Top 11 Best River Surfboards | 2020 Reviews (Softech)

In purchasing a river surfboard, you must consider some essential factors, such as your skills, fitness level, height, and weight. Are you a novice, intermediate, or professional? What is your fitness level? How much volume do you need?

These questions are some of the few queries that you need to ask yourself. This way, you can easily decide which river surfboard is suitable for your condition.

Here are some of the most recommended river surfboards that you may want to consider.

Top 11 Best River Surfboards Reviewed

  1. Softech Eric Geiselman 5’7″ Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard
  2. Softech Eric Geiselman 5’0″ Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard
  3. Nexo Bull’s Eye Small Wave Shortboard
  4. Nexo The Rowdy Hybrid Shortboard
  5. Badfish Inflatable SK8
  6. Liquid Shredder Blackball Beater Softboard
  7. Liquid Shredder Eighties Guy Retro Fish Surfboard
  8. Liquid Shredder Machu Pichu Glider Surfboard
  9. South Bay Board Co 6' Guppy Soft Top Surfboard 
  10. South Bay Board Co 6' Mahi 

#1. Softech Eric Geiselman 5’7″ Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard

Softech Eric Geiselman 5'7" Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard

Specifications:

  • Size: 5 feet and seven inches
  • Capacity: 150
  • Construction: 100% Waterproof X-Density EPS Foam Core, Double Stringer, Tri (x3 FCS Fin Setup)

Yes, there’s still enough room in this list for the Softech Eric Geiselman 5’7″ Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard. This product is one of the most dependable boards for novices. Thanks to its perfect combination of soft and hard skin texture, riders can enjoy an uncanny feel and performance with a serious injection of fun.

According to the manufacturer, this Softech model is an excellent all-rounder for beginners who want to hone their turning skills. Amateur river surfers love this board since it builds faster speed and allow them to achieve solid rail turns while remaining stable and free.

Riders looking for beginner-friendly boards with full-bottomed tail and wide hips should not hesitate to purchase this Softech Eric Geiselman 5’7″ Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard. Its concaves are good enough to generate faster drive and speed.

ProsCons
Ideal for beginners to intermediate surfersSmall production runs
Durable and river-specific board
Looks like a high-end model
X-Density EPS Foam Core
Inexpensive soft board

#2. Softech Kyuss King Fish 4’8″ Performance Soft Top Surfboard

Softech Eric Geiselman 5'0" Flash Performance Soft Top Surfboard

Specifications:

  • Size: 4 feet and 8 inches
  • Capacity: 180 pounds
  • Construction: 100% Waterproof X-Density EPS Foam Core

Intermediate river surfers looking for the best high-performance board that can motivate them to surf should choose the best-selling Softech Kyuss King Fish 4’8″ Performance Soft Top Surfboard.

According to the manufacturer, this product is a result of a collaboration between Kyuss King and Softech. It became famous among river surfers in the United States due to its generous volume fish with premium-quality hand-shaped rails. These features generate faster speed that can get you from point A to point B in a hurry.

Since this board is fast and flat, this Softech model can be your small wave weapon with high performance. If you’re an intermediate female surfer who wants to hone some skills, this 4’8″ Performance Soft Top Surfboard is the product you should consider buying.

Furthermore, the 4’8″ Performance Soft Top Surfboard’s overall volume, width, and length promise a stable ride, making it suitable for riders stepping down from longboards or mid-length boards. Several professional surfers have used this Softech model since it is excellent for more fluid and creative surfing.

ProsCons
Hard rails for extra speed and powerBest for small waves only
Stable and smooth performance
Responsive and flexible
River-specific board
High performance

#3. Nexo Bull’s Eye Small Wave Shortboard

BULL’S EYE – Small Wave Shortboard

Specifications:

  • Size: 5 feet and five inches to six feet and 2 inches
  • Capacity: 200 pounds
  • Construction: Quash tail, single to triple concave, thrust fin setup

Next on the list is the Nexo Bull’s Eye Small Wave Shortboard, which became known for its excellent performance in all kinds of river waves. If you don’t know yet, this product has a deeper concave that produces extra lift and full rails that generates better floatable while remaining precise and sensitive to your movements.

Several surfers enjoy this board for its canalize speed that enhances projection and compensates its length. The rocker is flat enough and comes with a tiny nose flip that will not get stuck in hollower waves and late take-offs.

