So you’ve learned how to ride a longboard surfboard and now you’re ready for a bigger rush—what’s the next step? While you could spend your time tweaking your fins, tail, and nose on a custom board, typically changing board shapes will yield the biggest difference in feel and performance.Get the biggest bang for your buck—here are your potential future boards and the reasons why you should or shouldn’t give them a second look.
[caption id="attachment_693" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Sorry. Couldn't resist.[/caption]
THE CRUISE SHIP (SUP/STAND UP PADDLE BOARD) – These are a relatively new phenomenon in surfing. A typical SUP will be well over 10 feet and come with its own paddle so you can literally row yourself into waves. SUPs aren’t for everyone, but for those of you adrenaline junkies that decide to give it a shot won’t be disappointed.
A Cruise Ship will give you even greater stability than any longboard while providing an intense workout and physics defying maneuverability. The paddle acts like a rudder so you can actually catch and tear up whatever size waves you’d like---provided you can paddle out. If you’re looking for something different, this is where it’s at.
If you’re looking for something smaller: reverse bull’s-eye. Look elsewhere.
THE TURNING POINT (FUNBOARD SURFBOARD) – This will be the quickest transition. If you aren’t big on the adrenaline junkie thing or if you like your longboard but just want to make the switch to something less HUMONGOUS, you need a funboard. The reduced overall length will stop you from pearling on bigger waves without sacrificing much of the float and stability from your longboarding days. Funboards are a blast to ride and should be a staple in any beginner’s repertoire.
PIVOT FISH (FISH SURFBOARD) – The fish is another very natural progression from a longboard. With its considerable width and depth, fish are surprisingly easy to stand on for their size. Fish are excellent for dealing with smaller fare, your mushy ankle huggers and knee highs are ideal (people have been arguing for fish use in HUGE conditions as well)—but do note that this is a specialist board, so it won’t perform anywhere near optimal for other wave types.
Expect a looser, drifting turn, versus the controlled precision turns you get from a thruster setup.
WHIP IT (SHORTBOARD SURFBOARD) – Jumping from longboard to shortboard is insanely frustrating. It will feel like you’ve lost all progress, balance, and you WILL look like a complete newbie in the water for at least a few weeks while your brain recalibrates to this drastically different design.
The style of riding, capabilities, etc. are all completely different so if this is the path you decide to take, remember that it’s going to be a very very steep learning curve.
Shortboarding can be extremely rewarding and the freedom of movement is addictive—but if you’re coming off a longboard, you won’t experience an immediate payoff for making the switch. Tread carefully.