Ready for a board that is cheaper, doesn't dig, doesn't need repairs and doesn't break like a regular surfboard does?

You can chuck the board in the back of your truck (or on the top of your mini-van) and have a blast regardless of how big the waves are... all the while not having to worry about the con's of a regular board.

They work for everybody; both beginners and veterans love these boards. 

That's why people are catching on now to this once reclusive stick. 

Demand is in and there has been a huge comeback in the past few years.

That is exactly why a ton of new companies are emerging to produce this board and why it has become more difficult to sort through and find the good ones. Beware, there are a few stinkers!

We boiled it down with a list of the best foam surfboards below, these are the best of the best.

Go with one our recommended boards and you can't go wrong.

Best Foam Surfboard

Our #1 Choice - Wavestorm 8’

  • Best beginner foam surfboard
  • 8’ long and 86 liters
  • Only 11.5 lbs.

#2 SBBC Verve 8’

  • Best foam surfboard shape
  • No wax needed top deck
  • Easy to install pop through fins

#3 Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Pro EZ Rider 8'0

  • Best performance foam surfboard
  • Cool graphics
  • 86 liters for optimal buoyancy



What Is A Foam Surfboard?

A "foam" surfboard is technically the soft foam core material that it is made out of but there are a few other materials associated with any any board that is considered to be a "foam surfboard"...

The top material of the board is also made from a soft spongy material (polypropylene or polyethylene). This is much more forgiving when surfing and easier maintenance because it can't get dings and damaged like a hard top fiberglass board. 

The bottom of the board is made out of a hard plastic material called surlyn. 

These foam boards are actually made out of the same exact material as a bodyboard (or "boogie board").

This differs from a normal surfboard which is hard with a fiberglass outer shell all around the board, from the top to the bottom.

That's cool but what does that really mean? 

Well, these boards, when compared to a regular board, are much more fun-loving in that they are:

  • cheaper
  • way less maintenance (no dings/repairs)
  • don't break

That makes it perfect for either beginners or an advanced rider that just wants to have fun and enjoy these benefits. Trust us, these boards are a lot of fun!

 


The Top 10

Our #1 Choice - Wavestorm 8’

If you are looking for the best foam surfboard for beginners, Wavestorm has been a popular choice among consumers for years. It’s durability, performance and design make this soft top a great buy for a beginner.

Stability is key in learning to surf. A nice solid board with a wide deck is perfect for learning to stand up and ride waves. It is 22.5” wide, which is great for balance, and 3.25 inches think, great for buoyancy. Not only is this board super easy to pop up on, it’s great for getting into waves as well.

You can count on toughness with the Wavestorm 8’. It is made with super strong EPS foam core with three stringers covered in a WBS-IXL watertight cross link top deck . The bottom deck is High Density (HDPE) Polyethylene for excellent resistance to scratches and punctures. This board can really take a beating.

The Wavestorm 8’ includes an ankle leash, leash string and three easy to install pop through fins. Not only is this board a great shape and made from the best materials, it looks super cool too! The top deck is covered with Wavestorm’s signature Rasta red, green and yellow. You’ll be riding with style and looking cool doing it.


#2 SBBC Verve 8’

Don’t bother rushing out and buying a Costco foam surfboard, this SBBC Verve 8’ is a better board at a better deal! The superior design, shape and quality make this board a must have. Learning to surf couldn’t be easier on the Verve 8’. And if you already surf, you’ll be surprised at the amount of fun and performance you’ll get out of this ride.

The wax free top deck is made from high density polyethylene, with a gripped texture so there’s no need for wax. The foam core is waterproof and durable, so you won’t have to worry about water logging or damage like dents and holes. With three stringers, one fiberglass and two marine plywood, the Verve 8’ will maintain its shape for years to come.

This board has performance in mind. The double concave bottom deck allows for a seamless and smooth ride down the wave. The six ounce resin layers on the bottom deck are slick and damage proof. And the PVC lined fin holes allow for extra water tight design.

Every SBBC Verve 8’ is sold with an 8’ leash, leash string, plastic fins and fin pop through plugs. This board is durable, easy to use, perfect for beginners. A great bargain for surfers of all levels. You’ll be catching all the waves and have the biggest grin in the lineup.

 

#3 Wave Bandit Ben Gravy Pro EZ Rider 8'0

Not only is this board perfect for learning on, it is also great for surfers with more advanced skills. The enhanced design of the Wave Bandit Gracy Pro EZ Rider 8’ makes it extremely versatile. Whether you are cruising the white wash or chargin bigger waves, this board can do everything.

