vision foam surfboard review

Vision 8’0 Soft top review

How is the performance of this Vision foam board? We put the Softlite 8’0 to the test.

– I initially bought the soft top as a backup board for small waves and to give to friends but now it has become my most-used surfboard!

– When I feel like longboarding but there’s 100 people out there, that’s when I grab my green 8’0 foamie!

Vision Foam Surfboards

Vision is a surfboard brand that’s mainly active in Europe and New Zealand. They’re a surf school favorite but for the advanced/intermediate surfers the 8′ Softlite might be a good addition to your quiver. Vision soft boards have a 100% Waterproof EPS core that is lightweight. Waterproof means that the EPS foam won’t absorb water if damaged.

The Vision Softlite 8’0

The deck is made of 4mm IXPE plastic deck material with UV stability. The bottom slick is a 0.7mm reinforced HDPE Mesh. The fin slots in the board are VN/1 and the standard setup of the board are 3 plastic flexibe fins.

We reviewed the 8’0 of the Vision TakeOff range. The longer soft tops come with three wooden stringers but the 8’0 has two. TakeOff is Visions medium-level series. We were keen to try out the 8’0 rather than it’s taller brother. The malibu shape seemed attractive for small fat waves and this is confirmed by Visions product description of the 8’0 Softlite “The TakeOff range is designed for beginner to intermediate surfers. This is a great range of wider outline funboard shapes with plenty of volume that will catch any wave going. Perfect for those wanting to develop their surfing.”

Gliding on a mellow right in Portugal on the Vision Softlite 8’0.

Great beginner board, I’ll give them that. But let’s find out. How is the 8’0 Vision Softlite for intermediate surfers? We rode the board several times and we’re not dissapointed.

Vision 8’0 – what does the brochure promise?

Vision promises a ramped-up core that gives ‘dramatically increased’ volume and stiffness for greater stability and paddle power in more challenging waves. It’s an attractively priced foam board with 3 soft fins for a thruster setup. Rounded nose, wide body and a squash tail.

Volume (L): 86L
Dimensions (inches): 8’0″ x 22, 1/4″ x 3  1/4″

The Softlite 8’0 with lovely Portuguese cliff backdrop. Photo by Riemkje Poortinga

Our experience surfing the Vision 8’0

I rode the Vision a few times but one of my surf buddies surfs it ALL THE TIME. So here’s her review:

We bought the Vision 8′ for the small surf days in the Netherlands. We also thought it would be nice to have a board to lend out when we’d had friends coming over. However, we recently moved to Portugal and we brought the Vision Softlite with us. And.. surprisingly.. it’s one of the most used boards in our quiver! In the Netherlands we surfed the board in knee-high waves. In Portugal we surfed the board in waste to shoulder high waves in different spots on the west coast. I think I surfed it the most on the mellow right hand pointbreak of Ribeira d’Ilhas.

The Pro’s of the Softlite 8’0
  • It’s a super versatile board for the whole family
  • The bright green is eye-catching in the line-up and easy to spot for photographers
  • it can handle some impact and doesn’t seem to sponge water (which is quite common for lower-priced soft tops)
  • It’s not that expensive

A bit about me: I’ve been surfing a shortboard for over 10 years. The funny thing is that I have the feeling that I made some real progress the past month surfing on a foamie! It gave me back stoke and playfulness in the waves. My boyfriend, who is a former surf instructor, says that he too feels that riding the occasional soft top is good for your technique as it makes you more aware of your timing and you get more out of a wave.

I enjoy the Vision soft top the most in hip to chest high waves. It’s as if you have more time when you’re on a soft top. To me (1.70) the Vision 8’0 surfs like a longboard. I manage to do a bit of cross stepping. The board doesn’t feel wobbly and is more stiff than some other foam longboards. The board allows you to do turns – longboard style turns. The fins aren’t top notch so a pro surfer might need a bit more high-end fins instead of the standard black flex plastic fins.

I loved racing the board on the big fat waves. Especially since the pointbreak at Ribeira d’Ilhas is pretty crowded. I can’t duckdive the board. It’s easy to push the nose under water since the board is relatively light. The board doesn’t get any dents so to push the board under water (sometimes a bit clumsy with knees and elbows) is no problem. The board is light weight which makes paddling out the back fast.

Initially I surfed the Vision without adding wax. After slipping a few times I started waxing the board from top to bottom. Just a tiny bit. (If you think you don’t have to wax a soft top you’re wrong! We explain that in this article.)

Durability

Apart from some scratch marks on the rails the board seems really durable. We keep the board in the shed outside the house so we shouldn’t complain about any scratches! 🙈

We yet have to test the Vision Softlite Mini Malibu in big conditions. I fear that it might get a bit bouncy on more powerful waves.

Surfing during my pregnancy

After surfing my shortboard and the Vision soft top a few months in Portugal something happened… I got pregnant. Since my belly started growing the Vision 8’0 has become my go-to board! I’ve been surfing for over 10 years now and I never really valued the advantages of foamies. But now, 7 months in my pregnancy, I thank whoever invented the soft top. It has made it possible for me to enjoy the stoke of surfing while having to be super careful (and feeling not so athletic, haha!).

All in all, I’m really happy about the Softlite surfboard. When compared to the Olaian boards, which are reviewed in this article, the Softlite Vision seems a bit more stiff, which is a good thing. It will allow you to turn the board easier. It’s a good option for adults of all levels. It too looks like a really good choice for kids.
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