MF Softboards Catfish

THE BOARD

MF Softboards said :

“The Cat Fish is fast and super fun! Inspired by the speed and flow of boards from the experimental 1970’s where there were no rules! This design is a response to wanting to have a softboard in the quiver that will surf in a more diverse range of conditions, you won’t need tp reach for the standard shortboard until the waves are head high.”

We said :

A very sweet ride indeed! I got to ride the MF Softboards Catfish in a variety of conditions ranging from 1ft beachies out the front (not great) to 3ft, fattish but fun waves across to some ok tubes one particular surf. The model I rode was 5’10 x 20 1/4 x 2 3/4 (37L) that had a five fin FCS II setup, with a very cute coral colour running through the deck. In short, it’s a surprisingly fun board to ride!

SHAPE

It’s an interesting shape when you have a close look at it. Kinda like a fish, kinda like a shortboard grovel board but less so. It’s just nice under the arm and fun to ride.

This hybrid design has a slightly decreased nose area when compared to a standard keel or quad fish, which will help you do better carves with weight over your front foot vs needing to anchor your turns off your back foot (which you normally need to do with Keel/Fish). The bottom (something like a double concave) is designed to increase water flow under the front foot and then release it with ease through the fins and tail. The result is fast acceleration with drive out of turns.

It runs a medium to low rocker so don’t be thinking you’re going to be nailing late drops on the regular. You’ll end up just blowing your neck out and sitting on the couch high AF watching Ru Paul re-runs. The upside is that it paddles well and lets you go fast, fast.

WAVE TYPE

This is a board that goes is most conditions up to about 3ft (maaaaaybe 4 if you’re pushing it) but it’s best suited to 2ft runners on a day when the suns shining, you’re doing a beach day and you’re keen to mix it up between boards or you can only take one down.

Having said that I’m sure you could ride this at 6ft Kirra and have a pretty funny time. It’ll hold through most of the turns and you can pump in the tube, etc, but odds on you’ll just die. But this where I find the most fun in softboards, they seem to take the seriousness out of surfing and just allow you to enjoy surfing for surfings sake.

Bottom line think of the type of waves that you almost want to surf but generally turn around and go home in. It’s a touch too small, or too chubby or just not quite right for your High Performance Shortboard that doesn’t float you properly. This is where the MF Softboards Catfish comes in and saves the day.

PERFORMANCE

Look, if you’re getting a softboard you’re not here to have me tell you you’re going to win the next round of your board-riders on this thing. You buy this cause it’s fun to surf when the waves are crappy, or ’cause you somehow convinced wifey it’s for the kid and you’re going to stomp a couple of turns when she’s not looking.

Also, ride this as a quad or twin with trailer. As a Thruster I found you will be pushing shit up hill – you’ll still be ok, but you will multiple times more fun if you change it up. I’d suggest MR or Merrick Twins with their trailers or a nice Quad Set-up (H4’s maybe). I didn’t ride Futures in this board (or rarely do anyway) so can’t tell you which ones work best there…

What else? You can rip on this, look at the photos of Sunny and Perth. Both of whom are shredding on the thing. Having said that, even if you don’t surf as good as them, you’ll still have a ball on it and I am pretty sure it’ll help you improve your overall surfing. Why? The extra foam (get it a few litres – if you’re a volume guy – above what you normally get) will help smooth out turns and you’ll go faster. Plus, the pressure you’ll take off yourself for riding a softboard will ultimately just have you surfing better

MF Softboards Catfish

VERDICT

Overall, if you have the cash available (hello job keeper!) then adding an MF Softboard to your quiver is a solid choice. They’re fun to ride, they’re soft and don’t hurt when you cop it in the head or ribs – for you or ya kid.  You can surf them reasonably well, if not rip on some, but I do think this model the MF Softboards Catfish Model is best suited as a great balance between you surfing it and your kid surfing it. You can go out and rip around on a couple, come in and push the kid into a couple. Rinse, repeat.

And if it’s a board thats getting you to the beach more often, and out into the surf more often, than it’s a win in my eyes. The biggest catch is the price. At $550 you could probably pick up a solid second hand board or a backyard shaper for the same price, or add a couple hundred more and get a brand spanker. Hard question…

The Wins:
*Easy to paddle and get into waves
*Easy to surf on and have fun.
*Blackball win if you’re in CA

The Challenges:
*Expensive.
*Sharing with kids

The MF Softboards Catfish is widely available globally, anywhere that stocks softboards is most likely going to have one of these to run your hands over. Need to know the closest? Hit up their retailer page for more info.

Alternatively, you can get all Web 2.0 and buy one online direct from MF Sofrboards himself. Once you do that, and chase down a pair of the MR or Al Merrick Twins to run with it.

Price wise you’re looking at around $550 AUD (not including fins), which ain’t wildly affordable but considering this is a board that’s got potential to last a while, have others enjoy it in the family and generally keep you surfing, we think it’s a win.

5’4 x 19 1/4 x 2 1/4  27L

5’8 x 20 x 2 1/2  33L

5’10 x 20 1/4 x  2 3/4  37L


If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including the most recent review of the Channel Islands Mid along with buyers guides of Springsuits and Boardcovers. We’ll have more Surfboard reviews coming soon.

Again, if you’re interested in buying the MF Softboards Catfish hit the links below ::

Buy from MF Softboard’s Online Store
Check MF Softboard’s Stockist list


Images via :

MF Softboards // Mick Fanning // And ones we shot ourself.