Longboard Disillusioned

Discussion in 'Texas' started by Spring Surf, May 13, 2013.

  1. Spring Surf

    Spring Surf Member

    May 13, 2013
    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. ClemsonSurf

    ClemsonSurf Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    First day on a new board didn't work out exactly how you imagined........ Interesting.

    It must be broken

  3. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    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. The Waikiki stinkbug

    The Waikiki stinkbug Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    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. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    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. Spring Surf

    Spring Surf Member

    May 13, 2013
    Thanks Guys. The good cop, bad cop approach. Will lower my expectations and keep trying.
  7. Spring Surf

    Spring Surf Member

    May 13, 2013
    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. Gfootr

    Gfootr Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    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. huuor

    huuor Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2012
    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. Peajay4060

    Peajay4060 Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    sometimes the waves just suck no matter what you're riding.
  11. funkyspec

    funkyspec Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    Better ditch the new 9' Walden and get an SUP. I'm sure your fellow surfers in the lineup will love ya for it.
  12. dlrouen

    dlrouen Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    Messing around with your fin(s) will definitely give you a boost, but it sounds like you need to walk the deck a little more. When you start to slow down, take a step or two towards the nose and keep your feet close together. You're going to kill your speed by keeping a wide stance and if you just hang out in one spot. You should definitely get some new life out of your ride by adding a little footwork and tightening up your stance. You may already be doing this - who knows.

    Your fin - what kind of set up? Do you have a Magic? Tri-fin? Unless your in tall water with clean faces, I don't really see a "need" for a tri-fin set up. If you have side bites, drop them. Get a 9" fin - RFC Wingnut is a great fin to get the ball rolling and remains one of my favorite longboard fins of all time. Start with your fin all the way towards your tail. Try it out and adjust by 1/4" incriments or so. I wouldn't advise positioning your fin over the "half-way" mark of your fin box, but that's just me.

    Steve makes great boards and I'm sure it will be only a matter of time before your tearing it up out there with your son. Best of luck.
  13. huuor

    huuor Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2012
    Let's not forget that Walden subscribes to (and shapes for) Wavejet!
  14. RIer

    RIer Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2012
    Waldens have a lot of rocker-- they are more performance longboards. For really small waves, easy wave catching you want a more old school longboard-- flat rocker. Walden will be better on bigger, faster waves, old school longboard on smaller slower waves.
  15. pkovo

    pkovo Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    -Start paddling earlier. Takes an extra stroke or 2 or 3.. to get a big tanker moving, but once moving should catch waves easy.

    -If your on the fringe of catching a wave, kick your feet towards the back of your head. Sounds and looks odd, but always forks for me on a longboard.

    -When your up and riding, move fwd to trim. walk shuffle whatever, just move around. If you just plant your feet and go, yourdoing it wrong on a longboard.

    I don't ride longboards too much any more, but used to ride them a lot. I still have to get back in the groove when I do ride one, even having the experience. I bet you'll like it eventually, but longboards are definitely different. Even though your other board is "shaped like a longboard" it's too short to really feel/respond like one in my opinion, so there's a learning curve.
  16. goosemagoo

    goosemagoo Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2011
    It does look weird but it works. Moves your center of gravity forward without actually moving your chest forward. Works on a short board too.
  17. Spring Surf

    Spring Surf Member

    May 13, 2013
    It is a magic with a thruster. Not sure of the fin size. The top is flat but bottom has a lot of rocker. Feeling much better. Thanks to all!
  18. Pursuitofhappiness

    Pursuitofhappiness Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    I recently custom ordered a Walden and took delivery in Dec. 10X25X4. Took me two, 4 hour sessions to figure it out. Cold March water and 5/4 suit, hood, gloves and boots didn't help. The board will turn instantly if you take a step back, then step front. At first I found it to turn too easily, as my other board was a 12 footer and had to throw my weight back to get the nose up and around to get it to turn. Up until a couple trips ago, I would bring and ride both boards. The last two, only the Walden. Now I love it! Had it out Sat, Sun and today. Yesterday rocked with a really nice swell and my new Walden took me on some nice rides. When dropping in, just lean back on your back foot and you're headed down the line.
  19. Roy Stuart

    Roy Stuart Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    This serious issue is entirely due to endemic poor design.
  20. Roy Stuart

    Roy Stuart Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Yep definitely!