Best Soft Top Surfboards: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Board for Surfing Bliss

Best Soft Top Surfboards


Soft top surfboards stand out in the surfing community for their unmatched blend of safety, comfort, and performance. Characterized by their soft foam deck, these boards significantly reduce the risk of injuries, making them a great option for beginner surfers and a fun alternative for experienced surfers looking to enjoy a more relaxed session. The soft top design isn't just about safety, though; it also ensures a high level of buoyancy, making it easier to catch waves and maintain stability on the water.

best soft top surfboard

The appeal of soft top surfboards extends beyond just novices. With advances in surfboard technology, these boards now come in various shapes and sizes, catering to intermediate surfers and anyone looking for a surfing experience that combines a bit of challenge with undeniable fun. Whether it's the durability, the ease of paddling, or the ability to surf in a wide range of waves, choosing the right soft top surfboard can significantly enhance both your performance and enjoyment in the ocean.

Choosing the Best Soft Top Surfboards: A Buyer's Guide

Finding the perfect soft top surfboard involves understanding several critical factors that influence your board's performance, safety, and suitability for your surfing level. Here's a detailed breakdown to guide your selection process:

features of best soft top surfboards

Key Factors to Consider


  • Longer Boards: Offer stability and are ideal for beginners.
  • Shorter Boards: Provide better maneuverability for advanced surfers.


  • High Volume: Increases buoyancy, making it easier to paddle and catch waves. Suitable for beginners.
  • Low Volume: Offers more control and is typically preferred by experienced surfers.


  • Wider Nose: Enhances stability and ease of catching waves, perfect for new surfers.
  • Narrower Tail: Allows for sharper turns, catering to the needs of intermediate and advanced surfers.

Importance of Soft Foam Deck

  • Safety: The soft foam deck minimizes the risk of injuries, making it a safer choice for surfers of all skill levels.
  • Performance: Provides a forgiving platform that boosts confidence, especially for beginners. It also plays a crucial role in the board's overall durability.

Choosing the Right Soft Top Surfboard

  • Assess Your Skill Level: Beginner, intermediate, or advanced? Choose a board that matches your current abilities and goals.
  • Consider Your Surfing Environment: Different boards excel in various wave conditions. Consider the typical waves you'll be surfing.
  • Durability and Construction: Look for boards with a reputation for long-lasting construction and materials that can withstand regular use.
  • Brand and Reviews: Research brands and read user reviews to understand the performance and durability of their soft top surfboards.

By taking these factors into account, you can select a soft top surfboard that not only suits your current needs but also supports your progression as a surfer. The right board will enhance your performance, ensure your safety, and increase your enjoyment of the sport.

Top Picks for Best Soft Top Surfboards

CBC 5'8" Sushi Foam Surfboard

CBC 5'8" Sushi Foam Surfboard

The CBC 5'8" Sushi Foam Surfboard is engineered for optimum performance, offering the perfect blend of lightweight durability and maneuverability. With its robust EPS core, unique rocker profile, wide nose for stability, and round tail for high maneuverability, this board is designed for both beginners exploring the basics and seasoned surfers refining their skills.


  • Lightweight Yet Sturdy Design: Features a robust EPS core that balances lightness with durability.
  • Enhanced Control and Stability: The wide nose and round tail design ensure smooth paddling and easy wave catching.
  • Versatile Performance: Suitable for a range of surfing abilities, from newcomers to experienced riders.
  • Comprehensive Package: Comes with matching blue surf fins, a PU surf leash, and a preinstalled traction pad for immediate use.


  • Weight Limit: Best suited for surfers up to 160 lbs, which may limit usage for larger individuals.
  • Skill Level Specific: While it's versatile, beginners might outgrow it as they progress.


The CBC 5'8" Sushi Foam Surfboard is an excellent choice for surfers looking for a lightweight, durable board that doesn't compromise on performance. Its construction and design cater to a wide audience, making it an ideal starter board that can also challenge intermediate skills. Whether you're learning the basics or searching for a fun, responsive board, Foam Surfboard is worth considering. However, keep in mind that the weight capacity of this board is 160 lbs. Larger, adult surfers might want to explore options that  better accommodate their needs.

