looking down on longboards

Is it just me,or do other surfers feel the same,but I get the distinct impression that  a lot of surfers look down on longboards.I grew up surfing pieced together boards,and later copies of hawaiian boards,all in the 7.0-6.6 range. then surfed short boards.When I moved to Hawaii in 82,I discovered longboarding,and just admired the style of the good surfers,male and female,and took it up right away,always with a focus on style and performance. I often get comments from other surfers,younger and older,that I should shortboard more,since i am still in such good physical shape,and can still do 5- 6 hour straight sessions.I always have to explain that longboarding for me is a matter of style ,not because i can’t surf something smaller.I get that impression in the threads of this forum,older surfers writing about being on a shorter board than a longboard,like it was a badge of accomplishment or something.I see guys and chicks in the ocean every time I go out,they are on boards that are too small for their abilities,they hardly catch anything,if they do,it’s because they were on the shoulder and dropped in on someone,but,when they are walking with the board under their arm,you would think they are hot shit.Okay,so, what,am I only imagining this?If you longboard,do you get that impression too ?   (yousurf?cool.do you shortboard?oh,longboard,huh)

Hi kava,

I'm dangerous on a longboard.  I admit I look down on guys who can barely surf riding longboards clogging up the line-up.  Because they are dangerous, not because of the board.  I could care less about someone's board.  I love watching the art of longboarding.  Walk the board, no paddle take-offs. nose riding, drop knee cutbacks, etc.  Most of what I see are guys too old or not fit enough to ride something else( I'm on my way this direction, look out.). Actually, I'm starting to see some of the younger guys surf longboards with more 'soul' than the old guys.  What's up with that?  I like it, though.  I think people should ride whatever captures their imagination.  Be careful though and look out for each other. It seems Hawaiians ride anything and just surf and dont' worry about this type of bullshit. Good idea. Mike

I love longboards. If i didn't own a toyota corolla, i'd get one. Im definately going to get one some day. Love the feeling of the takeoff on a longboard, especially a hefty poly lb. THough i do like the surftech ones too, so light!.

Bit tricky in beachies, especially small and hollow, but fun fun fun.


EDIT, i must admit i find longboards hard to ride gracefully. Mostly im just enjoying the flow, drive, and trim. I can't noseride or anything, but if i actually owned one and spent more time on one i'd be trying that's for sure.

My mate ripped out a sidefin box ( Ofishl ) of his poly 9'1'', and im constantly bugging him to fix it. For my sake not his!

Behind every stereotype is a little truth.  Most longboarders take more waves than their ability dictates.  On a level playing field, many would never catch anything.  So for those, its more of a crutch.  So for that reason, many shortboarders not so much look down on, but instead resent longboarders. 

But, the same goes for the surfer that thinks every go-out is a contest with his or her ego on the line.  Nobody likes a wave hog.

no matter what they are riding, if they can ride it i give them credit. i ride all types of shapes and sizes. i love longboarding when i have access to a vehicle that can carry mine. i use it mostly for small waves but would like to make one for huge long days. i develop a sort of style sometime on one.

Among the surfing-oriented subclass of the folks I consider to be
friends there is not a single one who would claim to ride either exclusively a shortboard or a longboard. In fact, positivity prevails these days, so it’s hard to imagine looking down on anyone but paddleboarders (ha…).

yes, truth in the above,some guys use it as a crutch,and others hog waves.But now,the SUP guys get all the hate(undeservedly)

I started on logs in the early 60s, then rode short boards exclusively for a decade, then rode shorties in the winter and longboards in the summer.  Now a only ride longboards.  It’s all good.  If somebody doesn’t like longboards, then he’s free to not ride 'em.  If he wants to “look down” on me for what I ride, he can do that too.  I couldn’t care less.  I’m just happy to still be surfing and having a good time doing it. 

There is nothing as beautiful as someone riding a log, cross stepping, hanging ten/five all that jazz. i always admire some logs on teh beach/in the water. wish i could ride a 9’6" noserider (makes my shoulders hurt…)! 



There is nothing as beautiful as someone riding a log, cross stepping, hanging ten/five all that jazz. i always admire some logs on teh beach/in the water. wish i could ride a 9'6" noserider (makes my shoulders hurt...)! 




I agree, it looks great. But at the same time, anyone who rides the board  they're on really well, is also great to watch, whether its a fish,kneeboard, shorty etc.

....I ride short longboards and long shortboards..............

....I'm not very tall so I don't look down on people................

Low tide...high tide.....What should I ride........


Share the stoke........



I’ve been posting on the shortboard-centric 55 and over thread although I shouldn’t really, I’m only 48, but I get a bit carried away with certain subjects sometimes. I’ve also been happily posting about my new Bushman semi-chip.

But no I don’t have any such shortboard pretentions, on those threads I pointed out that I am a diminutive person coz proportionally speaking I’m sort of fun-boarding!

I don’t see anything wrong with going short for just the challenge if thats what people want to do, as long as we are having fun thats all that matters. However when it comes to watching ordinary shortboarding or really good longboarding, I know which I’d rather watch


I first saw good HP longboarding by Miki Dora in Ireland although I didn’t know what to make of it at the time - I was young and on a twin-fin and never seen that sort of surfing before  - it looked to me that he was able to lift the nose of a huge gun out of the water and re-position it with ease. Although I now realise that my view was one from the water and that SammyA posted here that they were really “hard turns from the tail”.

When I moved to California is when I started to appreciate spectating really good longboarding

I do have an 8’ 4" longboard in my quiver, although its more of a tool to keep me wet when the surf is tiny. But thats just coz I’m not good at longboarding and I don’t have the time and energy to improve.

