While the lingo for Foam Surfboard varies, there's one thing that's pretty unanimous in the surf world; it's how much fun a foam surfboard is!
From experienced surfers looking to have a good time on gutless waves or throw themselves into shallow, gnarly beach breaks, to beginner surfers seeking to hone in on their surfing abilities, a foam top surfboard should have a special place in everyone's quiver.
Standard, non-foam top surfboards are shaped with a foam blank and then covered in a hard material, either fiberglass or epoxy. On the other hand, a foam surfboard is a term used to describe surfboards that are not covered in a hard resin.
These surfboards are made of a special type of water-resistant EPS foam that is exposed on the deck, which is then covered with an Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate sheet for protection against dings and water. The bottom of these surfboards is a hard, smooth sheet to promote frictionless speed down the line.
Durability, lightweight, stability, and easy paddling are just a few things you're guaranteed.
A foam top surfboard is much harder to ding than a standard hardtop surfboard. The durability of these surfboards makes them an excellent choice for an experienced surfer hunting down close-out barrels (think JOB at pipe) or dropping into shallow breaks, such as the Wedge.
A foam surfboard is extremely buoyant. The thickness and volume of these surfboards promote easy paddling for beginner surfers to learn the basics on small waves and help keep die-hard shortboard maniacs busy during those small knee-high summer days. They are also extremely stable, helping to dial in the basics of board control and initiating your first turns.
Because the surfboard is soft to the touch, this is an excellent asset for lowering intimidation levels in new surfers (a bonk on the head from a foam board surfboard is way better than a hardtop), and is beneficial to promote the safety of other surfers as well. Think of a foam surfboard as confidence-building at its finest.
The only cons regarding a foam top surfboard lie in performance. If you're looking to throw buckets and airs, a foamy doesn't cater to high-performance surfing. But, chances are, if you're at this level of surfing anyway, you probably already know this well and understand that a foamy is reserved for the simple side of surfing.
With that being said, there are more performance-oriented styles of foamies, like a foam fish surfboard or a shortboard, that do allow for slightly progressive maneuvers on small waves.
Many surfers keep a foamy in their quiver just to surf exotic, weird waves (such as river waves or ferry waves) thanks to their volume and buoyancy.
There are all types of foamies out there.
Tiny, short foam tops that double as boogie boards, like the Catch Surf Beater, are like skateboards for waves. Versatile, a bit weird, and a hell of a lot of fun.
An Odysea foam surfboard is an excellent choice for a touch of performance, from shortboards, fish, and foam logs alike, and there's always the cheap wavestorm foam surfboard Costco special.
A foam surfboard funboard is a nice balance of easy paddling, wave catching ability, and some performance for mellow cutbacks and floaters on small to medium-sized waves. A foam funshape is also a great way to take a new surfer from beginner to intermediate. In the end, a foam longboard surfboard is ideal for super small conditions and for beginner surfers.
And of course, foam shortboards or a foam fish surfboard is perfect to kill time on sub-par conditions until it's time to break out the shorty. If you are a beginner looking to progress into a smaller board, a foam shortboard is nice and stable, a perfect place to start before trying out a thinned-out, performance shortboard.
Although some cheap foam surfboards don't hurt the budget, if you really want to get the most out of a foamy and find the best foam surfboard, we suggest browsing our line of foam top surfboards currently available and waiting to rip. With quality and performance in mind, these foamies will last a lifetime, providing smiles to anyone who gets their feet on the wax.
We absolutely love the Kookapinto Soft Top (available in magenta or olive colors) or the 8' INT Classic (available in black, yellow, or blue) for a foam longboard surfboard. You can also tone it down afoot for a more funboard-oriented feel with the 7' INT Classic.
Alternatively, you can check out Album Surfboards' range of short and long foam boards (which include free Futures fins). We are specifically keen on their foam shortboards and foam fish surfboards for some stylish, progressive foamy flair.
Although foamies are a little sticker without wax compared to hardtops, you still need to wax them in order to maintain grip when riding. So yes, you should absolutely wax your foam surfboard to prevent slipping out when riding.
Do note, however, that the foam decks of these surfboards make you prone to rash, so you might want to wear a rashguard when paddling one out.
Waxing a foam surfboard utilizes the same strategies as waxing a standard surfboard, but it takes a touch more effort to really get a solid layer on, as the wax doesn't like to stick to the foam to the same degree as epoxy or fiberglass.
First, make sure that the deck of the surfboard is clean and dry.
Then, take a base coat layer of wax and create diamonds across the deck by crossing lines from one side of the rails to the other, from right to left and left to right, angled slightly downwards. Once the diamond pattern is set, use a top coat wax and initiate small, circling motions across the base coat so that it is covered with small bumps of wax across the entirety of the deck.
Because traction pads don't stick well to a foam surfboard, you want to focus on waxing the tail of the surfboard as well.
Although foam surfboard repair isn't as easy and efficient as epoxy or polyester repair, you can still fix minor dings to promote the longevity of the foamy.
To start things off, although it might seem like a good idea, you do not want to use bodyboard repair kits, as these will damage the EPS foam.
You can use standard epoxy to repair dings on a foam surfboard, but when this dries, it will be a hard surface that might feel funky under the feet or on the chest when paddling. Epoxy foam surfboard repair is best for areas where you don't usually place your feet or hands.
To ensure that a foam surfboard repair dries to a soft material that matches the material of a foamy, you can use a wetsuit repair kit (hardens similar to rubber), or even hot glue to fill any punctures.
To do this, start by lightly sanding the area (you don't have to sand it to the same extent as a hardtop, just enough to smooth the area), and then clean the area well.
Once clean and dry, fill the ding with the desired material, let it harden in the sun, and wallah- your surfboard is now protected from water damage, at least for a little while!
Should your foam surfboard feel a little heavy after a ding, then it might be waterlogged. Sit the board out in the sun for a few minutes so as much water can evaporate out of the board as possible, and repair the ding before paddling out again.
To prevent damage to your surfboard, clean it with fresh water after every use, and store the surfboard in a safe place away from the sun, preferably on board racks.
The simple truth is that every surfer needs a foamy. Surfing is meant to be fun, and foam surfboards bring out the best in surfing.
From keeping you occupied on small waves, messing around with your buddies, throwing yourself off dumping lips, or beginning your journey into the world of surfing, foam tops do it all.
They are affordable, which is a huge plus for someone deciding if surfing is right for them, and they won't just be the surfboard you catch your first wave on. Even when you find yourself shredding, you'll always end up reaching into your quiver and pulling out the foamy for a fun-filled session under the sun.