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Soft Tops: Surfboards For Every Surfer

Soft Tops

A soft top surfboard is great board to have in anyone’s quiver. Everyone uses soft tops from world champions to the first time surfer! Back in the day soft tops use to be frowned upon because they weren’t made to surf the way you would want. They were always falling apart and never had the performance level you were hoping for. Now soft tops are so popular that pro surfers are coming out with their own soft top companies and they are selling out immediately.  Soft tops are especially good for learning how to surf but they have also come out with high performance soft tops that can surf like you would your regular surfboard.

Soft Top Nation

Soft Top Nation


Description: Soft Top

The soft deck top allows for a more comfortable paddle and is also very forgiving with dents and dings. They are lightweight, stable, and are more affordable than a normal fiberglass surfboard. Here we will go over the best soft tops in the surfing industry and why we like all of them for different reasons. We have took our surf school soft tops we have used for years and compared them to the best in the industry. Also we have talked to many top pros/amateurs to see what they preferred and also we ourselves have tried out every high performance soft top in the surfing industry.


For Beginners

We all want to have fun right? When learning how to surf you want to have a surfboard with a lot of foam. This will help you paddle easier and will let you catch a ton of waves compared to a smaller soft top surfboard. We recommend an 8ft-9ft soft top surfboard with as much width and thickness as possible! Here is our favorite learning soft top surfboard in the surfing industry. The 9ft Stormblade SSR soft top surfboard is perfect for learning how to surf on any type of waves. With the added foam it is very buoyant and easy to learn on. You will be standing up in no time. Here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School  this is the soft top that we use to teach every new surfer.

Storm Blade

Storm Blade

For intermediate/advanced riders

Nowadays you can find any style soft top for all conditions. For your small wave days they make perfect summer surf long boards that any surfer can ride. For your medium size days they have what we call “fun shape” soft tops which are more high performance than your long board but can still make steep drops and do radical turns. Finally they make soft tops that are like high performance short boards in which you can get barreled and throw airs on. The list below is our favorite soft top surfboards. 

Takayama Scorpion Soft Top

Takayama Soft Top

Takayama Scorpion

The Takayama Scorpion Soft Top is one of our favorite soft tops in the surf industry right now. They ride really well in small surf but also can handle bigger surf if needed.  The round tail helps with different wave heights but still remains loose enough to be able to throw down turns. The thermal formed EVA soft top deck allows you to grip the board comfortably but still be able to let loose in more high performance waves. Here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School Private Lessons we use these boards all the time and they last forever.


Catch Surf Odysea Soft Tops

One of the leading soft top companies in the world right now. They have every kind of high performance soft top you can imagine. With the short board fun factor they create soft tops that will let you surf the way you want. They are super responsive in massive shore break and super cruisey  on small long board waves.

Odysea Soft Tops

Odysea soft tops

Odysea Soft Top

Odysea Soft Top

INT Soft Tops: 7’0 Fun Board

INT Surfboards have been one of new up and coming companies to master the soft top industry! This 7’0 fun board makes our list because it paddles like a long board but performs like a short board.  “It gives you enough to room to paddle around the line up with ease, has enough pop-up stability, and it gives you just enough responsiveness to execute tighter turns or make it down steeper waves.

INT 7'0 Soft Top

INT 7’0 Soft Top

Mick Fanning Soft Top Surfboards

The last soft top surfboard on our list is from your very own world champions Mick Fanning. He has created his own model of soft tops that represent his surfing and made them for everyone else to enjoy! If you couldn’t feel the foam on your feet then you think you were riding a real fiberglass board. This board is for all around fun but does better in more high performance situations. Its short, wide, and fast which make it one of the more versatile soft tops in the surf industry.

Mick Fanning Soft Tops

Mick Fanning Soft tops

Whether you are just learning how to surf or a legendary surfer you can have fun on soft top surf boards! The new technology that we have come across will make soft tops at the top of the surfing industry for years to come. Everyone should have at least one soft top in their quiver of surfboards and if not then you are late to the game.

If you need any surf lessons or want to join our summer surfing camps go check us out Private Surf Lessons Huntington Beach and Summer Surf Camps Huntington Beach

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Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Confident & Positive Attitude

The number one rule for preparing for your surf lesson is having a positive mindset with confidence that you can be successful. Having an open, growth mindset will keep you positive and focused on enjoying your surf lesson experience. By going into your Private Surf Lessons with a negative or apprehensive mindset, then you are setting the tone for the rest of the lesson and it may not be as rewarding. If you think you are going to be able to do something then most likely you will be able to do it, so, if you think your capable of learning to surf then it will be easier to accomplish.

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Good Vibes Only

Mother Nature always has the final say

Surfing is different than most sports in many ways. The waves and conditions are changing constantly throughout the day. Some days we can know exactly what the conditions should look like, but other days mother nature throws us a wildcard. Surfing demands a lot more patience than other sports because at the end of the day, the conditions will ultimately make the decision. Sometimes the forecast can read like an incredible beach day, but by the time you get there it is be so foggy that you can’t even see the waves. This is one barrier that, unfortunately, preparing for a surf lesson cannot necessarily help you with, but it can prepare you for the potential that conditions may not be favorable for a successful lesson. 

preparing for surf lesson

Understanding That Surfing Isn’t Easy

One of the best things about surfing is that is forces you to be in the moment. The ocean will not stop for you and it will make you have to work hard to be able to conquer it. You can be preparing for your surf lesson for months but it might take some time to learn, just like riding a bike.  You can’t expect to immediately be a pro surfer or never fall, making mistakes is key to learning how to surf faster. Surfing new spots can be tricky but we recommend Bolsa Chica State Beach as one of your first spots for a lesson  The best surfer is the one having the most fun, and most of the time that isn’t the one who is the best in the  lineup.

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson


Physical Capabilities

Knowing how to swim is one of the biggest keys for preparing for your surf lesson. If you don’t know how to swim it will be a little scary while trying to learn how to surf but if you tell us ahead of time we can make arrangements for helping you learn. Here are some workouts you can do to prepare for you surf lesson. Swimming: Swimming can help build up your endurance for paddling in the water, the more endurance your arms have the easier it will be to catch waves and the more you will catch. You would be surprised that surfing is actually 90% paddling, so having good paddling endurance is a good first step.  Yoga is another activity that will help you while learning how to surf. The more flexible you are the easier it will be to learn how to stand up and the easier standing up is for you the more energy you will have to surf longer. When learning how to surf I would also look up videos or read blogs about the basics of learning how to surf to give you some insight before your lesson. 

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson


Planning in advance

The last thing you want to do is run late for a surf lesson. It takes some time to sign in, put sunscreen on, throw a wet suit on your body, and walk down to the water’s edge, so planning to arrive on time is crucial. On top of that the instructor most likely has another lesson booked immediately after yours and every lesson must run on time, regardless of arrival time. The longer you have with your instructor the more time you have to learn how to surf.  Knowing Huntington Beach, you never know if there are events going on or maybe the freeways have traffic, so you need to make sure that you look ahead of time so you can plan your departure time accordingly. You also want to know what to pack for a day at the beach  so you don’t run into any conflicts. Another step to prepare for your surf lesson is to be well rested and eat a good meal before coming to the beach. A good meal doesn’t mean eating a lot of food, while that may fill you up it will up, it will also make you feel sick when doing exercise in the ocean. Not eating at all will make your body feel fatigued and you may end up feeling sick, therefore stopping the lesson. Just a small to moderate sized, nutrient dense food will better prepare your body for the lesson.

Go Check out some of these links for more information about surfing lessons in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Surf Lessons

Private Surf Lessons


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