You may notice if you do a surf lesson or check out your local surf school that they are using softboards that are not sold in your everyday local surf shop.
Why is this? As a surf school your softboards are your bread and butter. We need softboards that are not only stable and user friendly. They need to be super durable and able to cope with the wear and tear of being used 6 hours a day 7 days a week.
As a surf school we have tried and tested every softboard on the market over the last 20 years and have come up with the top 5 Softboards that we and every surf school in Australia are using.
1, Ocean Soul Softboards Australia. Ocean Soul are the best on the market as far as durability and performance. They have around a 5 - 10 year life span and are used by all the big name surf school in Australia. Boards range from 6ft-9ft from $400-$600.
2, Wave Rats. Wave Rats softboards are extremely durable and have a 4-6 year life span. Boards range from $350-$500. They do great softboards in 6’6 and 7ft that most surf schools use for their kids programs.
3, Oasis Softboards, Oasis Surf Culture make a really nice surf school softboard that is just as durable as the Wave Rats but much better value. Oasis Surfboards would have to be the best value softboard on the market at the moment. They are a relatively new brand so surf schools are still discovering them. Boards have a 3-5 year life span and prices range from $200-$350. Sizes from 5’5 to 8’4.
4, NSP Surf Wide, NSP make a very durable softboard that is super wide and stable. Boards have a 3-5 year life span. The only down side is they are a bit hard and can still give you a good bruise if the hit you. They are also a bit more pricy than the above brands. Boards range from 6ft-9ft from $500-$700 boards are used by a few big name surf schools.
5, GSI Gnaraloo Fatty, GSI make a strong and stable surfboard that is used by a lot of surf schools in Australia. They are not as durable as the above boards but much better than the usual softboard brands you find in you local surf shop like Softlite and Softech. Boards have a 2-4 year life span. Boards range from 7ft - 9’2 from $500-$700
Some brands to stay away from!
There are a lot of crappy softboards out there that delaminate and air bubble within the first three months. They have been known snap on their first few uses and this is due to poor stringer construction. They are also very thin, narrow and unstable for beginners to learn on.
Here are a few brands to avoid and stay away from:
Maddog, Elnino, Tahwalhi, Mirage, Raw, Body Glove, Piping Hot.
If you are a beginner looking for a good vale softboard that will last, our pick would be Oasis Surf Culture or Ocean Soul.