The ideal vehicles for learning to surf on but reliably good fun for surfers of all levels, softboards aka "foamies" or soft-top surfboards generally feature a soft layer of foam on the deck and a high-density plastic "slick" bottom. The foam core resembles that of a conventional hard-shell surfboard, but the softer exterior is far more forgiving (and far lower-maintenance) than a fibreglass laminate. Softboards are hard-wearing, stable, highly buoyant (and thus easier to catch waves on), and considerably less likely to cause an injury than their hard-shell equivalents. Simply put, they are a great way of getting a user-friendly introduction to surfing at a lower cost. Increasingly, softboards are celebrated by more experienced surfers as a "fun" or low-stress option in small to medium-sized waves, hence the advent of the "performance softboard". Some variety of softboard is pretty much an essential part of any surf family's quiver.