Longboard surfing has made a comeback in popularity over the last ten years from its older roots. Longboard surfboards typically refer to surfboards that are greater in length than nine feet although longboards for women are often in the 8’6″ range as well. Riding a longboard can be described as an experience where the surfer is gliding down the wave. With shorter surfboards the surfer is accelerating by working the wave top to bottom to gain speed and keep afloat, where the longboarder is trimming and gliding with the wave. The longboarder embodies grace in the surf where the shortboarder seeks more radical movement.
One of the keys to riding a longboard surfboard correctly is trimming the surfboard to stay in the curl of the wave. Different techniques for trimming a longboard surfboard include walking the board, nose riding, and hanging ten. Walking the board refers to moving forwards or backwards on the board to either accelerate, by moving forwards, or slow the board down, by moving backwards. Nose riding or hanging ten is a method of trimming the longboard surf board where the surfer walks to the front of the longboard and hangs all ten toes over the nose of the surfboard.
Longboarding typically happens in gentler more tapered waves where the surfer can maximize their glide and trimming. When a surfer is paddling out to the lineup and a wave comes a shortboarder would duck dive to get under the white water. With a longboard, that is typically not possible as the surfboard is so large. A longboarder can use a variety of techniques to get through the whitewater, but the most common technique used is to turtle where the surfer flips the longboard upside down with hands about mid way between the nose and the mid section of the board allowing the whitewater to pass over the surfboard while the surfer is underwater.
There are many different styles of longboard surfboards that are available on the market. There are longboard surf boards built to learn to surf and these are typically wide and thick and often times are made of a soft material to not hurt the beginning surfer if they are hit by the longboard surfboard. There are also longboard surfboards built for the intermediate, advanced, and expert surfer. A cruiser longboard is built such that it can be ridden more from the back of the longboard surfboard and is not optimized for walking to the nose of the longboard surfboard. A nose rider is a board that is optimized for trimming and walking forward to hang ten or nose ride. Often times, a nose rider will be concave in the front allowing the surfer to spend more time in the curl of the wave on the nose.
Different Longboard shapers exist making the different shapes mentioned above. Shapers such as Donald Takayama, Skip Frye, and Dick Brewer are among some of the best known although there are many other top shapers out there. To purchase a longboard, visit your local surf shop or read some surfboard reviews online and purchase a used longboard for sale online and save some money.
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