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It’s summertime in the Northern Hemisphere. Which means south swells and warm (depending on your locale, anyway) water. It means long days, sand in your bedsheets, and days packed to the gills with fun stuff. It’s party waves and beach parties, cold beers and basking in the shade of an umbrella. And, if you’re in the business of having fun, it means riding a surfboard made for one thing: having a blast. While all surfboards are technically made for having a blast, soft-tops are particularly devoted to it. So, in the never-ending effort to increase the amount of fun people are having, here’s a list of soft-top surfboards that will increase both your wave count and your smile count.
What Are the Best Soft-Top Surfboards?
1. Catch Surf Odysea 5’8″ Quad-Fin x Jamie O’Brien Pro Surfboard ($374)
2. Wavestorm 8′ Classic Pinline Surfboard ($236)
3. Almond R-Series Secret Menu ($359)
4. Boardworks Froth! Soft-Top Single Fin Longboard Surf Board 9′ ($269)
5. Odysea Catch Surf Skipper Thruster Taj Pro 6’0″ Surfboard ($349)
6. Softech Flash Eric Geiselman FCS II Surfboard Grey Marble 5’0″ ($280)
7. Softech Toledo Wildfire FCS II Surfboard Gunmetal 5′ 3″ ($295)
8. Formula Fun Shortboard Fish 5’3″ ($265)
9. Wavestorm 5’6 Original New Modern Swallowtail Surfboard ($162)
10. South Bay Board Co. Guppy ($269)
11. Wave Bandit Performer 4’10 Twin ($149)
Dimensions: 5’8” X 20.0” X 3.0” (42 Liters)
Gotta give it up for the man who made soft-tops an acceptable form of recreation for all surfers: Mr. Jamie O’Brien. Jamie’s Quad with Catch Surf is a hoot. It’s made with a dual-composite core with Triple Maple-Wood Stringers and a bat tail. It’s 5′ 8″ and 42 liters, which gives it plenty of float for a wide range of surfers, and the nod to JOB gives it a few extra style points. From the pink foam to the tropical graphic, good times await.
2. Wavestorm 8′ Classic Pinline Surfboard ($236.88)
Ah, the original soft-top. Ridden first by beginners, then later by absolute rippers and now by basically everyone, Costco’s iconic blue and white (and yes, Rasta colors, too) will always be the Grandaddy of foamies. While the 8-foot version is likely the most popular, Wavestorm has shapes and sizes all over the map. From a 5-foot swallow tail to a 10-foot SUP, this foamboard manufacturer has a stranglehold on the foamboard market. Buy here.
Want a soft top that performs like a real surfboard? look no further. Almond’s R-series boards (also featuring the 8′ Joy and the 6’4″ Pleasant Pheasant) are as real as a soft board gets. To sweeten the deal, the boards are 100% recyclable and come with futures fin boxes so you can make use of your favorite set of quads.
Check Price on Evo.
Like most soft-tops, Boardworks made the Froth to help people catch more waves. If you’re into more of the classic longboard feel, the single fin you see above might be your style, but if you’re not, Boardworks also makes a 7’0 funboard and a 5’6 shortboard.
Perhaps the second-most prolific foam board you’ll see in summer lineups is the Odysea Catch Surf Skipper. Unlike the Wavestorm, the Taj Pro is shorter, fast, and floaty. While the original eight-foot Wavestorm might be a little stiff under the feet, this one slips and slides around on those summer days like a bar of soap, perfect for surfers with a little experience who don’t want to beat up their favorite stick on a summer day while trying to carry umbrellas and coolers with the other hand.
As you might have guessed from the name, this foam board leans a little more towards the shreddy side of things. The Eric Geiselman version of the Softech flash comes in 5’0″ x 20″ x 2 3/5″ or 5’7″ x 20 1/2″ x 2 2/3″. It has an FCSII setup and a 100 percent waterproof X-Density EPS foam core, which is nice if you’re the type of person who dings boards. And be honest, you are that type of person. This is a great option for someone looking to still paddle into waves easily, but doesn’t want to sacrifice too much performance. It also comes in a whole bunch of colors, if grey ain’t your thing. Softech has a pretty well-rounded selection that’s worth a closer look.
7. Softech Toledo Wildfire FCS II Surfboard Gunmetal 5′ 3″: $295
Hey look, Filipe Toledo has one, too! It’s a little different, obviously, but the basic idea is the same. Have more fun. Filipe Toledo’s version of the Softech is a 32-liter squash tail created for one thing only: catching waves and doing fun things on them. Mason Ho has one, too. is one of the best in the world at doing those two things, so if he’s got his name on it, it’s probably a decent bet that it does both.
8. Formula Fun Shortboard Fish 5’3″: $265.99
As a person who likes to surf in the natural environment, you’d be right if you were concerned with what surfboards were made of. Foamboards snap often — as you’ve probably seen in garbage cans near the beach — and the stuff they’re made from wreaks havoc on the environment. Formula Fun boards does it differently. Made entirely from recyclable materials, these boards aren’t thrown in the trash. Once it’s well and truly dead, you can mail it in or drop it off at the brand’s Irvine, Calif. headquarters for a $50 credit towards your next board. And just because they’re recyclable doesn’t mean they’re not fun, either. They have, as the name implies, the formula for fun. Buy here. Or, Amazon has had some stock issues with Formula Fun; Check out Thread, who offers a very similar alternative to check out.
Like we said before, Wavestorm has a whole lot of shapes and sizes to choose from. While the O.G. Wavestorm is generally thought of as the classic blue and white 8-footer, they’ve branched into the modern day with this little swallowtail. Coming in at 5’6” x 21” x 2.75”, it’s got 42 liters of volume, which should be enough to float just about anyone. Buy here.
10. South Bay Board Co. Guppy: $279
Guppies gotta learn, too. And that’s what South Bay Board Co. created this six-foot wave-catching machine for: learning, especially for groms who don’t get around the ocean every single day. The Guppy comes in kid-friendly blue jail stripes and is standard with fins and a leash. The price point means you won’t lose your you-know-what if it gets beat to a pulp. Which it probably will. Buy here.
11. Wave Bandit Performer 4’10 Twin: $149.00
You want something tiny? This is for you. A mini twin that packs 35 liters into 4’10”, the Performer has dual wood stringers so it feels a lot stiffer than the average floppy soft-top. You know those times you pull into a wave with some chop and your soft-top is literally bending under your feet? Yeah, not going to happen with the Wave Bandit. Buy here.
Disclosure: The Inertia may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from the affiliate links included in this feature at no additional cost to you. Our goal is always to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we hope you find this feature useful.