CBC 6' Slasher Foam Surfboard

CBC 6' Slasher Foam Surfboard

The CBC 6' Slasher Foam Surfboard blends top-notch construction with versatile performance, making it an ideal choice for surfers of all levels. Designed to navigate through tough waves smoothly, its lightweight foam core and sturdy build promise a stable ride. This board doubles as a traditional surfboard and a stand-up paddleboard, offering great value and adaptability for water sports enthusiasts.


  • Versatile Use: Functions both as a surfboard and stand-up paddleboard.
  • Lightweight and Durable: Features a high-density, waterproof EPS foam core for easy handling and long-term use.
  • Enhanced Grip: The IXPE/XPE deck skin provides ample grip even before waxing.
  • Optimal Control: Comes with a tri-fin system for improved stability and maneuverability.


  • Limited Weight Capacity: Best suited for users up to 160 lbs, potentially excluding larger surfers.
  • Accessory Limitation: Includes surf fins but lacks a leash, necessitating an additional purchase.


The CBC 6' Slasher Foam Surfboard is a fantastic option for those seeking a multi-functional, durable, and user-friendly surfboard. Its design caters to both beginners and seasoned surfers, offering a smooth and enjoyable ride. The board's construction quality and versatility represent excellent value, especially for individuals looking to explore different aspects of water sports without breaking the bank. However, consider the 160 lb weight capacity and the need to buy a leash separately when making your purchase decision.

CBC 6'2" Sushi Foam Surfboard

CBC 6'2" Sushi Foam Surfboard

The CBC 6'2" Sushi Foam Surfboard Soft Top is designed for surfers looking for a blend of flexibility, durability, and eye-catching style. Featuring a 100% waterproof foam core and reinforced with molded-in laminated wood stringers, this surfboard promises a reliable and smooth ride. Its user-friendly design, complete with an attached traction pad and a vibrant bottom graphic, makes it suitable for a range of surfers, from small beginners to more advanced riders.


  • Durability and Flexibility: Reinforced with laminated wood stringers for added structure.
  • Excellent Grip: Comes with an IXPE/XPE deck skin and an attached traction pad.
  • Versatile Performance: Adaptable to various skill levels with a weight capacity of up to 175 lbs.
  • Complete Package: Includes three surf fins and a PU surf leash for immediate use.


  • Weight Limitation: May not be suitable for surfers over 175 lbs.
  • Focused Design: Primarily tailored for small to medium-sized riders, which might limit its appeal to larger surfers seeking a foam board.


The CBC 6'2" Sushi Foam Surfboard is an excellent choice for young or beginner surfers taking their first steps in surfing, as well as for more experienced surfers in search of a fun, reliable foam board. Its construction is built to last, while the design ensures both performance and safety on the waves. If you're under 175 lbs and looking for a versatile board that comes ready to hit the water, the Sushi Foam Surfboard could be your perfect match. However, larger surfers or those seeking a board for bigger waves might want to explore other options.

CBC 6'2" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard

CBC 6'2" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard

The CBC 6'2" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard Soft Top combines aesthetic appeal with functional design, offering a lightweight yet robust surfing experience. Its unique fish tail and sturdy rails enhance speed and control, while the vibrant top and bottom graphics ensure you stand out in the lineup. Ideal for both beginners and seasoned surfers, this board promises an enjoyable ride with every wave.


  • Versatile Performance: Suitable for beginners and advanced surfers with its stable yet responsive design.
  • Lightweight Construction: Features a 100% waterproof EPS foam core with molded-in laminated wood stringers for durability and flexibility.
  • Unique Design: The fish-shaped tail and tri-fin system offer excellent maneuverability, complemented by striking graphics.
  • Complete Package: Comes with three blue removable surf fins and a white leash tab for convenience.


  • Weight Capacity: With a 160 lbs limit, it may not be suitable for larger surfers.
  • Leash Not Included: The board comes with a leash tab but no leash, requiring an additional purchase.


The CBC 6'2" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard is a fantastic choice for surfers seeking a mix of style, performance, and value. Its lightweight yet durable construction makes it easy to handle, while the design aspects cater to a wide range of surfing styles and abilities. This board is especially recommended for surfers looking to make a smooth transition from beginner to intermediate levels. However, those above the 160 lbs weight limit may need to consider other options and remember to factor in the cost of a leash.

CBC 5'8" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard

CBC 5'8" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard

The CBC 5'8" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard Soft Top is designed to bring the thrill of surfing to riders of all skill levels. Featuring a high-density composite foam build and a full EVA deck pad for optimal grip, this board combines buoyancy with control. Its fish shape enhances speed and maneuverability, making it a standout choice for those looking to carve waves with style and confidence.