The continued success of the Nexo Bull’s Eye Small Wave Shortboard is a testament to its functionality in a multitude of conditions suitable for beginners, intermediates, and advanced surfers. Its smooth rear rocket will surely impress you due to its responsiveness and capability to hold in tight arcs.

Nexo crafted the Bull’s Eye Small Wave Shortboard with different volume allocations and dimensions to help female river surfers make the most out of their performance. Generally speaking, it is a flexible and all-around ride that offers the same responsiveness as a shortboard.

ProsCons
Flexible design that enhances responsiveness and stability
Quite expensive
Several dimensions available
Excellent pivoting control
Built for speed

#4. Nexo The Rowdy Hybrid Shortboard

THE ROWDY – High Performance Hybrid

Specifications:

  • Size: 5 feet and five inches to 6 feet and 6 inches
  • Capacity: 180 pounds
  • Construction: Thruster fin setup, low rocket, medium rail, round, square tail

If you are searching for the best high-end river board, consider the Nexo the Rowdy Hybrid Shortboard. This product is an excellent all-rounder that offers plenty of volumes and a full nose for easy paddling. It was also built with a durable and smooth deck and bottom so you can glide over the water more conveniently and catch all the waves. With this product, you can experience a superior paddle capacity, inertia, floatation, and maneuver.

According to the manufacturer, the Nexo the Rowdy Hybrid Shortboard is suitable for intermediate, advanced, and professional players who love point breaks. This model also features a small traction pad, fin set, and removable ankle leash so users can have better support while surfing. Although it is not the best board for beginners, it can still accommodate those people who have been practicing very well for several weeks.

Since the release date, several surfers could not get enough with the Nexo the Rowdy Hybrid Shortboard. If you look for reviews, you will see plenty of comments regarding its unique design that helped riders smooth out their performance. This product also promises to provide a versatile and robust board that you can easily set up for any wave conditions.

ProsCons
Integrated traction pad offers better control and stabilityNot the best river board for beginners
Perfect for intermediate and advanced players
Excellent paddle capacity
Flexible construction

#5. Badfish Inflatable SK8

INFLATABLE SK8

Specifications:

  • Size: 5 feet 9 inches x 26 inches x 2.75 inches
  • Capacity: 200 pounds
  • Construction: PVC Inflatable Drop Stitch

Do not mistake Badfish Inflatable SK8 for a pool toy. This robust inflatable board was built to perform and ride different river wave conditions. If you don’t know yet, it can accommodate 60 to 200 pounds due to its premium-quality PVC inflatable drop stitch. With the Badfish Inflatable SK8, you can receive other accessories, such as the Dual Action Pump, Removable Ti-Fin, and the stylish Backpack Board Bag.

According to the manufacturer, they shaped the Badfish Inflatable SK8 to remain lightweight, robust, versatile, and high-performing. Its rails are good enough for river surfers who need to maximize speed or stay in the wave without getting flushed out.

Furthermore, the Badfish Inflatable SK8 is a reliable river surfboard that can handle anything from double overhead to waist high waves. Its fuller tail and rounder can help you float and even paddle more conveniently.

ProsCons
Maneuverable and stable on the waves
Needs fast waves for better volume
Suitable for rocky and shallow waves
Excellent performance
Solid and durable
User-friendly

#6. Liquid Shredder Blackball Beater Softboard

blackba beater

Specifications:

  • Size: 4 feet and 11 inches x 21 inches x 2.5 inches
  • Capacity: 165 pounds
  • Construction: EPE Deck, EPS core, PP hard and slick bottom, dual wooden stringers

Since its debut, the Blackball Beater Softboard has been a hit for Liquid Shredder. Last 2019, this board made up almost 25% of the company’s total annual sales and continues to carry a massive momentum this year. Liquid Shredder’s primary goal with the Blackball Beater Softboard is to keep the stroke firing while still making your performance more fun.

Since this Blackball Beater Softboard features a fuller tail and nose, you can expect less rocker and more volume. Every experienced river surfer knows the impressive capabilities of this product. This brand offers a sturdy and sleek EPE deck, EPS core, and PP hard and slick bottom. Plus, it has dual wooden stringers that generate more strength and better rigidity.

If you are new to river surfing, you will surely appreciate the Liquid Shredder Blackball Beater Softboard. It is light, soft, sturdy, and more comfortable to handle. Besides that, this model features a patented and heat laminated materials that prevent the board from losing its quality due to the harmful UV sunlight.

