super long boards

I’ve been experimenting riding an old fibreglass sailboard with the straps and stuff removed in full or unbroken waves. It’s 10ft long and 3.5" thick with very little taper to the rails. Once I got used to it I found it was really quite easy to control. The main problem is that it is still too short for the waves I want to ride so I was wondering if anyone out there has experience riding, designing boards for this type of surfing in the 12ft plus range.

I’m thinking olo board here but updated with modern materials and design.

go back to aug. 20th…“longboard design for glide and paddle”. good info on loooongboards.

Roy Stewart would be one of the experts to get advice from.

I suggested using 18’ English wave riding kayaks.

You can get 12’ 4’ windsurf boards for almost free around here, but they weigh like 35 lbs.


Thanks but I’m more interested in a fully modern poly construction, that is get away from traditional designs and apply some modern design and technology to produce a high performance board. I know from surfing the sailboard that it would be possible to build something that would allow long radius turns on unbroken waves, I mean given the space I can already turn it through 180 in a cutback, with a lighter board and more functional design…lots of possibilities.

I haven’t had time to check all the links and threads so I’ll get back to you when I have.

The old plastic windsurfers are interesting. If the surf in Sydney is as bad next summer as it was this one I might get one and try the stand up paddle like Poto!

Just get a 14’ epoxy styro paddle board. Weight around 16 lbs., and about 6’ thick.

My 8’10" x 21.5 slalom board weighs 11 lbs. without straps and fin.

Where’s Roy Stewart? He rides a 14’ banana board regularly.

Over here Lee, just trying to keep out of trouble on this one (fly on the wall) :slight_smile:

However, seeing as I am always in trouble around here anyway, I might as well chip in.

As Tom Wegener says " Foam boards over 11 feet are pretty lame" This just about sums it up. Any thick, rigid, lightweight foam super long board will surf like a dog. My 13 to 17 foot designs will do relatively tight turns even on hollow waves. It is a fallacy to think that super lightweight ‘poly’ is the way to go for big boards. I doubt if a polyester/foam board could be built thin enough to perform well. Wood is the way to go. There, I’ve said it again.

Nobody builds em like me and its not the poly that makes ‘em light and not the wood that makes em thin and not the opinion’s that make em turn… You are not in trouble unless you dont clean your shoes before putting them in your mouth… my eight pack of over twelve footers is slow in manefesting , just my way of letting many others commit themselves to folly before releasing the stuff that really works from the secret laboritory… gosh I wish I could quote Tom wegener insulting the continuity of boards catagorized by length and no more,Ill bet you could generalize about 235’ wooden clipper ships at 1,783 tons but not every ship was the Flying Cloud and not every designer builder was Donald McKay of boston…that about sums it up ,and theres no way to tell if one wasn’t to try to make a polyester and foam board thin enough to perform well.Wood is ‘A’ way to go but yet the other ways to go must be explored with an open and creative mind as well as a competent grasp of the propper tecniques to make it jive/jibe? Must we build a Laser out of wood to make it credible?.. nyet,I say and The USS New Orleans wasnt made of wood and it seemed to perform it’s appointed tasks to the satisfaction of her captain and crew and it wasnt a “feather merchant trader” either it was a Heavy Cruiser…performing well? lets just say that foam too is a deviation and leave it at that… if in fact deviation is all that is required to progress then foam and polyester deviated from traditional[?] wood because of wood’s low ’ control factor ’ potential as grain inconsistencies are too great a variable to make scientific models test clearly. archaic material choices are quite romantic and have advantages- rewarding to work with and estheticly pleasing in their own right…but if in fact they were the proverbial Bee’s Knees then why on earth did most of the present company become enamored with surfing Because they didnt have to lug the progressively heavier wooden carcasses back and forth to the waterline and would we have in fact continued to pursue this surfing facination if in fact we had to maintain boards that took as much time to make and maintain as the “Flying Cloud” at 1,783 tons I respectfully submit that a large percentage of us would not have waited arround and would have just refined body surfing methods and not chosen to “stand up above the crowd” to achieve the missing self and public admiration so clearly attainable from this stand up surfing pastime…The foam twelve footer I made in 1977 january is still rideable. The wood boards lunchmeats made in 1978- I984 have all composted long ago,another serious drawback to the wooden fixation…A foam board does not have to be thick, rigid or lightweight…and a relatively tight turn on a 17’ board does likely have its limits say perhaps a radius of one third the length at high speed and perhaps one quarter the length at low speeds without engaging slide taildrifting. These are respectable and liveable parameters and should by no means require the divisive coments tailored to evangelize the resurection of wood as the primary credible ingredient in surfboard construction…wood went ,in a timely fashion and to return for other than romantic interludes is grounds for a revisit to the occupation of reforesting the barren woodlands needed to provide the raw timber to accomodate the surfboard demand pressing so clearly at our futures door way.The result of our collective surfing enthusiasm is to soon tak a very large bite out of our collective backsides…ambrose… I planted the balsa have you? And the Breadfruit and the Monkey Pod and the Milo all will make dropdead beautiful boards after the trees are felled milled and dried in which time many 70 lb/32 some odd kilo foam and glass surfboards could be constructed