Quality materials are used to make the EZ Rider 8’ foam surfboard incredibly durable. The top deck is made with EPS watertight foam and the bottom deck is fortified with scratch and puncture resistant plastic. The double maple wood stringers will keep the board from breaking in rough surf or if it falls or it dropped.

The shape of this board is unique. The tail is pulled in slightly to give the board more maneuverability while turning. The rails are thinner so you won't dig them in the face of the wave. But because it has a lot of buoyancy, it’s still perfect for learning how to get into waves and pop up. The round nose gives the board extra surface area for stability.

By now you are wondering “ok but what about the AWESOME pineapple graphics on the bottom deck!” Well I wanted to save the best for last. This cool pineapple graphic will get you compliments from surfers and beach goers all over. Don’t be surprised if you are voted most stylish surfer in the line up.


#4 California Board C​​​​ompany 9’

A tried and trusted brand, California Board Company has been pumping out fun, quality boards for years, and their 9’ foam top surfboards are no exception! Learning to surf and need the perfect board to learn on? The CBC 9’ is it! Longboard enthusiasts who are looking to ad a soft top to the quiver? The CBC 9’ is an excellent choice!

The board is constructed from high tech, heat laminated EPS foam core that is ultra water tight. Waterlogging won’t be a worry for you as you cruise through the surf. The molded in stringers are perfect for maintaining the integrity of the 9’ soft top. They are coated with waterproof resin.

The bottom deck is also heat laminated with high density polyethylene. This board is highly resistant to bottom deck scratches and punctures. The rails of this board are hard so learning to turn is a breeze. The round nose is perfect for catching waves and keeping balance down the line.

The CBC 9’ is only impeccably shaped, but it also has a great look. The wood graphic lament top deck gives this board a really cool retro feel and looks just like real wood. If you are looking for a great foam top surfboard, don’t hesitate on the CBC 9’ soft top.


#5 SBBC 7’ Soft Top

 South Bay Board Company makes our list again with its amazing 7’ foam top surfboard. Very similar to the Verve 8’, but with a slightly different shape for a different style of foam board surfing. With any SBBC board, you can count on quality and integrity of materials and design.

The 7’ Ruccus also comes with a wax free top deck, made with the best quality waterproof closed cell EPS foam core. You won’t have to worry about breaks with the double wood stringers and fiberglass rod stringer. The high density polyethylene bottom deck is durable against scratches and the impact absorbing cross netting will prevent pressure dings and punctures. SAfe to say, this board can withstand the toughest conditions.

The smaller size is great for kids and teens. The sharper nose and pulled in tail is ideal for more advanced surfers as well! The SBBC 7’ Ruccus is sold with a 7’ leash, leash string and easy to install pop through fins. Once you buy this board, you’ll immediately be able to take it out into the waves and have a blast.


#6 Giantex 6’

 Ideal for kids and teens, this kid friendly foam top surfboard also looks great! The blue flame graphics and hibiscus flower will catch the attention of young surf enthusiasts everywhere. But it’s not just ideal for kids. Adults with a little more experience will love the shape and design of this board, too!

The Giantex 6’ soft top is a great investment. The top deck is made with ultra strong EPS foam core and the bottom deck is made with HDPE plastic. Both are damage resistant. The EPS foam core is covered with EPE layer that is UV and scratch proof.

This board is ready to go right after purchase. The traction pad is already attached and the pop through fin system takes minutes to install. The board also comes with a 6’ leash, leash string and water tight fin plugs. You’ll have your kid surfing in no time!

 

#7 Raystreak 7’2”

A great board for beginners, the Raystreak 7’2” foam top board is incredibly buoyant and stable. Learning to paddle into waves will be a piece of cake and you’ll be popping up in no time. Already know how to surf? You’ll be catching all the waves on small, fun days.

The construction of this board is unique. The EPS watertight foam core is wrapped with a 6 oz layer of fiberglass for ultimate strength. The board is then hot pressed into even stronger IXPE skin technology which is extremely ding and scratch resistant. The bottom deck is puncture proof HDPE slick plastic for smooth gliding down the wave.

Even though this board is only 7’2” long, its 72 liters, which can hold up to 170 lbs comfortably. Not to mention the graphics are super cool! The non slip top deck surface means you won’t have to worry about wax, as well! The Raystreak 7’2” is sold with easy to install pop through fins, fin leash, and a 7’ leash. You’ll have everything you need to paddle out and catch some waves!


#8 Empire Ehukai Soft Surfboard

Strength, Durability and innovative design and shape are defining characteristics of Empire Ehukai surfboards. Their 7’ foam core surfboard is a great example. The EPS foam core is guaranteed waterproof so waterlogging won’t be a worry. The closed cell foam also is resistant to bacteria growth and decay, so you’ll be guaranteed a long board life.

