At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Foam Surfboards
Foam surfboards have ascended in the ranks over just the last few years thanks to high-quality, modern foam builds, and safe, fun “ride-ability.”
They are some of the most exciting boards to ride out there and most people are catching on to this trending board type.
The problem is, with some many emerging companies that are now producing these boards it is hard to know which are the keepers and which ones are lemons (especially when buying online).
That is why we sorted through all the brands and models to create our list of the best ones out there so you don't have to waste any time and just get to the top foam boards on the market today.
Whether you are just starting to get your surfing stance down or have been surfing for years and are looking for a change of pace, there are about a hundred reasons to add a foam surfboard to your quiver.
Come dive in with us as we go through some of the best foam surfboard reviews around!
What Is A Foam Surfboard?
Foam surfboards, otherwise known as soft top surfboards, foamies, and soft surfboards are made with a soft foam construction opposed to a hard-top fiberglass construction like standard surfboards. They are incredibly buoyant and durable, perfect for beginner riders who are just getting into the surfing game.
Most surf schools will use foam surfboards to teach their young riders, as they are very easy to catch waves with as well. As with fiberglass surfboards, there are many different kinds of foam surfboards, which we will go through!
QUICK OVERVIEW: Our Top 3 Best Foam Surfboards
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The Top 9
Our #1 Choice - SBBC Ruccus 7’
The SBBC Ruccus is one of our absolute favorite boards from the South Bay Board Co. It comes with some top-notch features, including an HDPE slick double concave bottom, an IXPE fingerprint deck for wax-less riding, tapered rails for a balanced ride, and a GoPro mount for the cinematic surfers out there.
At just 7’ long and 22” wide, the Ruccus is best for smaller surfers, as it only carries up to 170 pounds before giving out. Plus, it only weighs 10 pounds, meaning hauling it down to the water will be an absolute breeze! It has a shortboard-like shape with a squash tail and a narrow nose, giving the rider a bit more maneuverability than what they would get with a standard longboard-style foam surfboard. This is the same reason why we would not recommend it for beginner surfers.
If you are just starting out, that added maneuverability and complex design might present a bit of a learning curve for you, which may not be in your favor. However, if you are looking for a board that presents a smooth and versatile riding experience, the Ruccus is just about the best foam top surfboard on the market right now, and we would highly recommend it.
It comes with a leash and a set of fins as well, though you can opt for a traction pad too, that is, if you don’t find that the wax-less deck is enough for you. Of course, once you start getting more comfortable, the addition of traction pad will allow you to actually shred this board.
#2 Wavestorm 8’
If you’re looking to be a total OG when out on the water, we recommend picking up a Wavestorm surfboard. This foam surfboard is an absolute classic Costco foam surfboard that can surf in just about any conditions. Yes, this thing has even been seen on one of the biggest waves in the world, though it is most often found at tourist-filled, beginner beaches.
Overall, the Wavestorm is excellent for beginners. The Rasta design will definitely stand out in the water too! It is made with a durable foam construction that comes complete with a triple-stringer EPS core and a barrier skin crosslink top deck, giving riders a stable yet flexible riding experience.
The bottom is crafted with an HDPE slick bottom that gives the Wavestorm an even more durable character.
This 8ft foam surfboard comes complete with removable rubber fins and a leash, meaning you have everything you need to get started right away. There is even a traction pad for those who want to get a little tricky on the water (as much as you can possibly get with one of these soft logs). We recommend this board to beginners mostly, as it is not the most maneuverable in the world. You’ll likely end up growing out of it pretty quickly. With that said, if you are just starting out on your surfing journey, it’s a must-have.
#3 THURSO SURF Lancer 5'10'' Fish
The Thurso Surf Lance 5’10” Fish is a great kids foam surfboard. It comes with a solid pair of twin fins to get you out on the water right away. With fish surfboard dimensions, most surfers expect to get a thin, shortboard-like board that will shred with ease. The thing is, the board actually stays quite wide from the tail up to the nose, meaning you’ll be provided with stability more than anything. In all reality, this board is more of an egg board.
It is an excellent step up from longboards, though almost as easy to pop up on and find the right balance. It has a focus on glide and stability with a high-density EPS core, which is the reason why the board feels so buoyant and lightweight.
The EPS core is also very stiff, allowing you to shoot straight down the line with straight speed. Pair that with the HDPE slick bottom, and you have a board that is just as responsive as it is durable.
The main feature that makes this board unique is the fish tail, which provides both traction and hold from rail to rail, allowing for more lift. Even high-performance surfers will enjoy the little bit of extra action that they can pull out of this bad boy.
