Saturday, February 24, 2007

Session 7025: A Long and a Short Of It

Thoughts after Surfed Pleasure Point and Inside 38th. Stoke 8

When I got to Santa Cruz, I usually pack a long board. My current favorite is Walden Magic 9.0, side fins pulled out. It paddles easier and also catches waves easier.

When I started surfing a lot of us talked about "growing out" of long(er) boards. But I am now totally convinced that one could never grow out of a long board, and I've written about that more than once on the WavLOG.

While I was surfing by Pleasure Point with a long board, I thought, "it would actually be easier if I surfed with my short board today." Mainly because there were more than one occasions where I could really made some nice deep turns should I been on a short board, when I had to turn a big honking surfboard to make it where I wanted to go.

Turning a long board requires a much more motion on the board and because of that I need to calculate the wave much ahead of time; at least, in my case, it would be certainly smoother and longer the ride would become if I try to read the waves a few seconds longer than I would on a short board. On a short board, I can make a last minute correction even if I made a minor error, for example if the wave starts to close out up ahead, I could cut back out of it and take more of a straight down approach.

Try to do this on a long board, I am not quick enough, the board with myself on it get tumbled and that would be the end of it. Of course, if you are skilled long boarder you'd have some tricks up the sleeve to get around it.

So I continue to debunk the myth that "long boarding is easy." It is just as difficult and it is just more of a trade-off of characteristics.

Second myth that I believed early on was that it would be difficult to get out with a long board. I thought that because you cannot duck dive a long board, it would make it difficult to get out compared to short board.

This isn't true either. On a longer board, you can go over smaller white washes easier and also with the speed you can actually get out much faster. So there is a trade-off there.

So I really recommend people to surf both short and long boards, it really teaches you a lot about surfing technique through these trade-offs. All of my Half Moon Bay local buddies do too.

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