The interior of this board is built with four stringers for strength and maintaining board shape. The wide deck allows for excellent balance and the high buoyancy is great for catching waves. This board is perfect for beginners, but shaped to be ridden by advanced surfers, too.

The nose and tail are slightly narrower for maneuverability while maintaining large surface area for catching waves. The hard rails all around the board are perfect for turning on the face of the wave. You can ride this as a beginner and the board will grow with your skill level. You can keep this board in your quiver for as long as you can surf!

Did I mention all the accessories it comes with? The 7’ Empire Ehukai is sold with pop through fins, a leash and a leash string. No matter the condition of surf, you’ll be ready to surf as soon as you can take the board out of its box.


#9 California Board Company 6’2” Fish

You know a brand is great when it shows up on our list of the top ten best foam boards twice! California Board Company is a leading brand in board shape and design. The 6’2” foam top fish would be a perfect addition to any surfers quiver!

The waterproof EPS foam core is waterproof to prevent waterlogging. The bottom deck is HDPE technology for a seamless ride. The board is heat wrapped with IXPE layer for a long lasting board life. You will have this board for years like it was still brand new.

The interior of the board is ultra strong as well. The three laminated wood stringers are coated with waterproof resin. Not only are the stringers safe from rot and decay, but they also maintain the boards shape in even the toughest surf.

The fish shape is high performance. The wide tail and narrow nose are perfect for turning and perfecting your surf tricks! This is an ideal step up board from a traditional longboard foam board surfboard. The 6’2” fish is also sold with fins, a leash and leash string so you’ll be ready to rip as soon as it arrives to your house.


#10 Liquid Shredder FSE

This 9’ foam surfboard is one of the best you can find! The quality, shape and design make this board a must have for any quiver. You can learn to pop up and catch waves as a beginner, or perfect your nose riding skills as a seasoned surf veteran! Don’t pass up the Liquid Shredder FSE in your search for the perfect foam top surfboard.

The top deck is soft and safe for beginners EPE foam, with three incredibly strong stringers for toughness. Two stringers are marine grade wood ply, and the middle stringer is rigid fiberglass. You won’t have to worry about this board breaking in slamming waves.

The bottom deck is made with slick polypropylene material so you get a smooth ride in the water. The anti slip surface removes the need for surf wax. The deck is wide for balance and the buoyancy of this board is great for catching waves. Wth leash and pop through fins included, you won’t find a better deal on a soft top surfboard.


Foam Surfboard Size Chart

You are stoked to start your surfing journey, and ready to get your first foam top surfboard. You are probably thinking to yourself, “What size foam surfboard should I get? Which is the best for beginners?” Below is a chart to help you figure what would be a good board for adults, as well as some good sizes for kids foam surfboards.


Foam Surfboard Size Chart

For teens and adults

Weight

Board

99-138 lbs

8’0”-9’2”

138-158 lbs

8’5”-9’6”

158-178 lbs

9’0”-9’8”

178+ lbs

9’8”+


For Kids

Weight

Board

<66 lbs

5’5”-5’8”

66-88 lbs

5’8”-6’2”

88-110 lbs

6’2”-7’0”

110-130 lbs

6’6”-7’2”

130-155 lbs

6’10”-8’0”

155+ lbs

8’0”-8’6”


Foam Surfboard Vs. Fiberglass

All surfboards have a foam core. This allows buoyancy to catch waves and surf down the wave. The difference is what covers the board. “Fiberglass” boards are coated with woven fiberglass cloth which then hardens when polyester resin is added.  Epoxy boards do not use fiberglass or polyester, instead coating an EPS foam core with epoxy layers. Epoxy is very strong and durable, so it is quickly taking the place of fiberglass.

Foam boards do not have anything covering the foam, which creates the core of the board, as well as the top deck. Most of the time, a plastic bottom is created for hydrodynamics. The foam might be covered with light resin for durability and graphics, but not nearly as much resin as traditional boards.

Foam boards are great for buoyancy and balance, but they aren’t quite as high performance as traditional surfboards. They are bulky and slow moving, which actually is an advantage if you are learning to surf.


How To Choose a Foam Surfboard

Many foam boards are made for beginners. They are nice and wide, with wider tails and a rounded nose for extra surface area. Some soft top surfboards, however, are shaped with a little more advanced performance in mind. The tail and nose can be a little narrower for extra turning power and maneuverability. The CBC 6'2" fish, for instance, is a great foam board with a more high performance fish shape. It is shorter and more responsive, which is great for more advanced surfers.

