Are Hybrid Soft Tops Worth It?

November 01, 2022

Are Hybrid Soft Tops Worth It?

 

 We’ve always said that soft tops are twice the fun at half the cost. But the same isn’t necessarily true with hybrid soft top surfboards. After all these boards can come in around $500, right? these boards are similar to your traditional foamy but have an enhanced performance profile due to layers of fiberglass that are added underneath the foam.

Is That It?

 Well, no. The fiberglass layers add stiffness to the board that makes a difference in better conditions. It feels more like a real hard top surfboard and that stiffness means that you can make drops and spring out of turns in a way that you just can’t  with a traditional soft top. 

  In addition, these boards often have a more thoughtful shape as the more rigid materials mean that the board can be slimmer and have more rocker in certain areas. You’ll notice real rails, not the pizza box rails you’d typically see on a wavestorm.

 Lastly, hybrid soft tops often come with a fin upgrade. Many models offer your choice of  FCS II or Futures fin boxes, which means you can swap in your favorite high performance fins or use the included fins. Often, the fins included are stiffer, higher grade materials than the rubber stuff you may be familiar with from wavestorms. This means that you can actually turn! This is a big deal for people who are experienced surfers or want to be able to progress meaningfully on a soft top surfboard. Many times we’ve experienced wavestorms or other soft tops getting speed wobbles in bigger surf, this is because the fins flex too too much.

 All of these design characteristics make hybrids more fun to surf for experienced surfers, and open doors for beginner and intermediates who want to “really surf”, or progress beyond the basics.

Conclusion

 Admittedly, this doesn’t mean that hybrids are for everyone. In fact, for 80% of people a traditional soft top like the MF SuperSoft will work great and be the best choice. But for others, a hybrid may be well worth the price tag. We think they are extremely fun, and merit the extra cost in certain scenarios. 

We think a hybrid soft top is worth it if:

  • You’re an experienced surfer who wants a board for smaller surf. You care about performance and don’t want to sacrifice being able to turn or surf the way you want to. A hybrid will last you a long time and may become your favorite board on average days.
  • You’re an intermediate surfer who wants one board to rule them all. Maybe you have friends or family who surf consistently, and you don’t want to be that guy or that girl with a wavestorm. If you’re planning to use it often, but surfing is not your end-all-be-all, the investment could make sense for you
  • You have kids or friends who surf, and you want a decent board for them when they tag along. Heck, the number of dads that buy these “for their kids” and end up stealing them is pretty comical. If you want a beginner friendly board that you can still ride, it could make sense for you. 

Recommendations 

 Personally, we have a 6’4 Hypto Krypto soft top that we absolutely love for waist high, mess around days, and a 7’6 Beastie that we opt for in smaller point breaks like Rincon. There are a lot to choose from, but   if you’re looking for a 6’6-8’0 midlength or longboard shape go with the beastie, if you’re looking for something more shortboard-esque the Hypto Krypto is our favorite.

1. HYPTO KRYPTO EPOXY SOFT - HAYDENSHAPES


See it here 

2. MF BEASTIE FUNBOARD - MIDLENGTH FOAM BOARD


See it here

 


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