Do we really need Longboard SUP surfing?
Have you ever taken the time to really watch a classic surfer ride a longboard, carving some smooth lines and stepping up and down the board controlling its trim and speed, whilst moving it around the sections of the wave.
If the answer is No, then you’re missing a trick. So much can be learned and taken on board for every discipline of sup: balance; timing; board trim; speed control and footwork. It’s quite like using an IndoBoard in that you need to focus and be so aggressive in the movements to achieve a zen like pose.
So what can you get from riding a longboard well aside from looking like you’ve stepped out of a 60’s surf movie.
There are some key elements and skills needed to get a longboard sup surfboard to really look good under your feet.
Make sure you can:
- Read a wave and work along the lineup til you find a perfect spot to play on.
- Longboards will be slower than a short snappy thing so always look to grab speed where you can especially before making some cut backs or other turns as they will lose speed pretty quick.
- Ride your board from back, mid and front so this means getting used to walking around a bit. It is not necessary to do the perfect cross step, but know how to walk along a board will definitely help.
- Learn to drop knee turn.
- Try to switch stance from goofy to regular: no real reason but it does loosen you up. I do it on my skateboards and have always found it is more in the mind than anything physical.
- As you walk up and down , try shortening your steps to look more groovy.
- Exit the wave standing and try to cut out as the boards are big and you’ll look better for it.
- Learn to send it vertical and this means really committing to the turn with speed. I would say don’t overly rely on the paddle to lean on as this is lazy and doesn’t help balance either.
- Learn the sway back stance – feet close together and look like your leaning back with arms down always looks good.
The right kit
Anything technically over 9ft is a longboard, but the shape, profile and width will make a big difference to how it rides and feels.
There are loads of boards out there of 11ft plus like a Starboard Big Easy that will definitely ride a line, but being so and heavy could hold back your progress as you start to tune up. Thick rails won’t feel so nice and too much volume will take away that feeling the wave gives you so find a board that has it all.
Black and Blue
The Black and Blue is a pure nose riding longboard sup with super thin rails, a kicked tail for keeping you in the pocket and a decent size area up front to get your toes dangling. A flat underside of the nose really holds the board up and the profile will help maintain that speed whilst up front. A full length deck pad is perfect for walking around giving great grip.
More of an all rounder, the Striker is a balance between nose rider and fun surf sup with plenty of length to make it perform well in various conditions. The full deck pad gives grip where needed, whilst slightly fuller rails gives a relaxed and smooth ride. Put in a smaller fin to loosen the tail up and you can get fairly slashy, but that’s not the point here.