If you are just getting into surfing, I would suggest something larger, with more surface area. This will give you better balance to learn on and get into waves much easier. Try the SBBC 8' Verve, for example. It has a wide deck, a round nose and a wide tail. An optimal shape for beginner surfers.

Height and weight are factors to think about as well. Generally, someone who is larger and heavier should learn on a bigger foam board, anywhere from 8’ to 9’. A child who is shorter and lighter, however, can get away with learning on a smaller, narrower board, since they don’t require as much buoyancy or surface area to learn on.

girl surfing
girl at beach


Pro’s & Con’s of Foam Surfboards

  • Great for beginners. This is because they are extra buoyant and larger than the traditional longboard or fiberglass shortboard. Extra buoyancy means it will be easier to gain momentum to paddle into waves. Decks on foam boards tend to be a little wider too. This means that balance will be easier while you are learning to stand.
  • Foam boards are softer and lighter. When you are learning to surf, there’s a good chance that you will have a run in with your board if you wipe out. Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us. Collisions with your board and other surfers is much safer on a foam board because the foam is softer. The board is lighter which also reduces impact damage.
  • Because foam boards are so buoyant, they are near impossible to duck dive. They are better suited for softer waves that you can turtle roll through. They are perfect going in a straight line so people can have to stability to learn to stand up. However, foam surfboards are hard to turn as a result of this.
  • The rails are very thick and tend to dig in the face of the wave while trying to turn. You can definitely get a more high performance foam top, but even then they don’t turn as well as an epoxy or fiberglass board.
  • If you are learning to surf though, this won’t be a problem as you will be spending most of your time going straight so you can master balance and popping up.


Best Foam Surfboard Brands

 

Wavestorm

Wavestorm is usually the first brand that comes to mind when people think of foam boards. They are available at a very wide range of locations are a great deal. The construction, shape and materials they use are long lasting and can withstand a beating. Not to mention the top deck graphics are very cool!

To see all the details, check out our Costco Wavestorm Surfboard Review page. 


California Board Company

CBC has been making top of the market foam surfboards for years. They only use top grade polyethylene and EPS foam core so their boards are made to last. Their boards are shaped by surfers who have an incredible knowledge of board function and performance. And the prices can’t be beat!

To read more about this brand, see our CBC Surfboards review page here. 


South Bay Board Company

South Bay Board Company prides themselves on making versatile foam surfboards that everyone can ride. The use innovative shape design and materials to offer boards for kids, begginners, and advanced surfers alike. From egg shapes to traditional longboard shapes, there is something for everyone from SBBC.


BIC

Many are surprised that the famous lighter company also makes surfboards for beginners! My first board was an epoxy BIC board. I can personally testify to the durability of these boards, as I once dropped it from my three story high balcony and it was fine.

They make foam core and epoxy boards of every imaginable shape, and they last a long time. Their most popular design is the longboard inspired soft top. It has a wide deck for stability and is very buoyant for catching waves. I would recommend this brand to anyone.

For more information about this company, see our BIC Surfboard Review page. 


StormBlade

Stormblade is another trusted surfboard company that makes excellent foam boards. The foam boards are wide, buoyant and durable, perfect for a beginner who is learning how to take care of a surfboard and will wipe out a lot. Stormblade only uses the highest grade EPS foam and high density polyethylene for construction, and the fins are always easy to install and remove. This brand is a great choice if you are searching for a good foam surfboard.


Catch Surf

One of the most dominate forces on the foam board market today, tis Catch Surf. 

Their antics are retro 80's surf culture inspired and they have been nabbing up some of the top pro surfers in the world to add as part of their team. 

To read more about them, see our review of their top selling board at our Odysea Surfboard review page. 


Wave Bandit

New kids on the block and a new spin-off brand from Catch Surf, Wave Bandit is doing very well and are being sold in well-known sporting goods stores. But don't let the fact that they are in Big 5 give you the idea that they are a cheap-o brand. They are made just like a Catch Surf, which is great quality. 

In Fact, we did a whole overview of this brand, see our Wave Bandit review page here.


 

FAQ

Are Foam Surfboards Good For Beginners?

Foam boards are ideal for beginners! The foam core is very buoyant and picks up momentum very easily. This is ideal for catching waves. Because paddling requires a very new set of muscles, most people have to build them up. It’s easier to do this on a board that catches waves easily.

They are also very stable. Foam surfboards have wider decks, which means more surface area to learn to stand on. They are also very buoyant, most of the time being 50 liters or more. More buoyancy is better for balance as well, as foam boards don’t have a tendency to sink in the wave as much as traditional fiberglass or epoxy boards.


