Should you longboard, or should you shortboard?
And is there even much of a difference, or is it all same, same?
As it turns out there is are big differences between the two.
Which one is for you?
Find out everything you need to know below
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LONGBOARD AND A SHORTBOARD?
The difference between the two types of surfboard can be broken down into three main areas:
The most notable difference between longboards and shortboards is length.
Whereas shortboards range in size from around 5ft to 7ft, longboards traditionally start being ‘Longboards’ from 9ft+.
Longboards are built for cruising and stability, and as such, they have a wide, curved outline, with thick rails for extra volume.
Shortboards on other hand are built instead for speed and manoeuvrability, and they tend to be pointier in shape, and not as thick too.
Most Longboards are ridden with either one big central fin, or a big central fin with two small trailer fins on each side.
Your fin-setup of choice will depend on the style of longboarding that resonates with you, with nose-riders preferring the single fin approach, and performance longboarders opting for a three fin setup.
Shortboards on the other hand have much smaller fins with a variety of setups for different conditions from two fins, all the way up to five.
If the topic of fins floats your boat go check out our Surfboard Fins: Ultimate Guide for more.
LONGBOARDING VS SHORTBOARDING: WHICH IS BETTER & WHY
It’s an age old debate that in truth has no conclusive answer, but let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of each so that if you’re sitting on the fence, at least you know what you’re getting yourself into.
$1100 - $2000
$650 - $1200
EASE OF USE
MODERATE - HARD
IDEAL WAVE HEIGHT
NOT VERY MANOEUVRABILITY
VERY RESPONSIVE & MANOEUVRABLE
LONGBOARDING VS SHORTBOARDING: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Whether you ride a shortboard or a longboard depends on a number of factors, and strangely, it has a lot to do with your personality too.
A lot depends on the style of surfing that resonates with you: Are you drawn to the style and flow of riding a longboard? or do you prefer the speed and progression elements of riding a shortboard?
Let's dissect them in a little more detail below:
If a shortboard was a car, it'd be a Formula 1 racing car - maximum pace and agility.
Riding a shortboard is all about technical surfing, with speed, power and progression.
Shortboarding is for you if:
But here's the thing...
Shortboarding is a very hard sport to master, and takes a lot of perseverance and practice, so if shortboarding is for you, you'll need to be dogged and embrace this challenge.
If a longboard was a car, it'd be a Rolls Royce. All about style, class and little to no care about speed or agility.
Riding a longboard is as much to do with style and grace as it is about performance and cross-step trickery.
Longboarding is for you if:
That's the true longboarding ethos right there.
Riding a longboard is a much easier journey for most, with the boards forgiving nature: length, width & volume making the progression from beginner to intermediate a much faster journey than riding an unforgiving high performance shortboard.
So if you're a latecomer to the sport of surfing, this is something to bear in mind.
WRAPPING IT UP
By now you should have a good understanding of the difference between longboarding and shortboarding, the pro's and con's of each, and which one is right for you.
There is no right or wrong, only a question of what resonates to the individual.
Longboard or shortboard?
It's over to you
Ex WQS warrior, and all-round frother - Loz is the technical coaching queen at the House of Surf.
She is also a mindset and life coach and has a habit of living in her van way too much.