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  1. #1

    Longboard Disillusioned

    I am a native Houstonian and have been surfing Galveston and Surfside since high school. For the past 10 years I've been riding a 7'5" Haut shaped like a longboard. Although the board is great and much better than the gun I tried to ride in HS, I am almost 50 years old now and have started missing more waves than I wanted.

    For my birthday got a brand new Walden 9' and took it to Surfside on Saturday. I had the wife and kids with me so I went to the public beach past the beach houses (~3 miles east of 332) rather than the jetty.

    Conditions were waist high on sets, nice swell, and some wind out of the east. Perfect, I thought. However, all I could manage was a few short rides. The outside (second sand bar) was barely breaking with just a bit of foam on top for about 30 feet then it would die. I was hoping the longboard would take me on into the inside, but it just went flat.

    The inside was dumpy and closing out, and although I could get on, I couldn't get the board turned across the face.

    Am I doing something wrong?. Wrong conditions for a longboard? Is the 9' that much different than my 7'5"? When paddling for a swell on the outside it felt like a tank. Just couldn't get it moving. Appreciate any tips.

    Thanks, Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Charleston
    Posts
    1,151
    Images
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Spring Surf View Post
    I am a native Houstonian and have been surfing Galveston and Surfside since high school. For the past 10 years I've been riding a 7'5" Haut shaped like a longboard. Although the board is great and much better than the gun I tried to ride in HS, I am almost 50 years old now and have started missing more waves than I wanted.

    For my birthday got a brand new Walden 9' and took it to Surfside on Saturday. I had the wife and kids with me so I went to the public beach past the beach houses (~3 miles east of 332) rather than the jetty.

    Conditions were waist high on sets, nice swell, and some wind out of the east. Perfect, I thought. However, all I could manage was a few short rides. The outside (second sand bar) was barely breaking with just a bit of foam on top for about 30 feet then it would die. I was hoping the longboard would take me on into the inside, but it just went flat.

    The inside was dumpy and closing out, and although I could get on, I couldn't get the board turned across the face.

    Am I doing something wrong?. Wrong conditions for a longboard? Is the 9' that much different than my 7'5"? When paddling for a swell on the outside it felt like a tank. Just couldn't get it moving. Appreciate any tips.

    Thanks, Steve
    First day on a new board didn't work out exactly how you imagined........ Interesting.

    It must be broken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    3,828
    Quote Originally Posted by Spring Surf View Post
    I am a native Houstonian and have been surfing Galveston and Surfside since high school. For the past 10 years I've been riding a 7'5" Haut shaped like a longboard. Although the board is great and much better than the gun I tried to ride in HS, I am almost 50 years old now and have started missing more waves than I wanted.

    For my birthday got a brand new Walden 9' and took it to Surfside on Saturday. I had the wife and kids with me so I went to the public beach past the beach houses (~3 miles east of 332) rather than the jetty.

    Conditions were waist high on sets, nice swell, and some wind out of the east. Perfect, I thought. However, all I could manage was a few short rides. The outside (second sand bar) was barely breaking with just a bit of foam on top for about 30 feet then it would die. I was hoping the longboard would take me on into the inside, but it just went flat.

    The inside was dumpy and closing out, and although I could get on, I couldn't get the board turned across the face.

    Am I doing something wrong?. Wrong conditions for a longboard? Is the 9' that much different than my 7'5"? When paddling for a swell on the outside it felt like a tank. Just couldn't get it moving. Appreciate any tips.

    Thanks, Steve
    Steve, it's going to take some time adjusting to the longer board but you got a good one there. I'd give it a few sessions before making any judgements on it. 1st i'd make sure you are positioned correctly on the board, too far back / forward and it will create drag or push water rather than glide. Next take a look at the center fin, too far back in the box and it may make your turning very stiff, move it up some and that'll loosen it up. Conditions may have been wack that day too, having experienced the Gulf I know how it can be.

  4. #4
    Different aspects of the board could cause it to ride different than your haut that you are used to. I had the same problem with a 9'0 haut when I was used to my 8'0 Henry fry... I just had to get a feel for the new board and the way it surfed/paddled. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    3,828
    Oh almost forgot one thing... once you catch the wave, you gotta get further back on the tail and use your weight / foot placement to make that board turn, it's probably one of the biggest issues people have with the longer boards. Once you figure out where you need to be, it'll get much easier.

  6. #6
    Thanks Guys. The good cop, bad cop approach. Will lower my expectations and keep trying.

  7. #7
    Best thing about Saturday was my 9-year-old boy stood up for the first time . . . on my old Haut. Even caught the wave himself.

  8. #8
    Stand in waist deep water and lay the board out in front of you on the water's surface. Lock in on how it floats without a rider on it. That's your board's perfect trim.

    Jump on, and adjust your position as you paddle - up/back - until the board nails that same float as it did without you on it. I think you just need to experiment with how you're laying on the deck.

    Plus what DPSUP said about weighting the back for the turns. And the ocean itself, same thing happened to me a few weeks ago, as the tide dropped the waves changed completely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    NoMoCo
    Posts
    25
    Images
    5
    All of the above. Per ClemsonSurf, one session is not enough when you're adding a foot and a half in length + the volume. Don't right 'er off just yet.

    Per DPSUP - the extra length will take some time to get used to. I find the sweet spot is further forward than you might expect on a longer board. It's all about getting it to 'trim' just right. Fin placement can totally change the personality of a board. Most people don't mess with their fins - they just buy a (short) board, slap in some FCS G5's and go for a surf. Most times it works. Sometimes it doesn't. I betcha 70% of their boards would work even better if they tried some alternatives (no I don't work for a fin company). (We're a lazy bunch. Most of us would never evolve if we didn't read that Curren is going retro and riding a Lis fish or Slater won a comp on a quad).

    Same with longboards.
    Don't run out an spend $ on new fins just yet. Follow DP's advice and 'tweak' what you have.

    It'll come. Best of luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Out on the island
    Posts
    364
    sometimes the waves just suck no matter what you're riding.