I'm thinking about ordering a custom Dead Sled from Chris Christenson, and I'm going back and forth between a 9'9" and 9'8" to the point of absurdity. It's a one inch difference, I know. But it'll be my only custom noserider, and I hope to have it for a long time. I have a 10' heavy-glassed log & a lighter 9'8". The 10' is great for small, mushy days. The 9'8 works nicely up to shoulder-high. I'm 190-195 lbs, 6'3". Anyone ridden one of these or have any advice on length. The Christenson team recommended 9'8"-10'. Ridiculous question, but your two cents are appreciated if you have a few noseriders or have ridden a Dead Sled.
If either custom board is coming out of the same blank, it' won't matter. But if it means buying a bigger blank for the longer board, it means a LOT, both in terms of cost and in the integrity of the foam once shaped.
You are right, it is a ridiculous question. Just get the 9'8" and quit worrying about splitting hairs. Besides, how many tanker noseriders does anybody need? One is plenty. Especially hipster $1200 CNC milled ones. Better yet, get a $495 china poput and use the remainder to buy a ticket to Puerto Rico! Could practice your noseriding technique at Wilderness. You won't sweat dings, will never fear letting anyone borrow it and can crash into people to your hearts delight. No board bag! Don't forget it's the indian not the arrow.
You can eek a 9'8 out of a 9'9 blank, but a 9'9 means you gotta go with a 10'2 blank, minimum. Then you have to consider blank thickness, and how much foam you have to take down to get to the desired thickness. Then you have to consider rocker, and how much you want to shape in, versus just going with the natural rocker of the blank. Your shaper should be able to help you with this...
Never ridden one but I'd go 9'8. I'd actually go smaller then that but me and you are two different sized people so that's irrelevant. A 9'8 is a big board even for a longboard for a guy your size, atleast in my opinion. Your 9'8 you have now works well up to shoulder high, and I'm sure it works just fine in the smaller stuff. So I'd go with the size that's going to be more versatile.
There are many aspects of a nose riding LB that come into play well before the length of the board does. Nose rocker, nose concave, tail rocker/tail kick, width, type of rails... all heavy factors in board design.
Deciding over an inch in your length is a massive waste of time. I recommend a 9'6" x 23" wide. Flat nose rocker, large tail kick, 50/50 rails, deep nose concave, wide nose, square tail, big single fin.
The extreme length of your board will actually work against you when your on the nose. think of your board like a wrench, with the tail locked into the wave being the wrench on the bolt. what will be easier to turn that bolt? a long wrench with tons of leverage, or a short wrench? the long wrench. So when your perched up there, almost 10 feet away from the tail that is locked into the wave and holding the board from flipping over, you want to minimize the leverage your weight has on the nose. not increase it. That's why most nose riders are 9'6" and under.