The legacy of longboards dates back thousands of years and they were quite different than the boards we see these days. Longboard surfing is quite different than shortboard surfing as they are a lot more relaxed and laid back.
If you’re a beginner surfer then you may face few drawbacks as well. Longboards are quite heavy so it’s harder to turn them around but the heavyweight also provides you with the flexibility to easily manoeuver the board in slopes. Longboards also float upon the water more hence it’s easier to paddle in them.
Sometimes the large waves can be overwhelming and keeping the balance of the board may become quite a task. To help you out with this daunting task, we have come up with an article on longboard surfing. Let’s begin!
What is a Longboard?
Longboards are quite a popular shape among the surfer due to its enormous size which offers great comfort and flexibility. It features a large back fin and some longboards also feature additional side fins for extra drive and traction.
Doing justice to their name, they do come in a very long size ranging from 8 feet to 9 feet 6 inches. The large size makes it suitable for people with every shape and size. These boards are a great option for surfing for the first-timers and the advanced surfers can have them in their collection to enjoy some old-school surf time in the ocean.
How to Pop Up on a Longboard?
Often times people struggle figuring out the right way to get on their board. A proper takeoff technique makes it easier for you to stand up quickly while keeping your feet in the perfect position. Here are some techniques on how to easily get on the board without any struggle.
- Paddle until you catch the wave and keep paddling if you’re not sure that you have caught the wave or not
- Once you’ve caught the waves, place both of your hands flat on the board next to your pectorals and get up in a push-up motion with your toes tucked in the tail of the board
- First, slide your back foot to the front of the board and it should be placed in a position similar to your opposite knee and then slide your front foot forward between your hands.
- Make sure your feet are well positioned before you take your hands off the board and keep your knees bent
How to Easily Surf a Longboard?
Learn the Techniques First
Seeing people glide effortlessly on the water gives us this idea that surfing is quite easy. Well, in reality, it’s not the case. Surfing is not an activity that you just “pick up” on your own. Like any other sports, it requires patience, practice, and will-power.
Take help from an experienced friend or a professional if you’re a beginner. Start your longboard surfing journey once you are confident enough and don’t get overboard because you may injure yourself or even put your life in danger.
Choose the Right Gears
To surf easily and flawlessly, a good surfing board along with proper gears in an absolute must. No matter how skilled you are, having sloppy gears will eventually provide you with a sloppy performance. A right piece of equipment will rapidly improve your overall performance and help you surf better with lesser effort.
Bigger boards are easier to surf. So, get a board that measures at least 8 feet and above. It’s even better if the board is foamy as they catch the waves easily and you also minimize the risk of getting hurt when you fall down on it.
Before jumping on the water with your board, spend some time warming up yourself in the dry land. Check all your gears and notice what other surfers are up to. Once you go in the water, despite all the excitement, pace yourself otherwise you may get heavily injured.
Get Comfortable on the Board
Longboard surfing will be your forte once you learn to balance and get comfortable on the board. Since you’ll be spending long hours on it, make sure you get a board with a soft top that will provide better comfort and grip.
Paddling is the Key
Paddling is one of the most essential factors of longboard surfing. You must keep practicing as long as you don’t get it right. Keep a certain rhythm and work at that pace. Paddling can be tiresome so make sure you’re fit enough keep on paddling for long hours.
Catch Waves Early
A longboard is wide by structure. Thus it has to keep up with the extra friction from the water continually. By merely catching a wave early, you will be able to regulate your motions much smoother.
Let’s say, the wave you managed to catch has reached its epitome. It’s nearly impossible (unless you have years of surfing experience) to drop straight down from such a wave using a longboard. Why? Because the nose is bound to plummet into the water during vertical drops, throwing you off-board.
Here’s what you can do to work around this problem:hunt for waves that haven’t reached their pinnacle yet. Use the paddling techniques from the previous pointer to paddle to premature waves and ride them instead. This method will help you mitigate the risk of falling by manifold, resulting in a much-polished surf.
Turtle Roll for White Waves
‘White waves’ is yet another common term among surfers. They are the breaking waves whose caps appear white due to the scattering of light. Such waves will face you as you are paddling to your surf zone more often than not. This is where the Turtle Roll comes in to save your day.
Turtle roll is what the name suggests. You stay put, roll to your back as adversities appear, and return to normal when it passes. Here the adversities resemble white waves, and the turtle is you. This is a great way to avoid waves that you do not want to surf. Here’s how to pull it off:
When you notice a white wave or a series of waves drawing towards you, pivot one of your knees on the board, hold the rails and flip it upside down. This will take you underwater while the waves pass above. Your body acts as a sea anchor keeping you in position. Get back up and paddle one the wave has passed.
Keep Track of Weather and Tide
We strongly advise fellow surfers to be aware of the sea conditions even before you set foot out of your house. While planning your surf, take note of whether the tide is high or low. Check the weather forecast for the next 3 hours of your surfing for any anomalies.
This way, you’ll be able to make the best use of your valuable time. A common mistake by beginner surfers is that they fail to contain their excitement. Enthusiasm is always great, but if you don’t plan before you surf, you are bound to waste your time and effort.
Bend the Knees (Unless you’re Khaleesi)
Waves come at a massive force and to tackle that you need to bend your knees. It will be a lot harder to balance the control of the board if you try to bend your back instead. Also, get used to the fact that you’ll fall many times but you need to get back up on the board and keep surfing to ace your surfing expedition.
- Never underestimate the sea.
- If your surfing zones are marked, always surf between the black and white flags placed by the lifeguards.
- Always inform someone before hitting the waters.
- Be careful of current rip zones.
- Respect other surfers. Don’t steal all the waves as it voids the friendly environment.
- Watch out for other surfers around you. If you spot someone in trouble, seek the help of lifeguards immediately.
Longboard surfing may seem easy when someone else is riding it, however, it takes quite a lot of practice and determination to do it properly. There are some common mistakes people make like grabbing the rails before standing up. Don’t do that as it will make it harder to get up and it creates drag underwater.
Wear the right outfit and get a quality board to make your longboard surfing easy and comfortable. Bigger and steeper waves are quite tempting, however, know your capability and surf wisely because fatal accidents can happen within a second.
So, stay safe and happy surfing.