How is the performance of this Decathlon soft board? We put the Olaian 900 foam 6’0 to the test.
– A fun, versatile foam surfboard that’s a whole lot more capable than the price suggests. However…I wouldn’t call it a performance surfboard. Here’s why –
The Olaian 900 6 foam surf board is a shortboard-shaped performance foamie. It’s a bit pricier than the Olaian 100 6′ as it has some distinguishing features. Based on the looks it’s a lot fancier than the 100 6’0. Also, in terms of features, it easily beats his cheaper twin. For starters, the Olaian 6′ foamie comes with a tailpad. The bottom sheet has high-tech dimples that are supposed to reduce drag. The shape of the 900 seems more ‘logical’ than the 100 6’0. The nose is slightly pointed which gives the board a more shortboard look. The foam deck is slightly lifted on the body, to add buoyancy without making the rails too fat. The 900 foam board is designed by shaper Jeremy Smith and is manufactured in Taiwan.
Volume (L): 46
Weight (kg): 4
Dimensions (inches): 6″ x 21 1/8″ x 3 3/8″
Dimensions (cm): 184 x 54.8 x 8.5
46 liters is quite a lot of volume for a relatively short board. For comparison, a PU 6’0 might have 32 liters. Also, this board has more volume than the 6′ of the 100 series.
As you can see in the video, we have the black 2018 version. I loved that board! It looks sharp and has two advantages:
- it’s really easy to spot in the lineup. The majority of surfers still has white boards. Your buddies (or your photographer!) can spot you easily…
- the wax coat doesn’t get stale. On white and colored boards the white wax will get brownish, because of your wetsuit rubbing it or the sand sticking on it.
However, the Olaian team decided to give the 900 6 a redesign. The black top got too hot in the sun (although I never experienced that) so they changed the color of the 900 foamie to white. The tech and dimensions have stayed the same. The white version looks a lot less fancy, I have to say…
Our experience surfing the Olaian 900 6’
We put the Olaian 6’0 foamie to the test. After 10 surf sessions in different types of conditions, we can say that it’s a super fun board for intermediate surfers. It’s a playful, versatile foam surfboard that’s a whole lot more capable than the price suggests. However…I wouldn’t call it a performance surfboard. Here’s why:
The board works well for adult surfers up to 90kg. The heavier guys will surf the Olaian 900 6′ as a shortboard. Over 70kg, you will want to use this foamie either as a step up to a shortboard or as a fun board when the waves are small. Heavier surfers will be able to do snaps and mellow turns. The light weight surfers or kids will have a harder time making turns. It’s just a lot of foam to push around. The Olaian 6’ likes to go straight and doesn’t feel skatey. That doesn’t mean that light weight surfers won’t have fun. For going down the line of a green wave, the board is perfect. It will give beginners a much better feel for generating speed than a larger soft top would. Don’t try to gauge a radical turn…the flex won’t allow. The soft rails make the board want to make mellow and round turns – nothing too radical. But: it’s super fun in floaters! Plus, grown-ups can duck dive it too, which is a big advantage over bigger soft tops.
For the advanced surfers the Olaian 900 6′ is absolutely great for shorebreak barrels. If you’re a shortboarder, surfing the Olaian 900 6′ will be more natural for you than the smaller 900 5′4. (see review here). The board is not the best in steep take-offs. But the good thing is: you can start paddling earlier than you would on a shortboard.
The experienced surfer can use the Olaian 900 6’ in mushy and windy conditions. Honestly, it’s a great substitute for a longboard on soft ‘longboard’ waves. The Olaian 900 6’ makes for a great travel companion as it’s much smaller than a longboard, but allows you to catch waves longboard-style. Imagine being on a surf trip and not having to carry around a shortboard for the hollow days ánd an 8 foot board for the soft days, but just a single 6’0. The board fits in small cars and is super leight weight to carry. Sure, on the perfect offshore overhead swells the Olaian 6’0 foamie might drag you down a bit. The take-offs are slower and the board is not skatey – but let us be frank: how many perfect days do you get on a surf trip?
Here is a video of us surfing on the Decathlon Olaian 6′ at various European surf spots. As you can see in the clip, the board surfs a bit like a longboard and performs well in small waves. As you will also notice, the Olaian soft top is pretty stable and not the most maneuverable.
Olaian 6’0 negative experiences
We did notice that the Olaian 900 6’ is not the sturdiest board. Despite the wooden stringers the board is still somewhat flexible. It might feel a bit wobbly when you’re going fast. It doesn’t glide off the face of a steep wave as quick as a shortboard. In fact, it takes some practice to keep the board from nosediving on steep take-offs.
Also, the Olaian logo paint comes off a bit too easy. We think this is because of the wax. That’s why you will be better off using bodyboard wax on your foamie. Read more about that in this article.
Another point that is worth noting is that on some Olaian videos this board comes with 5 fin slots, which would give the 6’ a quad fin option. Also we saw in some Decathlon stores that the tag said: quad fin option (see picture). This seems to be a mistake from Olaian as all 900 6’ we saw are thrusters…
Also, in a playful board exchange in the water, the sharp fins of a shortboard landed on the deck of my Olaian 900 6’. Despite the low impact and weight of the collision the fin cut right through the foam.
To sum up: the Olaian 900 6′ is a fun, versatile foam surfboard that’s a whole lot more capable than the price suggests. We love the design and it gives a super fun riding experience in both small/choppy waves and steep shorebreaks. If you’re looking for a really stiff foamie other brands might be more for you.
Check out current prices for the Olaian 900 6′ online at Decathlon.