  • High Buoyancy and Stability: Ideal for surfers seeking a steady and enjoyable ride.
  • Optimal Grip: Wax-coated EVA deck pad ensures riders stay on board, even through intense waves.
  • Unique Design: The fish shape allows for controlled turns and excellent water feel.
  • Durable Construction: Heat-laminated, 100% waterproof EPS foam core with laminated wood stringers for structural integrity.


  • Weight Capacity: Limited to 150 lbs, which may not accommodate larger surfers.
  • Specific Design: Tailored more towards young riders or those transitioning to shortboards, which might limit its appeal to advanced surfers looking for high performance in larger waves.


The CBC 5'8" Slasher Fish Foam Surfboard is an excellent option for surfers looking for a lightweight, easy-to-carry board that doesn't skimp on performance. It's perfect for beginners due to its stability and for intermediate surfers ready to progress to a more maneuverable board. However, those above the 150 lbs weight limit or seeking a board for big wave surfing might need to look for alternatives designed to meet those specific needs.

Soft Top Surfboard Construction and Design

The construction and design of soft top surfboards are critical for their performance, durability, and suitability for surfers of all levels. Understanding the materials used and the design choices made can help you choose a board that will serve you well in various conditions.

diagram showing soft top surfboard construction and materials.

Materials Used

  • Foam: The core of soft top surfboards is typically made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) or polyurethane (PU) foam. EPS is lighter and provides more buoyancy, which is excellent for beginners, while PU offers a bit more weight and stability for choppy conditions.
  • Epoxy: Epoxy resin is used to coat the foam core, adding strength and durability without significantly increasing the weight. Epoxy-coated boards are known for their resistance to water absorption and overall longevity.

Design Choices for Durability and Stability

  • Soft Foam Deck: The top layer is made of a soft, durable foam that provides a comfortable and forgiving surface for surfers. This material is crucial for reducing the risk of injuries and adding to the board's overall durability.
  • Reinforcements: Many soft top boards include wooden stringers or carbon fiber reinforcements along the length of the board. These additions increase the rigidity and stability of the board, helping it maintain its shape and perform well over time.
  • Shape and Thickness: The overall shape and thickness of the board are designed to provide a balance between stability and maneuverability. Wider, thicker boards are more stable and buoyant, making them ideal for beginners or heavier surfers. Slimmer, more streamlined shapes offer experienced surfers better speed and control.
  • Fins: Soft top surfboards come with either removable or fixed fins. Removable fins offer the flexibility to adjust the board's performance based on wave conditions, while fixed fins provide a durable and low-maintenance option.

The construction and design of soft top surfboards make them a versatile choice for surfers at all levels. By choosing a board with the right materials and design features for your needs, you can ensure a durable, stable, and enjoyable surfing experience.

How to Maintain Your Soft Top Surfboard

Proper care and maintenance are crucial for extending the life of your soft top surfboard and ensuring it remains in good condition for as long as possible. Following these tips will keep your board performing well:

soft top surfboard maintenance.

Care and Maintenance Tips

  • Rinse with Fresh Water: After each use, especially in saltwater, rinse your soft top surfboard with fresh water to prevent salt buildup and degradation of materials.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can damage the foam and adhesive components of your board. Store it in the shade or use a UV-protective board bag.
  • Waxing: Apply a base coat and topcoat of wax to the deck of your board to enhance grip. Regularly clean off old wax and reapply to maintain optimal performance.
  • Repair Damage Promptly: If your soft top surfboard gets dinged or the foam deck tears, repair it as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping into the core, which can cause further damage.

Proper Storage and Handling

  • Avoid Heat and Tight Spaces: Store your soft top surfboard in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Avoid leaving it in a car on hot days, as extreme heat can warp the foam.
  • Vertical Storage: When possible, store your board vertically to minimize pressure points and deformation. If storing horizontally, rotate the board regularly and avoid placing heavy items on top.
  • Transport Safely: Use a surfboard bag and secure your board properly when transporting it on a vehicle to prevent damage from vibrations and impacts.

Importance of Proper Maintenance

Regular maintenance ensures your soft top surfboard retains its buoyancy, stability, and structural integrity. Proper care not only extends the lifespan of your board but also enhances your surfing experience by maintaining the board's performance characteristics. Additionally, well-maintained boards are more resilient to the wear and tear of regular use, meaning you'll spend less time and money on repairs in the long run.