#4 California Board Company 8’
With a wood deck graphic that is surprisingly high-quality, you may actually think that this is a legitimate longboard at first glance. Though it may not look like it, it is 100% your standard longboard foamie. Plus, at just about 16 pounds, it is a serious log. Luckily, this log is perfect for surfers who are larger, especially those that outweigh the capacity of many of the smaller boards on our list.
The California Board Company 8’ uses heat laminated construction with a triple stringer design, each of which are also laminated. Serious strength? You bet. It comes with your typical HDPE slick bottom, which provides you with a 100% waterproof EPS core, which is, you guessed it, heat laminated.
How do you think they got that sick wood graphic to stick so well? That is pure heat lamination from top to bottom!
The point that we’re trying to make here is that if you need a board that will get you through the harshest of wave realities, it is the California Board Company 8’ that you are looking for. Do note that it is one of the least maneuverable boards on our list thanks to the sheer size, and big waves don’t react so well with its rigid design. For beginners, however, it may just be a top-notch choice, as it provides a calm ride when the waves aren’t looking too hot.
#5 Giantex 6’
If we’re talking about the best foam surfboard for beginners (and by beginners we mean children), then it is likely that we are talking about the Giantex 6’. This oversized boogie board is made with a durable top foam and a slick HDPE bottom for greater speed. It is surprisingly responsive for its bulky shape, and the stiffness provides a bit of speed to help get in front of the waves. The free leash and traction pad are totally comfortable to use, perfect for providing all of the comfort that is necessary for beginner surfers.
Just like many of the other boards listed here, the Giantex comes with an EPS core for better structural integrity.
It includes fins and a leash so that you don’t have to bother with shopping around for the perfect set before you get out in the water. There is also a traction pad that rests at the back, which seems a bit pointless considering the entry-level nature of this board, though nonetheless, it is a nice look.
Overall, the Giantex 6’ is a promising soft top surfboard for young kids who are just getting their feet wet. It is aesthetically pleasing and fun to mess around with.
#6 Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Performer
When it comes to crafting these little Performer boards, Ben Gravy is at the forefront of it all. You may know him from the slew of vlogs that feature him adventuring around the world, shredding waves and taking names. The Ben Gravy Performer comes with his sweet little signature Pineapple head graphic that will give you a fresh to death look out in the water.
The board is designed with a high-performance fish shape and a shallow rocker, which when added together create the perfect dish of pure fun. Inside there are two wood stringers and a dual-composite core.
The core provides maximum stiffness thanks to the high-pressure construction, which will have you flying down the line like an absolute madman. The board comes complete with a special set of 4.5” thruster foam surfboard fins so that you can hop on in the water right when it shows up at your doorstep.
Unlike some of the other boards on our list, this one will require a bit of love in the wax department, as it doesn’t have your fancy fingerprint deck. Beyond that, the Gravy Performer is a true icon in the world of soft surfing. Anyone looking for some unique summer fun needs to add one of these pineapple-laden boards to their quiver.
#7 SBBC Guppy 6’
When people ask about kids foam top surfboards, it’s pretty hard to recommend any without mentioning the Guppy 6’ from South Bay Board Co. This little six-footer can support groms up to 150 pounds, and uses an IXPE top deck with a diamond weave slick HDPE bottom. The EPS closed-cell foam is pretty standard procedure, making it an excellent board for all your little one’s basic needs. Plus, it is designed with a rounded, beginner-friendly shape.
The Guppy has a rounded nose and tail rocker, though the tail is semi-squared to provide a mixture of both stability and performance.
Throw that slick bottom in the mix and you’re talking a surprising amount of speed down the face. Some other cool features on the Guppy include the lined fin holes, which help to prevent any water from seeping in, as well as the heat-laminated deck for added durability.
Each Guppy comes with three rounded safe edge screw-in surfboard fins, two fins screws, a leash plug screw, and of course, a surfboard leash, which is a quality leash to say the least. With its small and non-intimidating size, it might just be one of the best little surfboards on the market for children.
#8 Wave Bandit EZ Rider 7'
If you’re looking to take it easy this summer, there is no better board than the EZ Rider. It’s a 7ft foam surfboard that will take you back to the 1980s, where bright neon graphics and simple summer excitement ruled the shoreline. Just one look at that bright blue and pink deck will have you singing some Motley Crue. Of course, they do have a ton of other color designs as well, perfect for any hair metal band of your choice.