Should I Get A Foam Surfboard Or a Regular Longboard?

If you are learning to surf, foam boards are the way to go. They are usually more stable and buoyant than traditional longboards. This is better for balance and learning how to paddle into waves.

Traditional fiberglass and epoxy longboards are much harder, as well. When learning to surf, you’ll be falling and wiping out a lot. There is less threat of injury with a softer foam core soft top surfboard.


Do You Have To Wax A Foam Surfboard?

Some boards don’t need waxing and come with a top deck with a grippy surface. These are made to be wax free. Some foam surfboards, however, have a slicker deck and will need wax. If you are unsure about whether or not your board needs wax, you can check with your local surf shop, the brand website or ask your surfer friends!


How To Wax A Foam Surfboard?

Waxing a foam surfboard is essentially the same as waxing a traditional fiberglass or epoxy board. First, you’ll want some base coat. The base coat is very hard and acts like a catch all to the softer wax used to keep your feet on the board.

You will want to cover the board with wax in a circular motion. The circle only needs to be a couple inches in diameter. Continue with the circular pattern until the board where your feet will go is covered. You can repeat this process with the top coat of wax over the base coat.


How Do You Take Care of a Foam Surfboard?

The ten foam surfboards on this list will last you a lifetime if they are taken care of right. Maintenance is relatively simple, as well. First off, try to rinse your board with fresh water after each use. Salt water can be degrading and fresh water rinses maintain material integrity.

It’s also important to keep your board stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Though the foam boards on our list are made to be tough and durable, storing them in shade keeps UV rays from discoloring them. Extreme heat and cold can also warp the board, so a storage place with a consistent moderate temperature is ideal.


How To Repair A Foam Surfboard?

Boards like the SBBC 7' Soft Top are made to be durable and damage resistant. That being said, sometimes unforeseen dings, scratches and punctures can still happen. Repair is easy, however, and you can easily do it yourself for cheap.

You can buy replacement foam cell and resin to repair holes and dings. It won’t usually color match, but it will be watertight. Many repair kits come with foam cell powder and reactor liquid. Once you mix the activating liquid in to cell powder, just pour it into the hole or scratch and let it dry. Then you can smooth on a layer of resin and sand that down once it dries.


History of Foam Surfboards

Thank you Tom Morey, for invented perhaps one of the funnest water sports in history! Morey invented to boogie board in the 60’s and in the 80’s and 90’s, his boogie board soft top design was improved upon by Matt Zilinskas and John Yeh of AGIT.

They realised they could take Morey’s boogie board polystyrene foam and slick plastic bottom and make a surfboard out of it. They quickly realised this board design was perfect for beginners and novelty board enthusiasts. It is softer to reduce risk of injury, very buoyant to catch waves, and totally waterproof! Thanks, guys.


Where Should I Buy?

Because we know searching for a foam surfboard can be a lot of work, we made this list to take the effort out of your shopping experience. There’s no better place to buy a foam top surfboard than right from this list! The quality and performance of our top ten best soft top surfboard are guaranteed and you won’t find better deals anywhere else!


Do I Need A Warranty?

Many of these boards come with a warranty. Again, these boards are made to last, but sometimes things happen. In the event you get damage to your board that is to complex for you to fix yourself, like a broken fin box, it’s a good idea to have a warranty.

You’ll be able to get the manufacturer to fix the board at no additional cost to you, except maybe shipping. And many times the warranty includes replacing missing parts, like if you lose a fin in the waves.

 

Final Thoughts - Which Board Should I Get?

If you want a board with a unique shape, while still utilizing the foam top technology, the California Board Company 6'2" Fish is an interesting mix of performance and soft top design. IT can be ridden like a traditional fish, but is more buoyant and durable than a traditional fish.

Many surfers who are more advanced in skill love to ride foam boards, too. A board like the SBBC 8' Verve board has board shape details that make it more high performance for more skilled riders. The nose and tail are slightly tapered so you won’t dig the rail while you turn. It is made with durable materials, too, so it can withstand tougher waters and bigger surf.

Looking for a perfect beginner surfboard? You can’t go wrong with the Wavestorm 8' Soft Top. Wavestorm is known for perfecting the perfect shaped board for beginners. The deck is wide for good balance, it's very thick for excellent buoyancy, and the nose and tail are round for perfect wave catching and building up paddle strength. Arguably one of the most popular brands of soft tops on the market, it’s no wonder why Wavestorm tops our list of the best foam surfboards to buy!



OUR #1 PICK - WAVESTORM 8'


Our Rating

Wavestorm Classic Board



Jasmine Martin head shot

Jasmine Oneill Martin  //  Team Writer