Soft Top Surfboards vs. Regular Surfboards: A Detailed Comparison

soft top vs regular surfboards

When deciding between soft top surfboards and regular surfboards, consider the following factors to choose the one that best fits your surfing needs and skill level:


  • Soft Top Surfboards: High buoyancy due to foam construction. This makes it easier to paddle and catch waves, offering a stable platform for beginners.
  • Regular Surfboards: Varying levels of buoyancy based on build and material. Designed for performance, they cater to surfers looking for speed and precision.


  • Soft Top Surfboards: Provide forgiving control, making them suitable for beginners or those looking to improve basic skills. Their design prioritizes safety and ease of use.
  • Regular Surfboards: Offer advanced maneuverability and responsiveness. Preferred by experienced surfers for executing tight turns and complex maneuvers.

Suitability for Waves

  • Soft Top Surfboards: Ideal for small to medium waves. Their construction and stability make them a top choice for surf schools and beginners.
  • Regular Surfboards: Capable of handling a wide range of wave conditions, from small waves to large barrels, appealing to surfers seeking versatility and challenge.

When to Switch

  • Progression Indicator: Surfers often switch from soft top to regular surfboards as they advance in skill and seek greater challenges in wave conditions and surfing techniques.
  • Skill Enhancement: Moving to a regular surfboard introduces new dynamics and performance capabilities, allowing for further development and refinement of surfing skills.

Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision about which type of board is best for your current abilities and future surfing goals. Whether starting on a soft top surfboard for its safety and ease of use or opting for a regular surfboard for its performance and versatility, each type offers unique benefits tailored to different stages of your surfing journey.


Each soft top surfboard has significant benefits, making them an excellent choice for surfers at all levels. Their safety, durability, and versatility cater to everyone from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts seeking a fun, reliable surf experience. By considering factors like size, volume, and materials, you can find a board that enhances your performance and enjoyment in the water.

We encourage all surfers to explore the advantages of soft top surfboards. Their ability to provide a forgiving, enjoyable ride opens up the world of surfing in new and exciting ways. Whether you're taking your first steps into the surf or adding a versatile board to your collection, soft top surfboards promise to deliver memorable experiences on the waves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between soft top surfboards and Foamies?

Soft top surfboards and Foamies are both excellent choices for beginners, but they have distinct differences. Soft top surfboards feature a soft foam construction on the top deck, which reduces the risk of injuries and is suitable for surfers of all skill levels. They usually have a foam core and are finished with either epoxy or fiberglass on the bottom, enhancing their durability. Foamies, on the other hand, are made entirely of foam, including the bottom, making them extremely buoyant and stable. While Foamies are incredibly beginner-friendly, they may not offer the same performance and durability as soft top surfboards with harder bottoms.

Is a soft or hard surfboard better?

Choosing between a soft or hard surfboard depends on several factors, including your surfing skill level, goals, and preferences. Soft surfboards are ideal for beginners due to their enhanced safety and stability. They are also favored by surf schools and casual surfers who prioritize fun and safety in smaller waves. Hard surfboards, meanwhile, are preferred by more experienced surfers seeking better performance. These boards offer greater speed, maneuverability, and precision, making them suitable for competitive surfing and tackling larger waves.

When should I switch from a soft top surfboard?

Deciding to switch from a soft top surfboard to a hard one is a personal choice that should be influenced by your comfort level, skill advancement, and the types of waves you wish to surf. A transition might be considered when you've gained confidence in wave catching and are eager to explore advanced surfing techniques. If you're seeking improved performance, such as better speed and maneuverability, or if you wish to challenge yourself with larger waves, it might be time to try a hard surfboard. Transitioning to different board types can significantly enhance your surfing experience, allowing you to refine your skills and explore new aspects of the sport.

Are Soft Top Surfboards good for beginners?

Soft top surfboards are ideal for a wide range of surfers, from beginners to those seeking a fun and safer alternative to hard boards. Beginners benefit from their forgiving nature, which helps in building confidence and skills with reduced risk of injury. They are also great for intermediate surfers looking to enjoy casual surfing days or small wave conditions. Experienced surfers can use soft tops for a relaxed surfing experience or as a safe option for crowded beaches. Essentially, soft top surfboards offer versatility and enjoyment for anyone looking to hit the waves.

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