Foam surfboards, or softboards as they are also called, were originally used by surf schools to teach people how to surf with a safe board that would not harm the student if they fall off. The foam surfboard has become a great family surfboard to either take to the beach in the summertime, or for more experienced surfers that still want to have fun and catch surf when the waves are smaller.
A foam surfboard has become very affordable over the past few years due to more people wanting to get in the water and have fun. The main benefit of it's construction is that it has really good volume in the foam surfboard which means it will catch waves with ease. The soft top will also remain stable, giving you time to get to your feet and enjoy your surfing.
It makes the learning curve in riding a wave so much shorter than if you had bought a traditional mini mal board. Saying that, a mini mal does allow you to progress further in the long run as it will turn better than a softboard board. So you can choose either route to start you out in the fine sport of surfing.