I'm new to the forum and I've been following swellinfo.com for about a year now.
I know lots of people on the northeast coast doesn't really like people from Canada coming to surf, but i've been doing it all by myself trying not to disturb and following the ''rules'' for about 2 years now (first year I only surfed 3 times)
I've been out in the surf about 25 days over those 2 last years and I want to get more serious about this sport (I love everything about it: the ocean, the people, the waves, the fitness level....etc).
I bought a Cinnamon Rainbow 8'6 longboard this summer, and I've been catching lots of waves with it, lots of fun on small days.
I'd like to equip myself with a smaller board for the bigger days (chest to head high) of fall, winter and spring.
I get lots of good advices from the crew at cinnamon but i'd like to know what kind of board you would used as a transition to smaller board. I'm 6'0 and 185 pounds
Hey man everybody will tell you to transition down from a longboard to a funboard but if you can catch wave,pop up and go down the line easily then i would take the leap and get a hybrid shortboard..i went from a 7'6 to a 6'2 lost rocket without much problem within a year..you can buy cheap used boards off craigslist and get a feel for what works for you and if it doesn't just sell it back for what you buy it for..
A good fish can make a great transition board to something shorter ... I'm now working with a 6'2" thruster, but my fish (which I'm keeping around right now for the mushy days) is a very healthy 6'6"x22"x3-1/8". Even though it's short, it has *a lot* of volume, and that will help you paddle into waves. In fact, I'm typically able to catch waves on that board that my friends need 8' long-boards to catch, and a good portion of that has to-do with the fact that my board has almost as much volume as their thinner and narrower long-boards. The minus is that for my height and weight (6', 155lbs), it's not very much fun when it gets head-high+ though, since I can't duck-dive it. Getting out to the line-up can be a bit of a pain ... hence the reason I'm on much lower-volume board now.
Consider a hybrid. If you have access to a local shaper through your surf shop, talk to him directly. A hybrid is a cross between a performance shortboard and a funshape. An 8'6 is too close to a funshape to make the kind of progression you're trying to achieve. A hybrid will get you into the shortboard mindset, but will be much easier to catch waves, and will respond more like a shortboard.
I've been surfing less than a year and recently jumped from an 8 ft performance longboard to a 5'10 quad fish. I was pretty nervous that it would be a huge struggle, but to be honest, I don't find much harder to catch/ride waves at all (subject to the below caveat). Because fish are wide, they are pretty stable. You need to take later drops on the wave and as a result make your pop-up quicker, but it's not really harder than on a long board, just different.
That said, one problem with going to a smaller board in bigger surf if you're used to surfing longboards is that you will really notice how much harder it is to paddle the smaller board when a lot of water is moving around. Yes, if you go small enough, you will be able to duck dive it, but there is a big trade off in terms of paddling. I actually stick with my longboard at this point in bigger waves because I am more comfortable on it. Once my paddling strength gets better, hopefully I'll be able to take the smaller board out. But if I were you, I wouldn't count on going out in head high surf on a shortboard for a while. Better to get a shortboard that works in small conditions so you can learn comfortably and then move on from there.
Another thing to consider is how much you are really likely to go surfing. If you are only getting out once a month, sorry to say, but you may never develop the paddling strength to really make a shortboard worth it. Be realistic about what you are able to do and go with the board that will challenge you a bit but still allow you to have fun.
Wow thanks for all the responses.
Meatloaf....thanks for the advice but I won't quit and I'll be moving to the westcoast of Canada in a couple of month. For now I'm sorry that I don't live near the shore but I try to make the most of what's available. As for us Quebexicans, I know some of us are the worst ***holes but I rarely come down to the coast with anyone so I can't relate.
Also, be sure that I'm always buying form local shops and I'll always be doing so. The more I ask, the more I know stuff so I'll be using all your advices and make the best choice possible.