At 7.0” and 17 pounds, it is smack dab in the middle of solid sizing for beginners and experienced surfers. The front end of the board is a bit rounded, and it moves its way to the square tail in the back, creating a fun egg shape that will actually get you further than the majority of foam boards out there.
If you were to dissect the board, you’d find dual maple wood stringers that help to provide a rigid character, allowing the board to maintain structural integrity no matter what kind of madness you put it through. Pair that with the EPS core and the HDPE slick bottom, and you have yourself a serious durable and stable board. The EZ Rider comes with a tri fin setup and removable plug-thru fins, meaning you can paddle out as soon as you pick up a leash to go along with it.
#9 Liquid Shredder FSE
While the name may suggest that this board will have you shredding onto the great walls of Poseidon, it is definitely more fit for cruising on some sultry summer waves. Uniquely enough, it makes use of a simple polypropylene bottom instead of the ever-so-popular HDPE slick bottom design that can be seen on just about every foam-top on the market. This means that it isn’t nearly as rigid. Luckily, the two wooden stringers and the center fiberglass stringer help to provide it with all of the stability and durability it needs.
The foam deck is made with expanded polyethylene, which is surprisingly comfortable.
Unfortunately, you will need to give it a good wax job, as EPE isn’t the best when it comes to anti-slip materials. What we do love about the Liquid Shredder is that it is fast. It paddles like an absolute charm and glides like a seagull down to the bay. Much of this has to do with the fact that board is shaped like a literal torpedo.
It comes with three fins, though no leash, so make sure to get one before you lose your board to the deep blue.
Foam Surfboard Size Chart
There are a couple factors that you’ll want to consider when buying a foam surfboard. One of the very first things is to find out which surfboard is best for you in terms of your weight and experience level.
Typically, a beginner will want a board that is a bit longer and thicker because they are much easier to learn to ride on. When you have that extra flotation and stability, it can help you to paddle and pop-up in a much easier manner.
A surfer who is more experienced will probably want a board that is more maneuverable rather than stable. Though there is no golden rule for sizing, here is a small chart so that you can have a better idea of what to look for.
Shortboard - Beginners
SHORTBOARD – INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED
LONGBOARD – BEGINNERS
Longboard – Intermediate / Advanced
Should I get a foam shortboard or a foam longboard?
The type of foam board you should get depends on the following things: your skill level, the quality of the surf breaks you plan to surf in, and the direction you want to take your surfing to. If it will be your first time to try surfing, the longboard should be more forgiving. However, if you are an intermediate surfer looking to practice your skills to transition to advanced surfing, a foam shortboard will quickly improve your surfing minus the worry of hurting other people or dinging your board as you practice.
What would the best board be for a beginner?
If you’re a beginner, there are certainly some key factors that you want to look for when you get a soft-top. First off, you want your board to be long and wide. Secondly, you want your board to be high in volume. When all of these factors work together, you’ll have aboard that is far more stable, much easier to catch waves with, much easier to paddle with, and much easier to control when the surf becomes a little too crazy for you.
Do you wax a foam surfboard?
Many surfers believe that soft tops no longer need to be waxed. This, however, is wrong. You will still need to wax your foam surfboard, although maybe not as much as you would SBBC Ruccus 7’ a regular hard surfboard.
How do I care for a foam surfboard so that it stays in the best shape?
Always remember to rinse your board with fresh water after every session because saltwater will cause your board to become brittle especially when you leave it under the sun. With this said, always store your soft boards in cool and dry places that will not obstruct other activities in your house.
Should I choose a foam surfboard to learn how to surf?
There are no hard and fast rules about which type of board you should start learning on; however, using a foam surfboard holds many advantages over a regular board. Not only will you be guaranteed of stable surf quality, you won’t have to worry about mistakenly dinging your board during unforeseen accidents. The material in soft boards makes for very durable boards that can last a long time. They are also easy to pack away and store.
Are there any other types of surfboards I should look into?
The fun in surfing comes from knowing how differently many types of boards feel so be sure to try each one you can! The more you know, the more you will understand, and so, the better you will surf.
What To Consider When Buying
With the insane variety of boards out are on the market these days, the first thing that is easiest to consider is the overall design. You want to find a board that will complement the kind of surfing that you will be doing. Will you be surfing large or small waves? Are you going to be traveling? Design is easiest focus on because it encompasses so many things. Beginners especially should not get wrapped up in the details like rocker or nose types. Looking at design makes it easy to knock out about 80% of the boards that you will definitely not be purchasing.