ProsCons
Does not quickly fade in UV sunlight
Single color option available
Great for first-time river surfers
Can hold up to 160 pounds
Lightweight construction
Affordable price

#7. Liquid Shredder Eighties Guy Retro Fish Surfboard

eighties guy retro fish

Specifications:

  • Size: 5 feet and 8 inches or 6 feet and 4 inches
  • Capacity: 170 pounds
  • Construction: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Aluminum Stringer System, Patented Technology, Gore-tex Vent

This best-selling Liquid Shredder Eighties Guy Retro Fish Surfboard is another beginner-friendly board that can conquer every wave you encounter during your river surfing. From its remarkable design, this Liquid Shredder variant boasts a unique construction and shape that help users to cut through the water more comfortably.

Although the Eighties Guy Retro Fish Surfboard is an excellent product for beginners, experienced riders can still enjoy it. According to the manufacturer, this product offers a low rocker and full Fish shape that generates more speed and better stability. Several customers reported that it works smoothly in ripping any wave during small and mushy surf days.

Furthermore, the board’s design offers versatility that performs well at all river surfing conditions. Regarding its nose and tail, these areas can keep the surfboard loose and fun while keeping it on the water during take-offs and turns. It’s Advance Tech Patented Carbon Fiber Reinforced Dual Aluminum Stringer System also makes the product stronger while maintaining a lighter weight than other Light Shredder models.

ProsCons
Excellent shape and qualityNot the best for maneuvering
Great value for money
Does not fade quickly
Perfect for beginners
Good capacity

#8. Liquid Shredder Machu Pichu Glider Surfboard

machu pichu glider

Specifications:

  • Size: 6 feet and 4 inches, 6 feet and 9 inches or 7 feet and 5 inches
  • Capacity: 170 pounds
  • Construction: Patented Advanced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Aluminum Stringer System

If you are looking for a robust yet versatile board, then the Liquid Shredder Machu Pichu Glider Surfboard might be the one that you want to purchase. This board comes in three different sizes with FCS compatible thruster fin system, making it suitable for all surfers.

According to the manufacturer, the Liquid Shredder Machu Pichu Glider Surfboard promises to give users the maximum volume to enjoy a more convenient and accessible water-catching. Besides being robust and versatile, the surfboard’s patented construction with vinyl skin makes it easy to clean and repair, and of course, resistant to sun damage.

Machu Pichu Glider’s Patented Advanced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Aluminum Stringer System assures longevity and that no catastrophic skin delamination will occur on your board. Liquid Shredder also further distributes the volume into the rails, tail, and nose so experienced surfers can quickly generate speed.

Overall, the Liquid Shredder Machu Pichu Glider Surfboard is a great board for anyone who prefers to stick on a specific model for a long time. Its sturdy materials can take any beating and perform as a skimboard if you are not in the mood to surf. Regarding the size, it is not too big nor too small, so buyers can still easily store it at home when not in use.

ProsCons
Patented vinyl skin system that prevents fading
Does not have the best nose rocker
Easy to clean and repair
Dura-Poly rail protection
Beginner-friendly
Robust construction

#9. South Bay Board Co 6' Guppy Soft Top Surfboard 

South Bay Board Co Guppy Soft Top

Specifications:

  • Size: 6 feet x 21 inches x 3 inches
  • Capacity: 100 pounds
  • Construction: EPS closed-cell foam core, lightly textured soft foam deck, Double Stringer System

If you are looking for a reliable soft-top river surfboard, the 6′ Guppy Soft Top Surfboard is the best option. This high-performance and the lightweight board works very well in nearly any kind of river wave. You can also rely on its superior floatation and inertia, making your ride easy to take off. Besides that, this 6′ Guppy Soft Top Surfboard offers plenty of stability during radical maneuvers and landing aerials.

Several intermediate surfers have been using the South Bay Board Co 6′ Guppy Soft Top Surfboard since its construction generates the hard-to-find balance that helps them catch any wave. The most striking thing about this board is its user-friendliness.

According to the manufacturer, the South Bay Board Co 6′ Guppy Soft Top Surfboard is ready to help all kids and younger adults to catch a bunch of river waves hassle-free. You will also appreciate its lightly textured soft foam deck that makes the wax application process more manageable. 

