optimum riding experience.

PROS

  • It is solid and fast in the water.
  • It is safe to use, especially for newbies.

CONS

  • Less stable, so not suited for those on the heavy side.
  • It does not come with a leash.

What You Need to Know to Get the Best Soft Top and Foam Surfboards to Suit Your Needs 

As I have mentioned, soft top surfboards are great choices for beginners and newbies. Being new to surfing will entail a lot of challenges, not least when it comes to choosing the right tools and gear.

But even so, there is no need for you to worry if you don’t know a thing about buying for the best foam surfboards available today. We hope to have included in this guide some of the things to consider that may help you in making your buying decisions.

And with that said, it pay to pay attention to some of the factors listed below as they may dramatically affect the overall quality of the surfboard.

The Construction and Built of The Soft Top Surfboard

The very first thing that you need to consider when buying for a soft top surfboard is the construction of the product. Today, there are actually two build types of a soft top surfboard.

The first type is the soft top surfboard in which the top is glued to the board. As for the second type, it is the type in which the soft top material is heat sealed to the board.

Now, if you are looking for a much cheaper option, the first type may be the best option for you. However, the quality of this type is not the best in this class of foam surfboards. This is because the glue that is used in these boards always hold the material and the board together for a long time. Especially if the board is seeing a lot of use

surfing frequency

This is because salt water can largely deteriorate the glue. And when this happens, it will tear off your board. At this point, you can no longer use it and any fix is likely to be short lived.

On the other hand, a heat-sealed soft top surfboard is a much wiser choice. This is because it is much more durable as the foam material and the board is built as a single piece that can endure continuous usage.

Although it may require a few hundreds of dollars more, it will be  worth it because it will last for a very long period of time.

Hence, its very safe to say that the type of the construction and built can largely determine the overall durability of the soft top surfboard.

The Number of Times You Will Surf 

Surfing is an extreme sport that you may not be able to do very often, that is of course unless you are lucky enough to be getting paid for your passion. But for most people like us, not all of whom live near the beach, or are only trying it out to see if you will like it, then before you decide to buy a surfboard, consider how many times you will use it.

As we all know, the best soft top surfboards do not come cheap. It is best to make sure before shelling out big bucks that you will get your money’s worth.

The Price 

Not all surfboards are created equally, so they also do not cost the same. The price you are willing to pay is directly relative to the quality of the surfboard you get.

If you feel like you are going to just surf once and will most likely not do it again, look for a cheaper surfboard. But, if you are looking to really get into the surfing scene, then, this is the time you might as well invest and buy a quality surfboard that will grow with you.

And line with the construction and quality of the surfboard, heat-sealed soft top surfboards and the ones that use epoxy sealants will cost you more. But, remember, these are  the most durable types.

Nevertheless, you know what’s best and what fits for you. Hence, the amount you budget for a new foam surfboard will depend mostly on your personal preferences.

The Rider’s Weight 

You have to know your weight before deciding on a surfboard. If you are too heavy for a board, then you just wasted your money. It is important for you to note that your weight plays a huge role in choosing the best soft top surfboards for you.

surfer's weight

In fact, this does not only apply when buying foam surfboards. Even when you are choosing a more traditional types of surfboards as your surfing improves, your weight and height will matter.

So before going out to buy one, step on a weighing scale first. Also, if you go shopping for a new surfboard in person, do not be shy to ask store representatives for advice.

I Love Soft Top Surfboards but… 

...I love the South Bay Board Co's 8’8 Heritage Surfboard the most. If I'm going out for a day at the beach with the family I personally prefer to bring along a soft top board because not only are they cheaper, but unlike fiberglass surfboards they do not get so many dings and dents when a range of people are using them. Also, foam surfboards are easy to transport, lightweight, and therefore easy to carry as well.

What I like most about the South Bay Board Co's foam Surfboard  8’8 Heritage is it's the complete package, coming with the surfboard itself, three rounded safe edge screw in surfboard fins, five 2-inch fin screws, one 2-inch leash plug crew, and one 9 feet surfboard leash. That croc skin texture makes all the difference paired with the IXPE foam and its bottom deck made of Diamond Weave Slick HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene). 

Gold Coast Surfboards

The South Bay Board Co. 8’8 Heritage Surfboard is one of the best soft top surfboards in 2019 because this surfboard can carry surfers weighing up to 230 pounds. Pretty awesome, right? The support it gave me was impeccable and there was enough space for me to be able to stand easily.

Who knows, maybe next time I go out on this board I'll take my dog along for the ride too. There's definitely room for the both of us...