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ソフトボードのメリット・デメリット

Advantages and disadvantages of softboard

Have you ever used a soft board (also known as a sponge board, soft surfboard, or soft top surfboard) that is gaining popularity lately? I'm interested, but it's not cheap shopping, and I think there are many people who are worried about what to do.

A long time ago, soft boards were thought of as beginner boards for rental at surf shops, so some people said they were not good, but recently, experienced people have increased their use as second boards.

As demand increases, the number of softboards with various specifications and fashionable designs is increasing.

Whether you're a surfer who hasn't used it yet or are just starting to surf, I'd like to make it easy to understand the characteristics of softboards and briefly summarize the differences and advantages / disadvantages from general rigid surfboards.

 

table of contents

1. Features of softboards and differences from hardboards

 1.1. The material is different
 1.2. Buoyancy is different

2. Benefits of soft board

 2.1. Less likely to get injured
 2.2. Easy to catch the waves
 2.3. Hard to break
 2.4. Cheap

3. Disadvantages of soft board

 3.1. Poor turn performance, unable to move quickly
 3.2. Suck water, sucked water drips
 3.3. Wax is hard to remove and dirt is noticeable

 

 

1. Features of softboards and differences from hardboards

Since there are various types depending on the manufacturer and type, there are some parts that can not be said unconditionally, but first I will introduce the general features that are the premise.

1.1. The material is different

Depending on the brand and board, the surface of the surfboard is coated with a foam material such as IXPE or EVA. For example, IXPE is a cushioning material that is often used for camping mats. Compared to general hard surfboards (those with a hard surface such as PU and EPS), the surface is soft, and because it is a foaming material, it absorbs water (it is light if it has the same capacity).

1.2. Buoyancy is different

Sponge boards are generally made thicker than hardboards. Therefore, the capacity is larger than that of a hardboard of the same length. Also, because the material itself is light, the buoyancy is much stronger than a hardboard of similar length.

 

2. Benefits of soft board

Based on the above features, the main advantages and disadvantages of the soft board are as follows.

2.1. Less likely to get injured

There are beginner surfers, but I think there are also people who have hit their knees or sneakers against the board and have been full of bruises and scars. The softboard is made of cushioned material, which can reduce this experience.

There is also the risk of hitting the board against others, especially if you are a beginner when surfing in crowded waters. At such times, the risk of injury to a person can also be reduced. 

2.2. Easy to catch the waves

It comes from the above-mentioned feature 2, but if the capacity is large and the buoyancy is strong, it is easy to receive the power of the waves, and you can ride more waves faster. When I surf for the first time, I still can't forget the excitement of riding the waves. I'm always happy, but I'm more than happy with this feelingYou can experience a lot. Also, riding as many waves as possible is the first step to improving your surfing. This is the main reason why it is considered for beginners.

For experienced people, it seems that it is often used as a second board for small waves without power.

2.3. Hard to break

Although it is derived from the difference in materials, the sponge board is a foam material with cushioning properties, so it is unlikely to be hit and cracked. On the other hand, the hard board has a hard coating on the surface of the board to prevent water from penetrating inside. Therefore, if you hit a hard object and crack it, water will invade and the buoyancy will decrease, so be careful. With a sponge board, you don't have to worry about hitting a hard thigh when you carry it. However, even sponge boards need to be handled with care in order to use them cleanly for a long time.

2.4. Cheap

There are cheap and expensive sponge boards, but they are generally sold at a much lower price than hardboards. The way of thinking depends on the person, but on the premise that the board will be changed according to the improvement of skill, it is a sponge board until you get used to it, or as a second board for small waves, for when you teach family and friends surfing It seems that many people buy it.

 

The reason why sponge boards are often suitable for beginners is that they have such merits. On the other hand, what are the disadvantages of sponge boards?

 

3. Disadvantages of soft board

3.1. Poor turn performance, unable to move quickly

It's close to the difference between short and long hardboards, but because the surfboards are often made thicker, the rails (edges of the board) are less likely to bite into the waves and are quicker.It will be difficult to turn. Recently, in order to improve turn performance, the number of softboards with thicker thickness and softboards with a tail shape suitable for turns is increasing.

3.2. Sucking water ・ The sucked water drips

Due to the characteristics of the material, it will be heavier than you think it will come out of the sea by absorbing water. And even if you wipe off the water on the surface, the water inside will come out if you lean against it when storing it. Therefore, before storing it in the room, it is necessary to drain the water inside before storing it. 

3.3. Wax is hard to remove and dirt is noticeable

This is also a feature caused by the material, but the wax gets into the gaps of the material, and because it is a sponge material, it cannot be scraped off cleanly with a scraper like a hardboard. It can be dropped to some extent, but it should be noted that it is difficult to drop it completely like a hardboard. If you really want to ride cleanly, we recommend choosing a wax-free type with a specially processed surface.

You can stick a deck sticker, but it's easier to peel off than a hardboard, so you'll need to use a sticky sticker.

 

 

The general differences are as described, but there are no downsides for beginners to discover the joy of surfing on a softboard. If you choose it wisely, it will be one of your favorites that you can ride for a long time.

In any case, choosing the surfboard that suits you is the most important thing for fun surfing. If you find a board that interests you, please try it.

See you again. Have a fun surfing life!


 

 

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