Top 5 Softboards. Soft Surfboards that all the surf schools are using in Australia

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.

Happy Surfing!

10 tips on how to improve your surfing

1. Go surfing every day.

If you were to only do one of these ten tips, this is the one to do. Try and surf everyday, even if it just for 20 minutes before work or after work. Or if its 1 foot and onshore winds with seaweed and blue bottles, just get out there! The ocean rewards you for it. Ever wondered why all the best surfers in the water always get the bombs. Its not just good luck, they surf a lot and have developed good wave knowledge. Surfing everyday keeps you on your toes and you stay in a good rhythm. Sydney is pretty consistent for waves and i think there are only about 20 flat days a year, so no excuses get out there!

2. Stretch

Being flexible is really important for your surfing. If you are really stiff you surf stiff and have a stiff style. Keep nice and flexible and you will have a nice loose style. 5 minutes a day is all it takes.

3. Strong legs and core

Having strong legs and core is really good for your surfing. You can get really low in your bottom turns and get a lot more power in your turns. Fanning is a prime example, he has supper strong legs and a strong core. Having big arms and pecks does nothing for your surfing. Paddle power comes with fitness and the only way to paddle better is to go surfing and paddle, not lift metal.

4. Have a quiver of boards

There is no such thing as an all rounder. 0-2 ft you need a sick little fish, 2-6 ft you need a nice short board, 6-10” ft you need a nice little semi gun. I think surfing different boards is great for your surfing.

5. Surf different beaches and waves

Surf different waves and beaches. Go on surfing trips and surf the world. This is really good for your surfing and your soul.

6. Surf with other good surfers

Watch how they surf and let them inspire you not intimidate you.

7. Ride good boards

Don’t buy boards that are made in China for the sake of saving $100 or $200. Get good boards and support your local shapers.

8. Have a good wetsuit

Don’t skimp on a cheap wetsuit, you pay for flexibility and warmth. This will allow you to surf better and for longer in winter. 

9. Use the right wax for the water temp

Summer = Orange Sex Wax
Winter = Green Sex Wax
Indo = Red and Blue  Sex Wax 

10. Be happy and nice to people in the water

Surf to relax and have fun, not to be a hero.

“Amazing surf experience”

The beginner's surf adventure with Manly surf guide was amazing. The price is very fair compared to the other surf schools around Sydney and there is a surf lesson (1.5h) in the morning, lunch, afternoon surfing lesson (2h) and all the equipment included. The surf guides are very friendly and experienced and I had a very good time.


“Best kids party”

We booked Manly Surf Guide for our 12 year old daughters birthday with 9 of her friends in December, and the day was a huge hit. Ryan and his team took care of everything, they were great and incredibly patient with ten 12 year old girls! If you are looking for an easy, hassle free kids party with a difference, this is highly recommended. My daughter loved it so much, she can't wait to give surfing another go. Thank you so much for making our daughters birthday memorable!


“A great experience!”

I came across Manly Surf Guide by accident and i am so thankful that i did! Ryan was easy to work with, gave great directions where to meet, is very knowledgeable about Manly and is incredibly passionate about surfing. We booked surfing lessons and paddle boarding lessons for four people and had a great day out with Ryan. The class size is small allowing for more individual attention. Ryan is very professional and easy going. Don't look any further, book with Manly Surf Guide, you are guaranteed a fun-filled day! Thanks again Ryan, we really enjoyed our time with you!

Jenny USA

Manly Surf Guide - featured in a SUP article in "The Great Aussie Bite"

Have you ever been curious to try stand up paddle boarding? You know, those peeps who are everywhere all of a sudden, upright on their surfboard, scaling way out over surf and sea with nothing but a paddle? Though SUP can be traced back to 50’s surf photography in Hawaii, it only became a certifiable ‘sport’ in the naughties and has since gained rapid popularity as the new alternative surf form and water sport.

“Great day surfing!”

Booked on a beginners surf tour at the start of January and had a brilliant time. It is good value compared with other surfing lessons I saw around Sydney and the ferry over to Manly is a must do in Sydney anyway so no better way than to combine the two! There were 5 of us to one instructor so you feel like you get enough time with them. We were met straight off the ferry and driven up to the beach for the day (there were alot of other people on the beach so don't expect the surf all to yourself). I had tried some surfing about ten years ago so may have had a tiny advantage but Danny made me feel like a pro and I really felt like I progressed throughout the day. It is tiring and not all the group were still going at the end so I would only go if you're comfortable battering through the waves! As a side point I tan easily but forgot to put lotion on the back of my legs and I completely sunburnt them so they should maybe make sure it's passed around at the start and at lunch (50+lotion provided) as I was very sore the next day and still have a wetsuit line nearly 2 months on! All equipment and lunch provided and the instructors are great so if you want to learn to surf get yourself booked in with Manly Surf Guide, you will love it!

“GREAT surf guides!”

Ryan and the crew at Manly Surf Guide were awesome! We had such a fun time learning to surf! They made it so easy for us! We just showed up and they picked us up, transported us to some great surf locations, had everything we needed (wet suits, surfboards, sunscreen, water, food). They had all the bases covered! The price was very affordable and we had a full day learning to surf. They provided us with a yummy lunch and even took pictures for us! Would highly recommend Manly Surf Guide to anyone wanting to learn to surf!

Tara Sydney

Swellnet “Wave of the day” Ryan Hayfield Dee Why Point March 2012

Sandstone and Sand

More photos from last weeks swell in Sydney and there ain't a shot of Kelly to be seen. John Clark was shooting north of the bridge, mixing it up between a local rock ledge filled with hoary old locals and a board-snapping beachie that's only a doggy door away from a straight closeout. 

PS: Ryan Hayfield is the fella getting pitted at the ledge.