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Whats the difference between surfing on a longboard versus a shortboard?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.03  

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djiang83 
Asked at 2011.03.07 00:14:43
Other than the obvious difference in board length, what differs in the experience of riding a longboard compared to a shortboard?
answer Laurie F  Answered at 2011.03.07 00:14:43
Think of a longboard as a cruising board. For the most part, you're going to be surfing mellow waves, getting long rides, and doing slow and "artistic" maneuvers. Think, walking on the board, hanging ten, cross stepping. Real chill vibe.

On a short board, you're moving a lot faster, and doing quicker moves. Think cut back, floater, and roundhouse. A short board is more of a high performance board. You're going to go faster.

A long board is easier to learn on. It's easier to catch the wave, and easier to stand up on. Because there is a larger area you're standing on, it's a lot easier to balance on a long board. The shorter and more narrow a board is, the more "wobbly" it is going to be.

Also, when you're on a long board, it's almost impossible to duck dive when a wave is coming towards you and you're trying to paddle out. Most long boarders have to "turtle" their boards. That's when you grab the rails and flip upside down, so you're under your board, and the fins are pointed up. The wave will usually just pass right over you, so you can flip back over, and continue paddling out. On a short board, you can duck dive to get out to the line up. Basically grab the rails, up closer to the nose of the board, pull yourself up and place a knee or foot on the tail of the board. Kinda make a triangle with your body and the board and shove the nose under the approaching wave. You will "dive" under the wave, and be able to paddle out to the line up.

I recommend owning a few boards that you can choose to ride depending on what the conditions are like. I take out a long board when the waves are small. It will be easier to catch the small waves on a long board. And, I can have a fun, chill day walking up and down the board and doing fun little tricks. On a bigger, more powerful day I'll take out one of my short boards. It's easier to get out to where I want to be, and more fun to do fast maneuvers on the bigger waves.
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