I think they're good they can take a good beating, make sure they have removable fins though and I'd suggest a tri incase you really wanna start to surf. A beater is hard to turn though
Ok. I have one (single fin Catch Surf Beater Board) and this is my review.
Responsiveness: very. I like it for skating down little waves and such. Don't use the fins. If the wave is too big to ride w/o the fins use a real board. Reason being is that the fin(s) make it stiff and slow it down more than anything. I can also do shuv it's and 360s with no fin.
Shape/use: weird subject, I know. The bottom channels help with holding power and speed, and the foam top is just SO much fun cuz it doesn't hurt if u botch a trick. Since they are small they are easy to turn, very skatey.
Ok so that's all I've got... Really a simple board, good for the really little groms. Also, I talked to Catch Surf and they are doing pro models for the whole team. They're going to have new graphics and fin boxes that hold ANY futures or fcs fins. I like the whole thing... Don't know about y'all.
I've been playing around shaping a 4'10" bodyboard inspired creation myself. Paint will eventually be orange bottom/yellow deck tribute to the early '80s Mach 7-7 for anyone else unfortunate to be old enough to remember.
Hoping with the channels it can be ridden with or without the fins. If you see any old guys spinning in circles next summer, that might just be me:D