April 4, 2013 - For years the guys at Brighton Beach and Wave Hog surf shops kept telling me the same thing--"you need a longboard." A longboard? Isn't that for old guys? Well I am definitely not young, but not longboarder age. But they just kept pushing and every time I would come in to look at boards they would steer me to the big board section. So I finally relented this past summer and started demoing a few Matador and BoneYard longboards. It took me a few sessions but eventually I got it--and I mean in more ways than one.
For starters, having a longboard during a Jersey summer is almost essential. I am one of those surfers who will paddle out in just about anything and in summer that characteristic is magnified. I know it is freezing out right now, but think about those beautiful summer mornings--the sun rising over the 70 degree water, the air is warm and life is good, even if the waves aren't. But even if the waves are tiny, weak, knee slappers, I will paddle out. And here is where the longboard becomes essential--it will maximize not just your water time, but the fun you have on those small days. Yes, I know some guys can grab their short, wide, fat nugget or biscuit shape and rip those small waves. I have that shape in my quiver as well (I will discuss that shape in a future post), but for me, your average everyday surfer, some days call for a board that will allow you to just cruise down that 1-2ft line.
The beauty of the longboard does not end there. Take your longboard out on all those knee high days, push that 9ft+ board all morning and when that chest to head high day shows grab your shortboard (that is if you want to leave your longboard behind). The only thing I can say is, wow! Who knew that your turns could be so crisp, your take-offs so confident, and your overall surfing so much better. Want to be a better shorboarder? The longboard might be the path to that goal.
Ultimately, longboarding is just fun! When those clean chest high days show it is hard to leave the longboard behind--and I am starting to do that less and less. But you need to find the right board because all longboards are not made the same. My board of choice is the Matador "East" model (pictured above). My favorite aspect of this board is the deep vee out the back that allows for a true rail to rail surfing experience. The well defined concave nose gives me the classic nose riding ability that all longboards should possess (don't forget to pay homage to surfing history) and the hard rails in the back give it the speed and control that all surfers desire. And as I said earlier, this board is great in those summer knee slappers or heavy head high Jersey waves. In future posts I will discuss some other longboard shapes; but for now, do yourself a favor and check out all the longboard models from Matador and BoneYard-- you and your surfing style will thank me. And remember, surf for fun!
-Eric, "The Professor"
Check out Eric's Blog directly: http://matadorsurfboards.blogspot.com