This is a true longboarding story from just before last Easter. The pros had arrived for the Easter competition but the surf was tiny and I could still get in on my longboard at one of my favourite spots (a high tide reef break). I didn’t know it but the surf was rapidly building otherwise I would have gone out on my “shortboard” on which I am more proficient. Then the pros realised the building surf and rapidly descended on the break and started tearing the waves apart, but I stayed out and continued to get some waves.

One wave I took off too late, but decided to go ahead with drop and leaned right back with all my weight on the tail. My longboard landed dead flat and I had all my weight on the tail. I felt the fins bite (its a tri fin) and the front heaved round and pointed down the line - a super intense situation for me with a long line of lip over my head, but I wasn’t tubed - I never get tubed. It was a great view on a glassy wave and down the line was a surfer looking straight at me with a huge grin on his face. I checked the contest brochure later and recognised the face - I think it was Bede Durbridge! That is really cool impressing Bede Durbridge, however I suppose it is possible that he wasn’t so much impressed and it was more like mirth at the comedy scene that was unfolding before his eyes - the little middle aged man wearing a helmet struggling to control his longboard, but yeah I like to think impressed. A memorable moment.


True on both sides. With longboards, you have a certain number who use it to unfair avantage in hogging waves. These are often people who are fairly competent and they can totally ruin a session for anyone sharing a lineup with them. Then, there’s the other end of the spectrum where folks who wouldn’t be able to paddle out or catch anything if they had to use something under 7’. They simply clog a lineup, get in the way, and never progress past standing and going straight. They’re nothing more than a traffic hazard.

It really isn’t about the vehicle. It’s an operator issue. It has gotten worse with the advent of SUPs.  An unfortunate percentage of those who use them are so incompetent that even a longboard is beyond their ability, and the SUP is their crutch.

Me? I don’t care what you ride as long as you behave with civility.

I was longboarding back before it became the fad it is today.  That's right longboarding as it is today is a fad.  When longboarding became the hip fad and every inland jerk with $1,000 to waste got one and began clogging the lineups I hung up my longboards.  I do not want to be associated in any way with the current crop of longboard kooks (no disrespect to the few true surfers out there who ride them).

Yes I am one of those people who resent longboarders.  What I see is a bunch of people who lack skill, wave knowlege, and basic courtecy in the water.....wavehogs and dangerous people who don't know how to turn or how to control their board when they fall.  I see them blowing waves and dropping in on people. 

By my estimation 80% of the people out there on longboards have no business whatsoever surfing around other surfers.  They are just people with no skill using the longboard as a crutch who are wrecking the sport.  Its just another part of the complete over-commercialization of our sport and how the surf industry has sold out..

Sorry for the rant but the longboard issue is a real sore spot.  Would anybody like my opinions on cell phones and internet surf cams?

The other day I was surfing barely knee high waves with a friend of mine. It was a small reef break A frame and there were a few other guys when we paddled out. We saw two guys on SUPs and we both looked at each other and kind of got upset. We’ve had such bad sessions with guys on SUPs where they dropped in on every wave, or they almost killed one of us. We were stereotyping these two guys to be complete assholes. We paddled into the lineup, me on my longboard sitting close to the guys on the SUPs, and  my friend on his shortboard way on the inside hoping to get something. We both got waves within minutes, even sharing a couple with the SUPs. I was on the shoulder of a wave, having thought the guy on the SUP was going to go right. He didn’t, and when I looked back and saw him he just smiled and said, “Go ahead, get on that nose!” Completely changed my perception of guys on SUPs. They’re not all assholes.

However, a half hour later some kid probably around 19-20 paddled out on the ugliest longboard I have ever seen. He had snapped the nose off and instead of getting it repaired, just took a saw and tried to round the nose off. My heart cries when I see boards in pain like that. He took a couple waves and then as he was paddling back out a larger set was coming in. The older guy near me turned to paddle for it, I decided to wait for the next wave. Right in front of my eyes the kid paddles out, spins his board around, and starts paddling for this wave too. And instead of going right, he paddles left and pushes this guy off the shoulder and takes the wave. I was dumbfounded. There’s 5 of us out here and he snaked that guy. I wanted to punch him, and if my hands weren’t numb I would have.

I hate getting shit for being young. I’m 21 and a longboarder. I get it from every direction. Nobody even follows the rule that pretty girls kneepaddling longboards get whatever wave they want :slight_smile:

“Nobody even follows the rule that pretty girls kneepaddling longboards get whatever wave they want :)”




quote of the year candidate…




I do. Actually pretty girls paddling whatever they want get priority… as long as they’re smiling :wink:

I find that’s true that most people that longboard (fat, unskilled, tuflites, leashs ete,ete) are Kooks! Most of the time I’m sitting inside of them on my Fish Just hoping to dodge whatever chaos comes my way BUT every once and a while I pull out the “BIG GLIDER” and get my fill! That’s usually

What I call Grom Day, I tell the kids that always have to sit on the inside that any wave I’m on just GO! Its fun getting high fives when you paddle back out!

Just a little balance!!


I’ve had too many great waves on l-boards to look down on them personally. Girls don’t need to be kneepaddling or pretty around here and they usually get any wave they want and most of the rest of the crowd at this peak are on the ego thing. Short/mid/long there all scratchin for every wave that comes in, most missing, that makes me sick, literally.

When you do meet the rare lady or gent, you really remember them at the place I’m in. There are a few. I agree with the above; “It really isn’t about the vehicle. It’s an operator issue.”

I like those nose drops, waves pitchin kinda fast as the tide drops and not too thin in back or a meaty fade bottom turn to trim from the sweet center of the board with that tail twanging me back into trim, thats when I usually get suckered to the midface or highline. Yeah, I’ve had too many great waves on l-boards to look down on them personally.