Before you catch a wave, learn how to buy classic longboards. More and more surfers are digging the cruising style of longboards, whether it’s for its retro style or the fact that it can catch way more waves. Get yourself one and learn why classic longboards are the most popular boards on the water.
- Make sure it covers the basics. A basic longboard is typically between nine to ten feet long, although it may be slightly shorter or longer, and is generally a wide board. This design gives you a lot of stability and allows you to enter into waves early and easily. When laid out, the entire longboard shouldn’t bend too much. There’s only a slight bend in the nose and even less of a bend in the tail area. The nose is also usually rounded.
- Consider the fins. There are two fundamental fin arrangements for classic longboards. You can either purchase a longboard with one fin or three fins. The three-fin pattern is called the “thruster set-up” and involves one large fin with two smaller fins on the side. These are high performance boards that are especially effective for big waves. If you’re not expecting gigantic waves like those in Hawaii, the one-fin longboard should be more than sufficient for your needs.
- Look at the rails. You want to look for rails that are rounded or half-rounded and half-down. This is the ideal design for classic longboard cruising. Rounder rails in the front allow you to maneuver more smoothly, especially when you’re at the nose. At the end, sharper down rails will give you more control and help you turn as quickly as a longboard is able to when you’re pushing back on a wave.
- Check its dimensions. A wider board will give you more stability when you pop up to standing position while you’re heading into a wave. If you’re a beginner, you’ll prefer this feature because keeping your balance when standing can often be one of the most difficult fundamental moves to learn. Also think about the thickness of the longboard. A thicker longboard will float better, which in turn will be easier to paddle.
- Bear in mind your height and weight. Your classic longboard needs to carry your weight and keep you above the water. You also need to be able to control your longboard; if it’s too long, you’ll have difficulty leaning in to turn it. Before investing in a classic longboard, be sure to find a way to test it out first. Many surf shops allow you to rent longboards. You could also try borrowing a longboard from a friend. Don’t forget to ask the surf shop owner for his expert advice on appropriate longboards for your height and weight. In the end, you need to be comfortable on your classic longboard.