Foam surfboards have evolved from clunky beginner boats to performance watercraft, pushing the sport of surfing into new frontiers – certain maneuvers and tricks are only possible on the quick, buoyant foam alternatives.
Modern foam boards, designed by companies like Beater, are speeding up the evolution of surfing into something more akin to skateboarding on water – with foam, speed and maneuverability spike on the water. The buoyant foam allows riders to catch small waves ideal for doing airs, spins and tricks normal surfboards can’t pull off. A hard plastic bottom adds a performance edge and ramps up speed for boosting high off the wave. With these boards, even the tiniest waves are turned into jump ramps, curbs and quarter-pipes.
Somewhat resembling traditional bodyboards, some designs are finless, like alaias, which allow riders to spin freely. Others have small fins that better allow riders to bust moves like shuv-its, big spins and 360s. Skateboarding was born from surfing, but these boards have reversed that trend, injecting skateboard moves into surf.