You are not in trouble unless you dont clean your shoes before putting them in your mouth…

My son has spoken the truth…

Send this boy the Poet Laureate crown…

Hi Ambrose,

The comments made about the superior ride of large timber boards compared with large foam boards were based on experience. As a board gets longer, it becomes more important to have a lively, flexible response. Large foam boards are quite rigid. This rigidity is due to the fact that they are thick. The thickness also makes them ‘stringer sensitive’ with a high centre of gravity. Very long foam boards are also much lighter than wood, and this makes them much harder to control.


100% agree with Paul’s son post, from the first word to the last one…

After a big assembly in Galicia we decided that we’ll also vote Ambrose for the [=1]Poet Laureate [ 2]crown election…[/][/]

Please don’t forget to plant as many trees as you use to build your boards.

I enjoy Swaylocks!

One of the most popular big boards going right now is the Mickey Munoz Model. Surftech makes an 11 footer and a !2, and I’ve heard lots of positive comments.

In fact, yesterday at the Scripps Cancer Research Center Longboard Invitational Luau in La Jolla, Mike Doyle who was in the Legends heat was gliding on a yellow 11ft. He was as smooth as ever. And even though the surf was only knee to waist high, he got some nice rides.

I’ve heard (anyone may correct me on this) that the Munoz Model is Surftech’s best seller. Doug

I wish I could say that most surfers I’ve seen on 11-12 foot surftechs surfed them as well as Mike Doyle.

Unfortunately most of the time when I see a guy on a board like that they are HAZNAVs.

One such guy actually said that he’d been driven away from his “home” break (I won’t name where but you could probably guess it) because he had run over too many other surfers.

That’s right man, make em out of aluminum. And then land planes on it. kidding

Roy, Ambroses 12’8" foam board rides like a dream. It paddles good, catches waves easy and turns really well. Contrary to what you may believe your way is not the only way, and there is no right or wrong way.

Hello Thomas,

Of course there is more than one way, but I am in the happy position of having tried both ways. When you have done it both ways, then you will be in a position to judge.

There is no getting away from the fact that a thicker, stiffer board is harder to control. This is easily demonstrated.

Also a very large board is harder to control if it is very light. This is also easy to demonstrate.

PS A man is entitled to enjoy his own board, and most boards have some good qualities. I am not criticising anyone’s waveriding experience, and I imagine that Ambrose is capable of appreciating his waves to the full. It is hard to exclude emotion from surfboard design discussions!

Did I inadvertently mention a touchy subject here? The comments about safety certainly ring true, I only surf the old sailboard when there is no-one around or I can turn out before I get to where they are surfing.

It sounds like there’s a lot happening over there in this size range but there’s nothing here, the only board I’ve seen was one Derek Hynd had that was 11’9" and that was quite different to what I had in mind.

My idea is really to ride the unbroken part of the wave and just do long gliding turns, I can do this on the old sailboard but before I step up to something more sophisticated I thought I’d investigate what others have done.

I’m generally opposed to the idea of taking boards of this size out into the general surfing area and see them as an adjunct for surfing waves that are not being used at the moment.

Hello B-Boy,

If you are wanting to ride open ocean swells then long, flat, and narrow is the way to go. There are a lot of surf/paddleboard designs around which should do the job. Tom Wegener is building sixteen footers which are primarily designed for unbroken swell riding. My big boards ride unbroken swells, but because they are designed to handle hollow waves, and to be maneuverable enough to surf in crowded situations, they have more rocker and less thickness than is ideal for the pure unbroken swell riding buzz. For catching unbroken swells, nothing beats more length and less width.

It is certainly a good idea to use those waves which no one else can ride! Some days here I am the only person on the coast riding waves, and that is in a town packed with surfers.


…I just Googled him and found out that he’s making boards in Noosa. I might be up that way soon so I’ll check out his designs. Yeh the crowd thing is very appealing, Sydney is just inundated with surfers but when you look around there are all these places where the swell stands up and runs but either doesn’t break or just breaks at the top and there’s no-one surfing them. It looks a lot saner out there than it does in the shorebreak with the usual mayhem going down!

I love my shortboards and will always ride them but I want an alternative to the crowds which doesn’t involve four hours of driving or a plane flight!


Skip Frye - foam - super long boards - one of the all time best - no contest.