Okay this is beginning to sound like science. Most people never even consider the volume of their boards, even though it is so incredibly important. If you are looking to get out into bigger and more erratic waves, get a board with less volume. If you are looking to get out into flatter and mushier waves where you’ll have to up your paddling speed, try and find a board with more volume. Most boards have the volume written on them when you purchase them, though there are also volume calculators online to give you a better idea if you’re unsure.
We can’t stress the importance of getting a durable board, especially if you want a board that is going to last you over the years. One thing to look for on a board is ding-resistant durability. This means that when you accidentally bang your board against the wall on the way out of your house or drop it in the street on the way over to the shores, it will have a better chance of surviving without issue. Another thing to look at is performance durability. Performance durability is the board’s ability to retain flex during sessions. Check out reviews to see how durable your desired board is!
Length and Width
The length of a board is measured from the nose to the tail. It’s very important to check out the length, especially if you’re a beginner. We’ve seen too many beginner surfers try and go out for their first time on 6-footers. For a beginner surfer, the wider the surfboard, the better. Having that extra width and surface area gives you much more stability. Try and look for boards that are at least 20 inches across. This should be more than wide enough, while also not being too wide to carry down to the water under your arms. Don’t be a kook and drag your board.
Wavestorm has solidified it’s place at the top of the foam surfboard industry over the past few years. Their board models are few, though extremely cheap with solid build qualities. Their boards are perfect for beginners who are getting out for the first time and need something durable and easy to ride that won’t be a risk in terms of price. It’s also excellent for surfers who are advanced and are maybe tired of riding around on thrusters everyday. Just ask Jamie O’Brien who has been seen sporting his Wavestorms out in Hawaiian barrels. Turn the short days into magical days with the Wavestorm.
If you are an avid shortboard rider, there’s no doubt that you feel stressed out when the waves aren’t so hot some day. If you want to get out there and start riding, though aren’t too fond of the longboard style, we highly recommend checking out boards from Catch Surf. Their foam-top beater boards are perfect for the low rollers. Their boards are no larger than 5’ long and are crafted to be durable with thick foam and strong plywood. Even if your shore breaks at your local spot are quick, these boards can act as much safer and better performing alternatives than your regular shortboard.
If you want to check out a soft-top brand that is born from creativity and has performance in mind, check out Softech. These guys build their high-quality soft-top boards from hand and also have a wide array of crazy and artsy style to give you some flare when you’re out hitting the waves. From little beaters and grovelers to shortboards, Softech has a variety of boards to suit almost every surfer. They just recently began developing their boards with FCS fins to give them more of a competitive edge, which is even better!
Even with being a fairly new company, Storm Blade has made quite a name for themselves in the world of soft-top surfboards. Their high-quality boards range from 5’ to 10’ and can be found in standard shortboard and longboard shapes. All of their boards are reinforced with molded cores and the latest in surf technology. Whether you’re a beginner that is in need of a board to get you excited to be out in the water, or a veteran who wants to step off the hard-top for a while, Storm Blade has a great line of boards.
Foam Surfboard Vs. Fiberglass
Foam surfboards are great for beginner surfers. They paddle with ease, have tons of stability, and can make wave-catching so much easier, especially when you’re dealing with summer days that are full of whitewater. The idea of foam surfboards is that they’re made for fun.
When compared to fiberglass boards, foam surfboards are much stronger. They won’t suffer serious dents or damage like fiberglass boards will. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to absorption due to their foam nature, though it is an unlikely case unless you are truly beating the life out of your board.
Of course, you aren’t going to get the same kind of high-performance characteristics that you would with a fiberglass board. Fiberglass boards are much faster and lighter, allowing for better maneuvering overall. For competition surfers and surfers that are looking to push their limits, there is no replacement for a good fiberglass board.
Overall, we recommend that everyone has a foam surfboard, regardless of skill level. Not only do they provide fun, safety, and durability, but they also provide a completely different surfing experience that fiberglass boards can’t.
The Verdict - Which Board?
So now that you’ve read through our favorite foam board surfboard reviews, you’re probably asking yourself,
“Where do I go from here?”
The only place to go is down to the shoreline. If we were to recommend any of these boards to you, it would be the SBBC Ruccus 7’. It is a board made for fun, and comes with all of the features and accessories that you would expect from a high-performance shred stick.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to go with the Ruccus, make sure to get yourself a solid foam surfboard for this summer. You can even buy a used foam surfboard if you aren’t too sure about your commitment yet! Whatever you choose, we hope that our little guide was helpful in taking you one step closer to that answer.