An homage to soft top surfboards
By Vera Schemainda
Call them foamies, soft tops or soft boards; the first association is properly beginners in a surf school. Many of our students chasing the goal to surf on a hard board as quick as possible since “real”surfer dudes and dudettes are riding waves on very tiny fiberglass short boards. But let us tell you something about our ultimate goal: surfing should be all about enjoying life, nature and simply having fun. Since most of us will properly not become a new Gabriel Medina who is a pro surfer (yes, the truth is sometimes hard), there is no need to rush to leave your soft top behind. Even for the advanced surfers among us, guys, try out a new dimension of surfing with different ways to ride. Our crew is more than happy to teach you some nice tricks in our classes if you are up for this challenge.
The Hawaiian pro surfer Jamie O´Brien is one of the new icons within the rediscovery of foamies, as he is riding and doing tricks in barrels or jaws (very big breaks) with his soft tops on waves which seemed not to be doable for these kind of boards. For Jamie the best thing about soft top surfing is that nobody takes it (or you) too serious in the line up, thus it´s a mission to take the seriousness out of surfing. We like this kind of attitude in a sport which is often steeped in too much coolness. There are some days in the water where you don´t see people fooling around. Don´t understand us wrong, we love what we do, but we don´t surf for fame & glory.
So here are our ultimate advantages for riding a soft top or some reasons why it can be so cool to be not cool:
# 1 Easy wave catching
A soft board, especially the full on logs foamies, are wider and broader than epoxy or fiberglass boards. The more litres your board has the easier it floats in the water with better buoyancy. That´s why its easier to catch waves and you can even ride them longer. For the beginners and pro- beginners: It´s an easy calculation, if you can get more waves you will improve much quicker and will improve your pop up with every wave you take. A foamie will forgive you much more mistakes.
#2 Catch more waves when conditions are not legendary
With surfing we are very dependent on weather and wave conditions and sadly but true they cannot be perfect all the time. Mother nature is not always gentle. Using a longboard foamie will reward you again with more waves when you are lacking the desired off shore winds and you find yourself in choppy waves.
# 3 Fool around: Discover new tricks
If you have already an advanced level of surfing a foamie can open a new playground for you. On small days you can surf without a leash or fins to swap boards with your friends, surf backwards, share the ride with your best friend or surf „out“ like on a skim board. Thre are no limits for your creativity.
# 4 Less expensive ding repair
Soft boards do not only forgive your mistakes, they forgive your clumsiness much better than a fiberglass board, which can crack easily. There are many risks for your boards as in reefs in shallow water, roof racks, when you tight your board to your car or airline employees who throw your board in the air plane. A foamie is much more robust than any other board.
# 5 Better safe than sorry!
When your board hits you or your friend, girlfriend or boyfriend you will be glad to have a foamie, even the fins are less sharp. On a beautiful Sunday with perfect conditions a line-up can be crowded which can result in a crash if people don´t know or accept the rules in the water.
# 6 Moment of surprises
When you enter the line up with an 8 foot soft top, it can happen that other surfers compliment you. They are surprised for the “great waves you catch“, expecting you to be one of these beginners. If you are a woman this moment of surprise can get even bigger. So enjoy the moment of showing people that you are just having fun, not giving a damn about the board you use.
Here we are. If you expect now to hear about the disadvantages we have to disappoint you, this is after all an homage to the foamie. But feel free to visit us in our camp or at our school and we are happy to answer you everything you want to know and tell you which board suits you best.
If we managed to make you more curious about the new dimension of soft top style surfing you can check out videos from pro Surfers like Jamie O´Brien or Kalani Robb, which are faces of Catch Surf. This surfboard brand founded 2007 in California offers so called high performance soft tops in all sizes which are made “for advanced-level surfers and weekend warriors“. Their boards have a goofy but hip 80s retro style with neon colours, animal, flower or other more unusual prints and designs. They are keen on emphasizing the idea of not being too serious about everything but having fun and a great time in the water.
In our surf school you can choose between soft tops in all sizes from Bugz, with an epoxy technology inside covered with a soft layer on top for your safety. Next to that we can offer some fiberglass and epoxy boards if we could not convince you of a foamie after all 😉
We are looking forward to meet you in the water! Go, have fun and enjoy!
Your Gota Family.