super long boards

Super longboards are just that . . .super long. How long are Frye’s boards? Twelve feet? Twelve foot boards are babies in the super longboard stakes, I will take on Skip Frye’s boards anytime. How can you say ‘no contest’ as if that closes the subject? Big contest brother! Really big!


I was relating to the fact that Skip has shown that big foam boards work very well and can be ridden in local breaks with other surfers (as blindboy seemed hesitant to do).

It’s not, as you said, a “big contest…Really big!” The man was asking about building a big poly board. Big deal. From the snaps on your site versus what I’ve seen of Skip on a long foam board, I look at the glide and wave riding with STYLE, I"ll stand by 40 plus years of watching and following Skip -one of the best ever - no contest.

Your boards are extremely nice looking. As a woodworker by trade, I can relate. I work with wood every day and I actually look forward to getting away from it and playing with foam for relaxation. That means riding it or shaping it or playing with the potential of it. That was my take on what blindboy was asking. I don’t think the potential of foam has been exhausted what with the availability of types and/or densities and the infinite variations of stringer and laminating possibilities.

No big deal brother.

Fair comment Pete, I know nothing at all about style. I was just chest beating a bit (apparently chest beating is good for you as it drains glands in the chest, that is why gorillas do it!) Roy

roy- maybe you can get in touch with paul jensen-send him template, rocker, thickness numbers, etc so he can build one of your boards for those of us in the weatern U.S. to ride …just a thought.


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

Ehh? Roy, please demonstrate. -Carl

I just returned from a couple of classic days (8/22 & 23) at Sand Dollar Beach where there were some beautiful waves coming in. Sunday afternoon, after the crowd had filtered out, was really nice. Head high glassy peaks coming in through the middle of the cove allowed for some very long rides on my 11 footer. I loaned it out to a friend and he also caught some beauties.

Then I had to (huff, puff) carry it back up the trail…

Hi Carl,

It does sound weird to say that a very long board is harder to control if it is very light, so I will try to explain what I mean and in what situations this might be true.

  1. Taking the drop. A huge light board is much harder to control during late drops, paricularly on offshore days, as the nose tends to lift suddenly and dramatically when air currents get under it. In this situation you need penetration, and a heavy board has plenty of it. Taking a very steep drop on my 13’9", all I need to do is hang in there and roll onto the rail at the right moment. The nose leads the way down without any rider input, and it can be done with ease even if you can’t see.

  2. Hitting chop, backwash and other bumps. A huge light board will not only react more violently when hitting bumps, it will be slowed down by them more, tending to jerk the rider forwards. A heavy board is much smoother over bumps, and when it hits them it will maintain speed due to greater momentum. This is much easier from the rider’s point of view, as one can concentrate more on the larger picture, and not have to be distracted by reacting to a board which is ‘bucking’ due to surface bumps.

  3. Trimming. To trim a huge, light board it is necessary to walk up and down it a lot. This might look good, but it takes skill and concentration. A heavy board can be trimmed by turning rail to rail from one position. For example, if I am taking a high line and want to trim forwards, I can release the inside rail via a roll towards the outer rail, and the great weight of the nose will immediately trim itself downwards. On a very light board this does not work as well, as there is less weight in the nose, so it is more likely that the rider will have to walk forwards. This can lead to control problems on big light boards in tight situations.

  4. Turning. A big heavy board will take a little longer to start turning, but once it enters a turning arc it will ‘carry through’ the turn without rider input, whereas a big light board has to be ‘nursed’ through a turn, and held to its arc by rider input and adjustment. You can literally just heave the board over and it will carve a nice smooth arc. It takes a bit of muscle, but the control part is easy.

  5. Walking the board. When a surfer walks on a big light board, the board will tend to react every time one foot leaves the deck. Thus it takes a lot of skill to walk a lightweight board. On a big heavy board, it is much easier to just wander up and down, as the big board is more stable. Thus less careful control is needed on a big heavy board when walking, leaving the rider’s attention free.

PS If I was going to try to put all this in a nutshell, I would say that a much faster reaction time is demanded of the rider of a big lightweight board. You can use a fast reaction time on a big heavy board to advantage, but it is not so necessary. Also more frequent control adjustments are needed on a big lightweight board.

