If you're planning to take up surfing as a hobby, you've probably already begun to comb through your local surf shops to find your new board. Some decent waves, a good surfboard (and a few lessons would be wise)—isn't this all you need to get started? In a manner of speaking, yes, that's about all someone will need to begin their new hobby, but the long, rigid, traditional surfboard you're imagining for yourself might not be the best choice.
Most traditional surfboards have a hard outer resin coating wrapped around a dense foam core (usually made of polystyrene). They're fairly heavy, allowing speed to be combined with stability. These are the types of boards most people think of when they think of surfboards. But as a novice, such a board might not be the best for you to start with.
A soft-top surfboard closely resembles a traditional surfboard, but this resemblance ends the moment you actually touch the board. The board still features a dense foam core, but this is contained within a durable (yet soft) vinyl casing. But what's the point of a soft-top surfboard? Isn't it nothing more than a beginner's board—something to be upgraded as quickly as your skills allow?
Features of a Soft-Top
Soft-top surfboards are lightweight when compared to traditional boards. This means that they float better and can be easier to maneuver (as well as being easier to transport). With their soft outer casing, they're far less prone to damage; either while in use or while being transported. The soft surface of the board makes it far simpler to stand up (offering traction that improves your balance, without the need for surfboard wax). Since they're lighter than traditional boards, you're unlikely to be able to achieve the same speeds, but this makes accidents less likely. As an added bonus, they're generally less expensive than traditional surfboards. All of this adds up to a board that can be easier to use while still offering the full surfing experience.
Suits Your Needs
You might eventually graduate to a traditional surfboard with a resin coating, but you could find that a soft-top surfboard perfectly suits your needs on an ongoing basis. Your new interest may remain a casual hobby—something to do when you have the time, and when weather and wave conditions are suitable, of course. As much as you love your new hobby, you might remain a casual surfer, meaning that a soft-top surfboard will definitely meet all your requirements.
So instead of leaping straight to the expense (and potentially discouraging experience) of using a traditional surfboard, the next time you stop at your local surf shop, you might want to cast an eye over their range of soft-top surfboards.
For more information, contact surfing shops near you.Share