The 10 Best Foam Surfboards

Updated May 23, 2018 by Chase Brush

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. You, too, can learn to shred the gnar like the pros with one of these high-quality foam surfboards. Designed to be durable, forgiving and easy to control, and coming in both short and long options, they are ideal for newcomers to surfing and those looking to improve upon their skills, but are also suitable for anyone in the market for an affordable, lightweight way to catch some waves. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best foam surfboard on Amazon.

10. North Gear 6 Foot Thruster

The North Gear 6 Foot Thruster offers a quick assembly, so you can spend more time in the water than out. It's a great starter board for the price, but the materials are not built to last and likely will not stand up to prolonged abuse.
  • good for occasional outings
  • bright hawaiian inspired design
  • low-quality printing wears off fast
Brand North Gear
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. California Board Company

The California Board Company boasts an attractive wood graphic that will help you stand out from the crowd, and a thick, waterproof EPS core that results in a nice, smooth ride. It's ideal for intermediate users looking to cruise smaller, longer-breaking waves.
  • flat bottom shape
  • three fins with nylon screws
  • slick deck needs to be waxed often
Brand California Board Compan
Model 184
Weight 28.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Body Glove Soft Board

The Body Glove Soft Board combines a foam top deck with an interior wood stringer and a hard plastic bottom shell to produce consistently stable performance in big waves and small. It won't beat the maneuverability of an old longboard, but it should serve most needs.
  • comes with a white or blue exterior
  • long 8-foot size
  • leash is not very thick
Brand Body Glove
Model 11580
Weight 13.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Liquid Shredder Fish

For a foam model that performs like the real thing, check out the Liquid Shredder Fish. It incorporates a retro-round nose and split tail that allows it to shred nimbly in the water, but also remains wide, like a longboard, giving you added stability.
  • very rigid construction
  • offers lots of buoyancy
  • may require some expertise to use
Brand Liquid Shredder
Model SB FSE5'10F-Blue
Weight 12 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Gold Coast 7 Foot Ruccus

Perfect for intermediate-level riders, the Gold Coast 7 Foot Ruccus is a bit shorter and narrower than the brand's other offerings. That can make it more difficult to use, but also provides more opportunities for unleashing it in bigger, faster swells.
  • maneuvers easily
  • pvc-lined fin holes keep out water
  • a little pricey
Brand Gold Coast Surfboards
Model pending
Weight 20.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Bic Sport G-Board EVO

A go-to model for club and school instructors needing a reliable option for their students, the Bic Sport G-Board EVO can make surfing easy. Its strong construction is capable of withstanding abuse from riders and harsh weather conditions.
  • soft deck doesn't require waxing
  • accommodates all shapes and sizes
  • includes thruster tri fins
Brand Bic Sport G-Board EVO
Model 100100-P
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Giantex 6 Foot Foamie

The Giantex 6 Foot Foamie is a great choice for adults and children alike who are just picking up the sport. It features a stylish design, and is built to handle the wipeouts and mistakes made by beginners as they learn and develop their skills.
  • removable fins for easy transporting
  • high quality at a great value
  • eye-catching graphics
Brand Giantex
Model 5LLL
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. BIC Sport Dura-Tec

The BIC Sport Dura-Tec combines quality and function to provide a top-of-the-line wave-shredding experience. It's built to last, too, featuring a hard, thermoformed outer polyethylene shell that is extremely resistant to knocks, bumps and dings.
  • perfect for learning and progressing
  • website includes how-to tips
  • integrated 3d traction pad
Brand BIC Sport
Model 100909
Weight 40 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Gold Coast 8 Foot Verve

The Gold Coast 8 Foot Verve is the ultimate beginner's package, complete with fins, a carrying bag, and a traction pad. It offers great buoyancy with its EPS foam core and vacuum-molded, fiberglass epoxy construction, letting you catch more waves.
  • lightweight at only 15 lbs
  • comes with paint pens for decorating
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
Brand Gold Coast Surfboards
Model pending
Weight 15 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Liquid Shredder 70 FSE

With a traditional bodyboard shape and modern refinements, the Liquid Shredder 70 FSE builds on old-school construction to offer a streamlined performance for novices and experts alike. The polyethylene foam deck is forgiving, while the slick bottom increases speed.
  • hand-shaped heat-laminated composite
  • anti-slip texture when wet
  • wooden stringers for stiffness
Brand Liquid Shredder
Model LHSB126
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Why Get A Foam Board?

