Why You Should Try a Soft-Top Surfboard

We asked pro surfer Jamie O’Brien his secret for having more fun in the waves. His answer? A foamie.

Catch Surf’s 48" soft-top Beater adds a dash of flavor to summer sessions. (Dustin Sammann)
Photo: Dustin Sammann

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Pipeline is firing the day I get my soft-top, a hot pink nine-foot log. Imagine the stares I get as I paddle out. I’m not expecting much, but the next thing I know I’m locked into a big one, getting spit out of a barrel. I can’t stop laughing, thinking, Holy shit, these boards are the real deal!

They allow you to approach each wave differently. Since soft-tops are less threatening to hardcore surfers, the competitive vibes vanish. You don’t worry about cracking your head or shins like you do with a fiberglass board. And because they paddle so well, you can catch anything. Big closeouts. Tiny rollers. Eight-second screamers. You’re always finding different lines, and you ride every wave until your fins hit the sand.

As told to Andrew S. Lewis

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