Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Long and Short of It

This weekend, I was surfing 3-5 ft beach breaks with my 9'0 Takayama DT4. I must say, long boarding is a lot of fun. Many of surfing buddies, once they switch to short boards they do not seem to care about long boarding, but to me switching between the two teaches me a lot about surfing technique, and also it is just purely fun, smoother, faster and more powerful... quite different from short boarding.

This time, I was a bit more careful in observing what the heck the differences are, so that I can write a bit about the experience.

The first ride of a long board session:

I always mess this ride up. Especially since my main mode of over the wave transport is a short board these days. As the session progresses I regain some of the long board skills and will go much better. This really indicates how a surfer can pick up a specific habit of surfing on a specific type of board.

The Turn Differences

This might be different for you, but for me, but on all rides including short boards, I like to ride in rail-to-rail style, so switching a rail to make a turn is very critical for a success. On my first rides of the sessions this is where I tend to fail. I am feeling like I am doing all of the correct moves, but the board does not turn, and then I'd be taken over by the wave coming from a wrong direction, "za-boom!", the ride ends. What I'd usually realize at this point is that I need to execute a turn from way-way back in the tail side of the board. Just leaning won't make the board to turn so easily. Looking at some good long boarders, they often ride just sitting in the back of the board and let the board pivot around. I personally don't want to do just that, but once the turn is set, the inside rail sinks in to the wave side, I want to move forward a bit. At this point of time, the board starts to gain so much speed. This is where the fun begins where the board picks up the speed, sometimes tremendously!

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