Reaction time decreases with age, is that why older surfers start riding bigger, heavier boards. Less input, maximum satisfaction…


I’ll verify a lot of that Roy from the sailboard experience. What about a thin heavy board though?

Also it’s not so much reaction time that goes with age as speed of movement, which is a bit different, but it still makes late take offs tricky on a shortboard for us over 50s and knocks the edge of our power surfing…but hey I’m still trying!

Hello BBoy,

Big thin heavy boards are neato, nice and flexy which makes them even easier to ride, and a nice low riding position. The only thing to watch is that there is enough buoyancy in the board.


PS Strength and wave knowledge don’t decrease with age, and they are the qualities needed for big heavy board surfing.

Skip Frye says somthing You listen...skip frye dont say much...done it all up and down the cliff lived in the shadow of Simmons .Van Artsdalen and the innumerable aquatic geniuses native to and or cycling through the San Diego environ.....When skip Frye says somthing its quoted  and meditated on for  he has established and maintained his credibility at the top of the cliff and at the bottom....Thw first picture I saw . as many of us  here did ,was at an impressionable age and frye was doin it... I have always felt like I was late to the party because all these guys that were older than me had been surfing tenacity contributed to my self esteem,every go out made me one step closer to parity with these older brothers,,,then every board i made got me closer to parity with the older more experienced shapers that by this time had shaped an unbelieveable number of boards...then I saw that the  George  Greenough school  wasnt about numbers of production boards,,,wasnt about endorsements from the fledgling usurous Surfing Industry gaining momentun from over fertilizing springbok wunderkind,then to the tall poppy stage and yet another crop of  fallen Icons for rehab and distain...greenough was seperate and not Industry dependant,not dependant on self promotion,not dependant on making sure that everyone got it clear about what he was doing at the moment...He just did stuff and as he figured how it went people stood  to one side queitly trying to figure it in context ....Frye Daddy yep same thing ...envelope ?  steam the seam  slow but sure the envelope got pushed and we are higher because of Body English,double enders, down railers split tailers .fish schooling...this is who many choose to follow without drum beating chest pounding  posed photos .and all the trappings of market Hype that have been dangled before us and  determined ingenuine many times in the memorable past....the resistance you  are expeeriencing is a Knee jerk response.  This  baseline Cynicism is the driving force in what You relentlessly try to express  with the zappa quote...Frank Zappa /greenough frye is like comparing apples in a crate and hand picked mangos off my tree , washed and polished chilled peeled and served in  the dawns early light before paddling out to glassy surf in 78 degree water and 82 degree air ..heady smoke filled bars and auditoriums where Zappa was in his  element  are the antithisis of this surfing stuff you have been pursuing for long enough to achieve the level of conciousness I call Knowing stuff...In time the undersanding that all you now know isnt enough will instantly humble you into a silent  study of all the elements and methods of all the disciplines  past and one owns the future  the  self delusion that We are to lead the " Pack" out of egypt ind into the light of the new day is best left to Joan Of Arc ...who as we all know was burned at the stake by the British Empire....Life guards in the 30's told the kids that if they wanted to ride the life guard board they had to carry it to the water...the boards did not qualify as lightweight ...   whats light what's heavy...the more you might prostelitize the more resistance you may get....Just do that thing spot on... the world will beat a path to your door...try and tell me how hot it may be I might listen the first couple times then I'll lose interest then  as civility wears thin and intelect clicks back in ...schooling is in order to explain the mind set as it is.... ambrose ... if done right  the OLO can be controled from one spot without walking...some things  can just be known... at a high hard angle with out a fin

Ambrose, I don’t have to ‘listen’ to Skip Frye or George Greenough anyone else. Nor does anyone have to ‘listen’ to me!

I enjoy discussing surfing, and so I am doing it.

PS Richard Pearce got there before the Wright brothers. It’s not all USA, Mister.

Indeed, Skip is a man of few words. You listen to Skip by watching him - his life instructs and those few in the surfing world who have been quiet long enough to listen, have had a 45 year study. Nuff said.

