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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    VA Beach
    Posts
    110

    Longboard Surfboard vs. Skateboard

    Hi,

    I had some questions for folks here on the list that have had more experience with this type of decision, and can hopefully give me some insight on what will be better for my surfing progression.

    Basically, I have the cash for either getting a skateboard like a 31" Carver (that's what I'm specifically looking at since I've been reading on the net it's the closest thing to surfing), or a longboard/funboard surfboard (something close to or over 8'). Right now I own a 6'2x19x2 3/4" WRV shortboard, as well as a Rusty 6'8x20 1/2"x2 3/4" thruster that is still technically a shortboard, but since I'm only around 155lbs and 6ft tall, it floats me really well, and allows me to catch more waves on the knee-to-thigh high days, or on high tides when my 6'2 just doesn't cut it.

    My goal at this point is to ultimately improve my shortboard wave-riding skills. This would include really working on pumping down the line on both my front and backside, turning and carving a wave, and with time progress into round-abouts, cutbacks, etc. At this point I can paddle into and catch most waves pretty well, get a decent bottom-turn on my front-side, and then ride the line. The upper-body/lower-body sync is escaping me though for nicely coordinated pumping down the line to generate additional speed and power once I've made the initial drop. Also trying to turn on my backside lands me on my butt. Slaloming around people in a crowded line-up has also been out-of-the-question at the moment because I don't feel I have the control I need of my turns. Finally, going left on my backside (I'm regular footed) leads to a pretty crappy ride that ends in the flats because again, I don't have control of the bottom turn on my backside to make a good drop and then ride down the line to the left like I can do on my frontside to the right.

    Some of my friends say get the skateboard ... others say the fact that I don't have a longboard is really bad, and that riding a longboard will progress me far more in all of the shortboard skills I want to learn than riding any skateboard (especially a gimmicky Carver).

    At this point I've been leaning towards the Carver skateboard because I feel that repetitively doing something that feels very close to surfing a controlled environment will allow me to fine-tune the muscle memory I need to hone my riding skills, and I can do so irrespective of the wind/wave conditions. But again, others are telling me the skill-sets aren't that close, and what I really need is the greater wave count and ride time that a longer board will get me. Decisions, decisions ... Any thoughts from the rest of you that have experience with both?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,216
    Get the Log dude, you'll be happy you did

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    VA Beach
    Posts
    110
    I guess my hesitancy is that longboard riding style, or at least in relation to the guys I see riding longboards, seems quite a bit different from shortboard riding style, as well as the fact that many of the longboarders I know can't really ride shortboards well. This is not an indictment against longboarders, merely an observation that makes wonder whether riding a longboard is the best way (compared to the skateboard) to improve my shortboard riding skills since I don't see many folks making the transition back-and-forth very well...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,216
    I hear ya, my advice being in VB is to get the LB, you'll up your wave count significantly, especially on those marginal days where some may not paddle out, but with the log you'll catch every ripple. The extra time you spend doing pop-ups will translate, as well as the extra time on your feet. Is the style different? Yes, but you'll improve your short boarding tremendously by getting more waves on the LB. I learned this after years of trying to catch small weak mush waves on a short board, blew my shoulders out trying. The skateboard is a great idea, i'm getting one for Christmas, but I got my LB several years ago and it's helped me tremendously. I shoulda listened to my buddy who suggested one to me when I bought my WRV FunFish, but I didn't and I continued to struggle till I finally caved and got one.

  5. #5
    I shortboarded for a decade before I started riding longboards. You will catch more waves and spend more time in the water (more ride-able days) which will ultimately improve your surfing. If you can turn from the tail on a log you will be able to throw the tail on a shortboard. One big difference is that on the shortboard it is critical to drive off of the front foot on the drop in, transitioning your weight back in the bottom turn, where as on the log you are constantly moving around, trimming, to be in the right spot. I think that while very different in style, walking will help you gain confidence on your feet and improve your backside balance. Get a log. Cheers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Singer Island
    Posts
    1,306
    Quote Originally Posted by jasorod View Post
    I guess my hesitancy is that longboard riding style, or at least in relation to the guys I see riding longboards, seems quite a bit different from shortboard riding style, as well as the fact that many of the longboarders I know can't really ride shortboards well. This is not an indictment against longboarders, merely an observation that makes wonder whether riding a longboard is the best way (compared to the skateboard) to improve my shortboard riding skills since I don't see many folks making the transition back-and-forth very well...
    This is true only for people who never learned on a shortboard and never were good watermen to begin with. I rode a shorboard or a fish exclusively for many many years and totally dissed on loggers. Finally inherited a Donald Takayama noserider which sucked. Then I rode a friends HPLB and it ripped. I could carve where I used to flail in knee to waist high mush. After years of riding both long and shortboards, I can say without a doubt that 1. my style has gotten smoother and more fluid 2. I have caught and enjoyed much more surf. Many of my friends who grew up on a shortboard have said the same thing. Try it, you'll like it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UGHHH! :(
    Posts
    314
    You might like a high performance longboard. Though not my favorite type of longboard, you might like how light they are and you can surf them off the tail and don't have to move around as much as a traditional type log- especially if you go 8ft funshape.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    ethernet
    Posts
    2,289
    go on CL and find both for cheap?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    VA Beach
    Posts
    110
    Thanks everyone for the input ... so skateboarding on all the flat and fairly crappy days (i.e., strong on-shores, etc.) is not as good as riding a high-perf longboard on all the ripple days (i.e., happen more often, but still not an everyday event)?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    577
    No matter what, the more time you spend on the water the better you'll be. A skateboard just isn't going to give you that feel of turning in water. Plus, a skateboard won't develop your wave timing, positioning, paddling, etc. These fellers are right on...a longboard will get you WAY more surf-able days, and they make small stuff really fun. You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish and learn on 2ft waves with a longboard.

    One last note - saw that you mentioned bottom turning. Unless it's pretty big out there, don't bother with bottom turning. Take a slight angle when catching the wave and you'll get down the line much quicker and avoid a lot more close-outs. A longboard on a small day is a great way to practice this.