Why soft construction? Because it rules!


by Brenton Woo April 27, 2016

Based on sight, one of the most obvious aspects of a Moda surfboard is that they're soft. Since many surfers are accustomed to the hard feel of conventional fiberglass surfboards, some have asked why Moda has chosen to use soft construction.

The primary reason is because soft construction is part of how Moda surfboards flex. We use materials common to high-end bodyboards specifically because they don't counter the flex behavior provided by our internal core. With flex entirely controlled by the internal core, the soft exterior just needs to hold the surfboard's shape and float.

We explored many different ideas and designs but simply couldn't get surfboards to flex right using any conventional surfboard materials or construction. Either they didn't flex at all, didn't flex in the right way, or weren't consistent from board to board.

Based on our experience, we think the best way to make surfboards flex is though soft surfboard construction; it's what makes flex possible. As a welcome benefit, embracing soft construction means Moda surfboards not only have the performance advantages of flex, but also are much more user-friendly compared to conventional surfboard constructions. For me, this makes surfing more fun.

With the safety of soft construction, I go for more waves because I'm more likely to drop in on questionable waves that I'd otherwise pass up if I were on a hard surfboard. Soft offers subtle benefits such as I no longer suffer tender spots on my chest from paddling on a hard surfboard. And soft construction makes getting my board to and from the beach less of a chore since it doesn't have a fiberglass shell that dings from day to day movement. In short, soft construction simply makes surfboards easier to live with and more user-friendly than conventional fiberglass surfboards.

But what really excites me about soft construction is that it offers way more potential for improving surfboard performance than conventional surfboard construction.

Consider that conventional surfboard materials, PU and EPS foam and fiberglass, do the exact same things today as they did when introduced to surfing in 1956. Yet, the way people surf has evolved dramatically.

With bodyboard construction, there is a wide range of materials and formats that all perform very differently in different conditions and for different surf styles. For example, some foams are lighter in weight, some flex better in colder temperatures, and some favor drop knee riders. And new bodyboard materials are still being deployed, like blended foams.

Many materials leads to many configurations that feel and perform very differently, and I look forward to exploring them in the future with Moda so we can make surfboards even more fun.

As usual, questions and comments are gladly fielded at @modasurfboards on Twitter!


Brenton Woo
Brenton Woo

Author

Variable rocker pioneer. Destroyer of burritos.