Foamies are bucking the French class trend with some lineups being dominated by the often shunned boards.
We have been dossing down in the Wavelength House in Hossegor for a little over two weeks now. Our time has been spent immersing ourselves in the local culture – sucking up some great waves, eating too many croissants and definitely drinking far too much vin rouge.
The one thing we weren’t ready for is the rise of the foamie and quite how much the French have welcomed the fun loving boards into their fold.
There are a few good brands leading the charge but it is certainly evident since our last visit that these little funbags are here to stay with some breaks witnessing around 10% of riders shredding foam. Not an epidemic by any account, but certainly a growing trend that deserves our attention.
Perhaps they are better for the local conditions or perhaps their versatility and styling make them stand out?
We caught up with local surfer Maui who told us if he could only ride one board for the rest of his life, why that would be a foamie.
What makes this current influx of boards so different?
A couple of years ago the main tendency in surfing was high-performance orientated or mega-classy high-end stuff. There seemed to be no place for anything else.
So when Catch Surfboard showed up with their Beater boards – a ride that you could get smashed in the shore break, its flashy colors and ridiculously amusing marketing – it really stood out from the crowd and it really changed the state of mind of a lot of surfers.
Everyone can easily surf them, that is the bonus. From complete beginner to pipe-smoking North Shore Jedi.
Plus the quality of the boards is superior to others. The core of the boards is really stiff and allows you to go more radical than other boards. More importantly though the Catch Surfboards, in particular, look much better than any other foamie, people really dig that.
Are they suitable for everyone? All waves and abilities?
The boards have a lot of volume and as a result you can easily take a smaller size than you usually might. They float a hell of a lot better than other stuff.
Jamie [O’Brien]has regularly pushed how far you can go with the boards. He even did a paddle in session on a seven-foot log at Jaws.
When the boards hit Europe for the first time, it was all the pros that rang the doorbell at first. For example Benjamin Sanchis showed up before his winter on the Canaries just to get a hand on one of the boards.
Everyone can easily surf them, that is the bonus. From complete beginner to pipe-smoking North Shore Jedi. There is really no limit.
If you could only ride one board for the rest of your life would it be a foamie?
Yes, the Skipper 6.0″ Quad. It’s absolutely insane and perfect for all conditions.
We have seen a lot of people riding the new wave of foam boards, can you see them taking over? Is world domination next?
It makes sense to have one in your quiver. It’s all about the fun. And that is the reason everyone starts surfing. To come out of the water with a smile. We see more and more of the boards in the lineup and the smiles are connected. But no one will take over anything here. The word is definitely spreading though and people are definitely feeling the stoke.