Hey guys, I'm sure this has been done many times but I thought I'd ask anyway. I live in North Carolina where the waves are usually 1-3ft. I'm 5'9, 145lbs. Right nowI mostly ride my 5'6 neckbeard. Although I love it, I can't catch very many small, mushy, weak waves on it. It does better in waist to chest high surf. So, now I'm looking for a board that can surf in the mushiest, smallest surf, and still be fun.
My question is, can only a longboard do this? I'm not opposed to getting a long board or a fun board, but I have never owned one so I don't know what size or shape to get.
Or, should I look more into something like the CI Biscuit or Fishcuit, Bing Dharma, Lost coach potato etc. I really like the look of all those boards as they are more maneuverable.
Can those boards replace a long board in the mushy, gutless small surf of 1-2 ft? Has anyone owned any of those board and has feedback on them? Should I just forget about these short, stubby boards and just get a log? I'm open to suggestions too!
What do you guys think? Sorry for the long question, thanks!!!
I ride a 7'6 fish here in VB and I feel like it's an almost perfect board for small, mushy waves. It was hand shaped by Austin who is one of the premiere shapers in the mid atlantic and he knows what it takes to have fun on these "waves". Your board just needs some volume and a wide tail design
I think most people who ride longboards would tell you that a longboard will catch the smallest rideable wave... even outside the "rideable" window for most alternative shapes. But I think this depends on the rider. A fat, floaty simmons, sweet potato, plank or other alt shape can catch even the smallest wave, if the rider is a strong enough paddler, and light enough. Lets face it... bigger guys need a bigger wave to ride a shortboard... any kind of shortboard. You might fit into that category... or not... I don't know. That's for you to decide.
As a bigger guy myself, I prefer a log in the tiny stuff... knee to thigh high. In waves that small, any turn on a shortboard (alt shape or otherwise) will overpower the wave, bog, and die. I get more fun out of a log in those conditions, because I can at least pivot turn, trim, and walk the board. I'll turn to an alt shape in thigh to waist high, on up to maybe chest high, before I go to my hpsb.
If you only weigh 145 then you could go either way IMO, personally I think it's good to have both if you can afford it. I was out in 1-3 ft gutless surf this past weekend and was having fun on both my LB and my 6'4" Coil Flashback Fish, being a strong paddler and having the right equipment makes riding small waves really fun, I had a blast the past two days...
I'm in NC too and will surf the smallest waves possible if it fits into my schedule with family, work, church and friends. So I have been looking for a board that rides all waves if that is the only day I can go. I can surf a tradition thruster on most of our waist high days to give you some context of my advice. I also do not desire to ride a log because it is turns that I enjoy most. I have had a lost Bottom feeder for a year and it is amazing. I can ride a literal knee high wave and can carve and snap and such on thigh high waves. It is also too much fun in waist surf too so long as it is not a dredging sucking take off. A retro fish is my second call. It is more of a down the line speedster with a carve back to whitewater. The bottom feeder you have to drive off your back foot like a thruster where as a retro fish you just trim and steer. Just size them properly.
Oh I'm not against getting a long board at all! But its like Dirtandrib said, If I an only get into the ocean one day for a short amount of time I want a board that can make any condition fun. More often than not in NC we get knee to waist waves.
A longboard will is going to maximize your paddling power and, lets face it, you're probably not going to be doing many turns on a mushy, knee high wave...some days, just being able to make it from peak all the way to the beach is the most fun your gonna get.
Thing about longboards is it's like re-learning to surf - they're awkward and can be dangerous (if they're hard epoxy and/or you're not using the right leash length). You might seriously consider a soft top as your first LB.
I've owned plenty of alt shapes and the wide noses and stuff do help paddling and making reforms...but they do not replace being in good paddling shape in the first place. The guys you see really ripping on these things in small/gutless waves probably surf a couple times a week, at least.
start a quiver. You already have a neckbeard for decent waves. Next in line, imo, would be a longboard for practically non-rideable days...and, maybe later, an alt shape to ride when you just can't quite get into the waves on your neckbeard.