Hello Richard,

Actually before I built my first twelve footer I was having a chat with Paul Joske in Australia, he had just built a twelve using measurements which Skip Frye had given him. Paul was not entirely happy with the result, he said that the board was ok in tiny mush, but hopeless in anything which resembled a quality wave. This was because the board was so parallel in outline, and so flat. As a result I built my first twelve with seven inches of rocker and a curvy outline. The board is a gem, it rides little stuff but can take on hollow waves and mix it with the shortboards on bigger days when the mal riders around here won’t even enter the water.

Consequently I am of the opinion that Skip Frye’s style of longboard is vastly overrated, being limited to a small range of surf conditions. I prefer to build boards which work in all waves.

The hero worshiping mentality is not something that I cultivate, I reserve my reverence for the creator.


No hero “worship” here as you mistakenly allege, just good old-fashion respect for a guy who has stayed the course for a lot of years. Sorry, didn’t mean to strike a nerve with the “man of few words” message in my post, though glad to hear you like your shapes better than Skip’s. Skip is no doubt like all of us, always eager to learn, so I hope he dials into your posts. Especially glad to hear your reverence is reserved for the creator, as I too, try to take all my steps with Him.



I surf what I feel to be just about as big a board as I care to surf. It is 11’6" long and weights in at about 35 lbs. I don’t know if that is light or heavy, but I can surf it in knee high wind swell with no push, or head high ground swell at 18 sec. (read lots of push) I surf where some times there are 50 or more people setting in the area. I normaly do not run into any one so I guess I have it kinda under control. I got this board for just the kinda surf that I’m talking about here. If it gets bigger I move on to another board. I’m with Carl. Can you tell us how much these boards of your 17 foot wood weigh?

No worries Richard, and no disrespect intended to Skip Frye.

That the great spirit to me a term adopted from a skewed relationship with my american Indian ancestors…nationalist drivel has no place in my conceptual discussion.worshp of heros? Hero was a girl who committed suicide in the helespont over the drowning death of her boyfriend Leander swimming from Abydos,worship a drowning victimin greek legend? wrong kook…My boards have more kick than you choose to respectfully believe I in fact have never seen or plagerized a Skip Frye board to pass Judgement on be that as it may who was where first as always is a laughable contextual arguement popular with new guys used to dealing with people with history only dating back a century or so pointing refrence to credibility based on early european explorers that discovered the new world and CLAIMED it for their respective Queens who were at the time cracking lice between their fingernails in the royal courts of Europe while our real ancestors were body surfing with the great spirit…its all about the water planet get it straight…If Snow Mc Alister were to have influenced me more than Greenough or Skip FRye I would have mentioned him as an example…he rode some real long surf skis with a paddle …go snowie! whoop !..ambrose…and zappa created moon unit…let me know when my board is heavy enough And I will tell you how much it flexes before It breaks…I made my first solid wood boards in 1980 and one was under 2’’ thick and I was by no means the first nor did I wish to be …give me third…Good bless you Master Stewart may your goodness bless you in the eyes of the Great spirit

Thanks for sharing with us Ambrose.

I notice that you say that ‘who was here first is a laughable argument’ I tend to agree with you, however I notice that it is apparently acceptable for so called ‘indigenous’ peoples to use that argument even if it is not true.

I am glad that you are enjoying your big board, and thankyou for your blessing Master Ambrose, it is much appreciated.

Regards, Roy.

The problem in a nutshell,

your as non-stop talkative as a precocious 11 year old girl.

If anybody says anything that is not congruent with your thoughts,

you never say ‘huh’ or ‘whatever’ or agree to disagree . Lastly you

never ignore anything and butt out of a topic after you’ve had a your full say…, but you start pulling out retreaded rhethoric , whatever you can think of and try to make it stick.

Argumentative discourse is good, but not this constant barrage

of ‘tit for tat’ replies and playing the game of 'I am right and I will

be noticed whether you like it or not’.

You dont seem to participate because you want to learn and teach, you participate because you want to be heard

and heard and heard.

Sorry, heres your soapbox back!

Welcome to the Roy Stewart Forum , going on 500 potatoes in

60 days.

Its nice to read people who can involve you in the power of their

reasoning and discourse, but thats not you.

Something is very wrong here!


Ambrose, I don’t have to ‘listen’ to Skip Frye or George Greenough anyone else. Nor does anyone have to ‘listen’ to me!

I enjoy discussing surfing, and so I am doing it.

PS Richard Pearce got there before the Wright brothers. It’s not all USA, Mister.