How is the performance of this mini malibu-type soft board? We put it to the test. Enjoy our Softech soft surfboard review.
– Great soft top for small waves. Decently stiff. Allows for late takeoffs which makes the Softech 8 fun for advanced surfers too.
Softech is a brand of the Australian Surf Hardware International – the same company that owns FCS, Hydro and Gorilla. Their boards are widely available in the USA, Australia Japan and Europe.
Softech has expanded its foam surfboard range immensely the past years. It now has fishes, quads, mini simmons…you name it! But…we tested a more traditional softech soft top: the Softech 8’0 of the Handshaped line. (Softech has divided it’s surfboard range into two divisions: the ‘Performance’ line and the ‘Original Series’. The Handshaped Softboard falls into the latter)
The yellow / blue soft boards are a common sight in surf schools and rentals. 8’0 is the standard choice for both kids and adult learners.
But how is the Softech 8’0 for intermediate surfers? Does it allow you to do turns and catch steeper waves? We rode the board and here is our verdict.
Handshaped 8’0 – what does the brochure promise?
On their website, Softech promises us the following:
“Hand shaped with a generous outline and loads of volume. These boards are designed specifically so learners can easily paddle onto waves and jump to their feet. The large surface area and the abundance of foam creates a very stable platform for surfers of all ages to confidently ride waves and learn the basics skills of surfing.”
The Handshaped series consists of soft boards of 6 different sizes, ranging from 6 to 8’4 feet in length. Softechs’ 8’0 has a volume of 94 liters. Furthermore, the dimensions of the foamie we tested are: 8’0″ x 24″ x 3 1/3″
The Softech Handshaped foamies have a 100% Waterproof EPS Foam Core and double wooden stringers. They have a tri fin setup that you can upgrade with FCS compatible fins but is standard with flex fins – which we rode too when trying the board.
Our experience surfing the Softech 8’0
On the day we tested the Softech malibu the waves were small, slow but sometimes punchy. A short interval wind swell on a peaky beach break.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the board has a good degree of stiffness. It does not have a lot of flex like you sometimes see in entry-level foam surfboards. Great!
What I loved: The Softech 8’0 will get you to the lineup super fast. The board isn’t too wide which is good for people like me (small of statue). Because the board is relatively narrow, it allows you to make powerful strokes.
When paddling into waves, the Softech 8’0 feels a bit slow. If you want to catch unbroken waves you’ll have to start paddling early to get the foamie in forwards motion. I liked how the board allows you to make angled take-offs. But: if your laying down, ready to paddle for the wave, and the board isn’t perfectly in line with the push of the wave, it is hard to correct in the last second. This resulted in some kooky wipe-outs.
The grip is decent. I did wax the board, as I always do with rigid boards and foam boards. Always. No exception. The Handshaped 8’0 doesn’t come with a tailpad but I don’t think it needs one. On a 8’0 or bigger, it takes some skill to turn. Your feet will be stepping and moving on the surface of the board.
When surfing the Softech, it didn’t pearl (or nosedive) once. I guess this is a result of the rocker in the shape. The square tail gives an extra push in small powerless waves. The rails aren’t the best but you won’t really feel that in small surf.
Softech 8’0 – the right surfboard for you?
The Softech foamie surfs well in small, fat waves. It was not super responsive and personally, as an advanced surfer, I would prefer a more maneuverable soft top. But then again, I’m not much of a longboarder!
If you’re into longboarding the Softech Handshaped 8 footer might be a good foam option. The board is not expensive: the price point is around the €350 mark. If you want to get a better understanding at soft top prices, you might want to see our price guide on How Much Does A Soft Top Surfboard Cost.
To sum up: the Softech Handshaped 8’0 is a good board for absolute beginners or for people that like longboarding. We can say that it’s also a fun board for intermediate surfers. It paddles into waves pretty easily and is stiff enough to make some mellow longboard style turns.
If you want to find out if this shape is the right one for you, you might want to see our article ‘A short guide to foamie shapes here.