In the earliest days of surfing, islanders — specifically those that inhabited ancient Hawaii — used elongated wood platforms to cruise the waves in search of spiritual, recreational, and social release. These prototypical surfboards were likely considered feats of engineering for their time, but they were heavy and followed just one or two basic designs: crafted either from Ula or Koa trees, and made long or short depending on the rider's social status.

Those first pioneers of surfing might be amazed to find how much further that piece of wood has evolved. Today, surfboards come in all manner of shapes and sizes, from long to short boards, thick to thin boards, and boards made out of rubber to those made out of high-tech fiberglass. Each type is specifically designed to deliver optimum performance under varying personal and environmental factors, whether they be wave size or an individual rider's skill level.

Of course, one of the most common varieties is the foam board. As surfing has gone from a sport practiced primarily by dedicated enthusiasts to one embraced by beach-going tourists everywhere, it's this board that has become the default introductory model for beginners and novices looking to get in on the action. Indeed, visit any rental shop or surf school and you'll more than likely be given a foam board on which to — pun intended here — learn the breaks.

That's because foam boards incorporate several specific elements that make them especially suited to beginner use. Usually made of strong polyurethane material, they're often more durable than other models, allowing them to withstand all the abuse that an inexperienced rider is likely to subject their first board to without being damaged. Many foam boards also have more volume than other types, giving them greater buoyancy for easier paddling and a smoother, more stable ride.

Then there's the cost factor: foam boards are generally and often many times more affordable than fiberglass or wood boards, making them a great entry-level choice for those who aren't ready to make a serious financial commitment to the sport.

Long Or Short? Length Matters

As previously noted, surfboards have come to express a wide variety of designs, and even within the category of foam boards there are notable differences. Some boards feature an outline that is more streamlined than others, making it easier to carve and maneuver in the water, while others are more egg-shaped, giving the rider better stability. The number of fins may also differ from one board to another, effecting its speed and control.

There's also the basic quality of the materials used in the making of the board, which, because foam boards are often mass-produced, can vary depending on the manufacturer.

One of the most important things to consider, though, is board length. In their effort to cater to a range of users, foam boards come in many different sizes, from short, sporty lengths to long, flat ones. For the most inexperienced beginners, it's advised that they start with a longer board, as those are often both easier to paddle and to stand on while new surfers get the hang of the practice. Shorter boards are more difficult for novices to use, but they're also faster and more agile, making them a good option when you want to take your surfing skills to the next level.

Still, which length is best for you will probably come down to personal preference. Even more experienced riders sometimes prefer the comfort and leisure of a longer board, while others maintain shorter boards are just more fun. You should also keep where you like to surf in mind, as bigger boards are generally best for smaller, longer-breaking waves, and shorter boards for big hairy pipelines.

Tips For Caring For Your Board

Like any piece of sports equipment, surfboards require a certain level of maintenance in order to ensure their best performance. No matter what kind of board you have, keeping it dry and protected in between uses is essential, which means getting a carrying and storage bag should be next on your to-do list after buying the board itself.

Of course, one of the greatest things about foam boards is the fact that they don't need much attention — their basic, soft construction means they won't ding or break as easily as others. That also makes them a good travel board, as you don't have to worry about banging them up as you trek to and from the beach.

Still, there are a few tips tips should follow to keep your foam board in optimal shape. Washing your board with fresh water after each session will help prevent its materials from degrading, as saltwater can be corrosive. Direct sunlight can also damage and fade the color of the board, so keeping it in the shade when not in use is also important.

Most surfboards also benefit from a good waxing before each use, which helps give the rider's feet a better grip in the water, though some foam boards come with naturally rough top surfaces for this reason. Others even feature integrated traction pads under the back foot to give the rider more control.

Finally, if you're frequently driving to the beach with your gear, you may want to consider investing in a rack for your car to keep your board safe while transporting it.

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Last updated on May 23, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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