WHY YOU SHOULD BE RIDING A LONGBOARD
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE SURFING A LONGBOARD
Whether you’re learning how to surf, or you’ve been doing it all your life, if you are not currently riding a longboard, or you don’t have a longboard in your quiver then you are missing out. Not only is longboarding tool to learn how to surf Longboarding is the original form of surfing, and there is nothing as stylish, graceful, and in tune with a wave as a skilled longboarder. Surfers started to stray from longboarding with the radical advancements in board shaping that occurred during the seventies and eighties. New surfers were no longer interested in surfing a longboard and doing hanging tens or cheater fives, rather than opt for the endless style of longboarding surfers turned to twin fins and eventually thrusters.
Shortboards brought about new, progressive manoeuvres that ultimately advanced surfing to new heights. But there is something to be said about tradition and going back to the roots of surfing. Longboarding has a lot to offer every surfer, not just beginners. If you’re a surfer who has never truly put in the hours on a longboard, then do yourself a favour and truly learn how to longboard. The results will be evident in your surfing, no matter what you have underfoot.
1. LONGBOARDS ARE PERFECT FOR PEOPLE LEARNING TO SURF
Every surfer should start out on a longboard. Learning how to surf can be a frustrating process, and that frustration is only compounded when trying to learn on the wrong board. A longboard provides beginner surfers with ample surface area that will catch waves with ease and feel stable on the takeoff. Surfers who learn on shortboards or try to jump down in board length too quickly will develop bad habits such as popping up with a dropped knee.
Additionally, learning to manoeuvre and generate speed on a longboard increases a surfer’s understanding of wave mechanics. Learning to walk the board allows surfers to explore the waves face and learn which sections contain speed.
2. INCREASE YOUR DAYS IN THE WATER
Longboards are wave catching machines, plain and simple. The surf does not need to be pumping for a surfer of any level to have a good session on a longboard. The harsh reality of surfing is that waves are rarely perfect.
Your local break might be “world-class” with the right swell and wind direction, but how often does that happen? Even if you know how to surf, and you consider yourself an advanced surfer, a longboard will increase your days in the water. It may as well be law that a day surfing small waves on a longboard is better than a day of not surfing at all.
3. IMPROVE YOUR SURFING
To learn to longboard is to learn how to surf. No one starts out on a shortboard, at least they shouldn’t. It is common practice for beginners to start on soft tops or longboards, and gradually reduce the length of their board as they progress. Longboards, however, are not just for beginners. While it is widely believed that longboards are for novice surfers, longboards actually serve as an invaluable progression tool for all levels of surfers.
When you longboard, things slow down, allowing surfers to deeply study the form and shape of the wave. Each longboarding session turns into a lesson in wave mechanics.
4. LEARN TO NOSE RIDE
Nose riding was once seen as the pinnacle of progressive surfing. In the 1960s, longboards were the standard surf craft, board shorts featured 3-inch inseams, and nothing was cooler than being able to ride with your toes hanging off the noise of your board.
To be able to hang ten or perform a cheater five, takes skill, balance, and a deep understanding of wave mechanics. I don’t know a single surfer who can noise ride, who doesn’t also rip on a shortboard.
5. IMPROVE YOUR STYLE
Watching a skilled surfer on a longboard is akin to watching ballet. Riding a longboard well is essentially an intricate dance that requires grace, balance, strength, and a great deal of skill. Style and grace may seem to come naturally to some surfers, but in actuality, they are born out of repetition and deep study.
Learning to longboard will inevitably increase a surfer’s skill and style.
6. LONGER RIDES
Along with more days in the water and an increased wave count, surfing a longboard will also provide lengthier rides. The high volume and length that allow longboards to be able to catch more waves than smaller surfboards, will also increase the length of each ride. Longboards have so much volume that they can cruise through the slow sections of a wave that will typically end a short boarders ride. Additionally, longboarders can easily ride through the ankle-high white water after a wave closes out and reach the reform.
Once you learn to longboard, don’t be surprised if many of your rides take you all the way to the beach.
7. YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO SURF A LONGBOARD
The high volume and length of longboards make them incredibly easy to paddle and manoeuvre, therefore longboards are an ideal surf vessel for those of us who are a bit over the hill age-wise. If your shoulders can’t handle the wear and tear of paddling a board that may be shorter than you and sinks halfway into the water with you on it, then it may be time to learn how to longboard. If your hips cannot perform the jerky movements it takes to pump down the line on a shortboard, then it may be time to learn to longboard.
And if you do not have the strength to submerge your board underwater to duck dive, then it may be time to learn how to longboard.
8. NEVER GET SKUNKED ON A SURF TRIP
The seventh circle of hell most likely involves a perpetual cycle of booking a surf trip to some far-flung tropical surf paradise, only to arrive to find that there is no trace of a swell. No one likes getting skunked, but if the waves are small wouldn’t you still want the ability to surf? That’s where a trusty longboard comes in handy.
You may not get spit out of stand-up barrels, but at least you can catch a few waves on a trip where things don’t exactly go as planned.
9. CRUISY AND RELAXING RIDES
Whether you’re just learning how to surf or you’ve been at it for twenty years, you’ll love the laid back, cruisy rides that longboards offer. There’s no need to tire yourself out paddling, just a few hard strokes will put you into virtually any catchable wave. There is no need to take off late and drop in on a steep pitching face, longboards will have you into a wave and on your feet early.
And there’s no need to wear yourself out by tirelessly pumping to get down the line, simply cruise and enjoy the ride.
In conclusion, if you know how to surf, great hop on a longboard. If you don’t know how to surf, no problem at all hop on a longboard and learn. If you’re on the world tour or you’re just an average beach bum, hop on a longboard and you’re guaranteed to have a blast in the water.
LONGBOARDING SURF VIDEO
Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.
Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 37, which roughly means for every 20 year-old we teach the sport of surfing, we also teach a 54-year-old. We have taught people well in their 60’s the sport of surfing
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