I love thinking about board design. there is so much that goes into the planning aspects of a surfboard. however I’m also certain that the most important aspect of any board’s performance is the ability and fitness of the person riding it. but then that’s another post.

recently I’ve been riding my noserider a lot, partly out of necessity as my new EPS fish is in the works and partly because I want to. the longboard experience is completely different than riding a shortboard and it requires a less physical and more refined approach.

on the log trim is king. and trim happens due to the rail length and shape of the board's rail. on a speedy steep face the board will move super fast without my input whereas on a shortboard I’d need to generate my own speed. turning a log is also completely different from a shortboard. on a shortboard turn you slide your rear foot over the fins and transition your weight so that the wave facing edge is buried into the face of the wave as it changes direction. turning a shortboard is a very physical thing whereas the longboard is about fineness.

my 9’6” has one fin and is quite heavy. there is absolutely no way to turn the board with a wide shortboard stance while burying the rail. well I suppose some big heavy cats could do that but it’s not necessary. instead I simply step back to the tail, and with feet less than shoulder width apart, I weigh down the back of the board and pivot the front end around bringing the rail down back onto the face to engage trim again. once the board is in trim in the pocket I can walk up to the nose as the water from the lip sucks over the egg shaped rails holding the tail in the face.

Dora, style king.

the longboard seems to be marketed as a beginner board quite often. and while it is much easier to catch a wave on a longboard due to its large planning area and volume, it doesn’t really prepare the beginner to surf a shortboard. that is often a misconception that can be clearly seen in the lineup. aspiring shortboarders catch a shoulder high wave on their 9’0” “performance” longboard and with a wide as Texas stance try fruitlessly to turn nine feet of rail like a shortboard and end up either getting hit by the lip or falling over like deadwood in a forest. some like to call this stance the stink butt stance – sorta gives a squatty image eh. now we just need some swell so I can stop thinking about it and just go surf.


Toddy said...

The regal perch of a narrow stance is a thing of beauty.

Eric said...

well said Ras. this post echoed in my head over and over on saturday morning, as trimming the log was the flavour of the day. focus on finess and calculated movements to achieve a spot in the pocket and harness the waves power.