ProsCons
Broad squash tail generates more control and stability
Not the best river surfboard for experienced riders
Ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers
Smooth and lightly-textured deck
Easy to maneuver
Easy to carry

Check Price on Amazon


#10. South Bay Board Co 6' Mahi 

South Bay Board Co 6' Mahi 

Specifications:

  • Size: 72 inches x 22 inches x 2.75 inches
  • Capacity: 200 pounds
  • Construction: Wax-free foam soft top deck, glassed hard bottom deck, EPS closed-cell foam core, heat-release valve

A few months ago, South Bay Board released the 6′ Mahi Surfboard. Unexpectedly, it became one of the company’s best sellers due to its wax-free fingerprint textured foam deck and has remained ever since.

According to the product description, this board has a traditional Fish shape, rounded thruster noses, and widened chest area that helps riders enjoy easier pop-ups. Regarding the tail, it has a traditional fish design for classic and smooth surfing combined with wildly exciting performance.

You may consider the South Bay Board Co 6′ Mahi as a cheater. You will feel like it’s cheating since the board floats well and moves like Poseidon is pushing you along the waves. For the experienced surfers who already outgrown their boards, this model is an excellent choice.

You don’t have to worry about weight capacity since the South Bay Board Co 6′ Mahi can handle up to 200 pounds. You can also guarantee the best premium-quality materials since this manufacturer has been developing tons of robust and long-lasting surfboards for several years.

ProsCons
Durable and resistant to heat damageLower volume restriction
Smoother and more convenient ride
Faster and cleaner transitions
Performance-focused

Check Price on Amazon


Best River Surfboard Brands

Liquid Shredder

Liquid Shredder is one of the world’s most trusted river surfboard manufacturers due to its affordability, durability, and high quality. With this company, you can guarantee that your surfboard has the most innovative design and latest technologies

South Bay Board Company

The South Bay Board Company has an excellent reputation thanks to its high-performing and user-friendly river surfboards. This company has a global vision to become the most potent surf brand in the United States and Europe.  The owners’ talent and love for surfing ensure that customers receive premium-quality boards that can last for many years.

Nexo

Nexo produces river surfboards that can cover different riders’ needs due to its wide range of products. All boards available here have excellent quality reasonable prices.


Features to Look for When Buying a River Surfboard

If you are completely uneducated about purchasing a reliable river surfboard, this topic is for you. Before settling with a particular product, you must be smart enough to check some essential features. Below are some of the things that you need to consider when purchasing a river surfboard.

Your Skills

When purchasing a river surfboard, you have to consider your skills. Can you paddle? Will you surf in different rivers? What type of waves can you ride? Be honest with yourself so you can quickly narrow your search down.

Size

Longer boards provide more speed and easy paddling, while wider ones help you stand up steadily and gives your body more stability.

Here is a sample of the right sizes for surfers:

Surfer Weight (lbs)Surfboard Length
100-1406′0″-6′4″
140-1606′2″-6′6″
160-1806′4″-6′8″

Weight Capacity

Check your accurate weight and see if your preferred board can accommodate it. Do not take a surfboard that you can outweigh so you can surely enjoy it for many years.


Conclusion

Choosing the right river surfboard for your skills is critical to your enjoyment and, most importantly, success. Of course, the intermediate and expert surfers already have ideas about the boards they need to take out in the river. However, you must keep in mind that this knowledge takes plenty of time and decision-making.

However, with trusted brands, such as Liquid Shredder, South Bay Board Company, and Nexo, you can guarantee the highest quality and best value for money. Since several experts have recognized these companies, they experienced a massive boost in sales from novices to the most experienced surfers.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Is river surfing dangerous for beginners?

A: No, river surfing is less dangerous for first-time riders than for the experienced one. When you are getting started, chances are you will stay on smaller waves and mellow rivers. Plus, it is a stream with not too little or not too much water, making it extremely safe for beginners.

Q: What river surfboard size is the best for beginners?

A: Beginners should go for minimal surfboards with a length of around seven feet and a thickness of two to three inches. Don’t forget about volume since it helps your board float better, making it easier to learn new tricks.

Q: How much should a river surfboard cost?

A: A robust and high-performing river surfboard ranges around $400 to $1,000 or even more. However, you don’t need to purchase a professional model if you are still at the beginning of your journey.

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