Why Beginner Surfers Like A Soft Top Surf Board


Most instructors use the soft top surf board for teaching as I do in Oceanside Surf Lessons. There are several reasons, upper most is that when it hits a student it doesn’t hurt them. Secondly, the high volume makes them CatchingRealWaveseasier to stand up on and ride. Thirdly, the high volume makes them easier to paddle.

As soon as you start dropping into shorter hard surf boards, you increase the paddling difficulty, the pop up instability, and the riding instability. Just as important, is the fact the soft top can catch foam waves and the hard board needs the power of a wave about to break.

Riding a hard board in the foam to pop up is difficult. Learning to surf riding real waves is difficult. You enter a whole new level of timing and techniques. Progressing from foam to real waves on a high volume board is the easiest transition.

You can learn a lot on a soft top board. You learn the timing of catching waves and popping up. The next step is to ride small real waves that require a very accurate pop up and very good posture to absorb the speed of the real wave. The build up in courage necessary is not to be over looked as the accidents get more violent as you step up in wave size.

A soft top board can ride a seven foot wave as I have seen at my own beach. You can learn to maneuver including cut backs, accelerating, pumping, and driving. The only limitation emerges when you desire to start ripping the lip by running the board up the face. There is a lot to learn on any board before a surfer is ready to rip and shred.

Moving too fast can increase frustration and slow down learning. Paddling becomes more difficult and sessions might become shorter. Lower volume boards are more difficult to paddle fast enough to catch waves so your wave count could drop. Necessary skills that were not learned first on the soft top become more difficult on a hard or low volume board so progress slows.

It is difficult to explain these characteristics to new students who want to be cool and have a short board like their friends, but many soon learn the disadvantages of being cool too soon.


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