North Gear Surfboard has found a way to make fun affordable!
Their 6-ft foam surfboard is perfect for the novice surfer looking to improve basic skills or for young kids looking to mess around on small wave days.
This soft-top surfboard is comfortable to lie upon, and it has a super slick bottom with flexible fins. There’s less chance for injury when you are tumbled in the water because of the board’s spongy foam material.
The cool, colorful Polynesian graphics across the deck make it feel as if you are surfing in tropical islands! It is buoyant and lightweight, making it easy to carry around. For young kids, having the ability to carry their own board down to the beach builds confidence. However, being so light, it easily catches the wind, whether it is on water, on land or in your hand. Therefore, it can be somewhat hard to tame on blustery beach days.
The shape of this board is similar to a fun board, or mini-Malibu design, which typically range in length from 7’ to about 8’6”. Being 6’ in length, the North Gear foamie surfboard is a bit on the short side for an absolute beginning surfer, and considered a better “second learner” board for a person that has some basic surfing skills down. With that said, because of the affordable price, it is also a great board for just getting started with messing about in small waves and whitewater.
Fins are included and arranged in a thruster setup, which utilizes three equally sized fins for increased stability and drive. Being removable, you can also setup a twin fin system!
The rounded nose shape makes the board more buoyant so you get more float and paddle power. With the nose riding higher in the water, you are able to catch small, slow waves easily. In addition, the full, soft rails give the board some volume, which make getting into smaller, mushy waves effortless.
For slightly bigger days, the rounded tail of this board helps you gain more control.
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The continuous curve of the tail shape has a better hold on the water as you turn and maneuver the board on fast wave faces, yet it still gives plenty of lift when surfing through slower wave sections.
North Gear has a rigid, expanded polystyrene (EPS) core that is resistant to dings from low impacts. The soft deck, made from expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam, is buoyant, flexible and strong but lightweight.
Shape: Short mini-Malibu shape, rounded nose and tail, slight nose rocker
Dimensions: 6’ x 19.7” x 3”
Board weight: 10-pounds
Weight capacity: up to 220-pounds (100 kg)
Best for: Intermediate to Experienced surfers; 1-3’ waves
Characteristics: Cool deck graphics
Materials: EPE deck, EPS core, PP hard slick bottom
Fin System: Removable, Thruster setup, included
Warranty: 7-day return policy
Best Feature: Track pad (included) for better foot traction
The hard-slick polypropylene (PP) bottom glides atop the water smoothly and allows for better performance at higher speeds.
Though these three materials give the board flexibility, strength, and feather lightness, without internal stringers, the board is less able to handle big, powerful waves.
North Gear provides a track pad that makes foot placement intuitive. Being back on the tail of the board helps with turning and carving wave faces.
Without having to look at your foot placement, the track pad lets you know where your back foot is in relation to the board so you can quickly learn where it needs to be for improving and controlling your turning ability.
North Gear also supplies a leash. Having the right leash is important for both comfort and safety. Be prepared to upgrade the leash North Gear supplies if you find both of these characteristics lacking.
Pro's & Con's
- Comes with fins, leash and a track pad
- Thick, durable fins
- Great for general use
- Super cool and colorful Polynesian graphics
- Relatively quick assembly
- Soft deck, ding-resistant to low impacts
- Super slick bottom
- Great customer service
- Assembly required – check that all parts are received in shipment
- No manual for care instructions
- Small and unstable for a beginner board
- Deck material easily bubbles from heat and sunlight exposure
- Deck graphics fade quickly
- Weak leash plug
- Thin, flimsy leash
- Plugs and fin screw replacements are obtained solely through the company
- Deck material is slippery and needs wax for traction
- No stringer strength
- Strong petroleum smell when new
Do I have to wax my North Gear 6-ft foamie?
Yes. The deck of this board needs wax for traction. Most beginner surfers would not realize this and it may be the reason they have a bit of trouble when first using this board. Apply a thin coat to keep your feet from sliding off when you transition from a prone to a standing position.
How hard is it to assemble the board for use?
It is not very hard to assemble the board and the process is quick so you’re ready to hit the water in a relatively short amount of time after purchase. You will have to contact North Gear for any parts accidentally left out of your shipment, and for any replacement parts needed in the future.
How do I take care of my North Gear foam board?
There is no instruction manual included for how to care for this board. However, it’s important to note that, like any surfboard, exposure to excessive heat and sunlight will do damage. Higher quality boards can take more abuse over time. The North Gear foamie is a low-cost fun board made more for kids and young adults. If left in your car or baking on the beach on a hot sunny day, the deck will bubble and the bottom will wrinkle. That’s not good.
What type of waves can this foam board handle?
This board is best in waves that are 1-3 feet. Because the board is shorter than a typical longboard, it is less stable when just sitting atop the water. This board needs to be moving through the water with some speed for the platform to be steadier for the rider that is just learning how to balance. The lightweight construction makes this board very buoyant, making small waves in the 1-2 foot range easier to catch. However, in waves bigger than 4-feet, the lack of internal stringers combined with the feather light construction makes this board prone to snapping more easily.
Do I have to use a track pad?
You don’t need a track pad, but it’s a good idea for three reasons. First, it will help you learn proper foot placement for riding and turning the board. Being further back on the tail during a turn allows the nose to pivot and aids your turning ability. Second, your foot gets good traction and won’t slip off the board when you put your body weight on your back foot to get the nose to pivot. Finally, you don’t have to look at where your feet are landing when you jump to stand up because the track pad lets you feel where your feet are. When you get used to “walking” forward on the board to gain speed, you can walk backward toward the tail and just feel for the track pad.
For the price, this board is great for getting out and playing around in small, manageable waves. There is assembly required. You receive the parts and pieces needed to get the board usable, but because of the unique size and shape of these items, any replacements must come directly from the company. Reviewers rave about how great the customer service is, and recommend paying extra for faster delivery options.
Exposure to high temperatures and direct sunlight causes bubbling of the EPE deck material, primarily because North Gear glues it to the EPS core, as opposed to heat laminating it. Further, the graphics tend to fade fast, which only affects the board’s aesthetic qualities. Last, the maximum weight capacity is 220-pounds, yet the light construction of the board would be more suited for a maximum weight of around 150-pounds.
For an affordable, fun board for kids and young adults, the North Gear 6-ft foam surfboard will do the trick!