Any avid surfer would agree there is no such thing as having too many surfboards. Different lengths, widths, rails, tails, fin configurations, and composites are all factors that affect the way we ride and can be adjusted depending on the particular wave conditions. It doesn’t matter how big of a shredder you are, there are days when it is going to be small, mushy, or you simply want to mix it up a bit, and having a longboard in your quiver just makes sense.
But if you are like most surfers who don’t have a bottomless board budget, picking the right longboard can be a daunting decision. To confuse matters, the surf shaping and manufacturing industry is highly competitive with many different options. You’ll find well-established outfits with deep rooted histories backed by brand names who have obtained legendary status, progressive companies with unique business models and environmental practices, and larger corporations that produce a multitude of models in factories overseas. At the end of the day, you want to be stoked with your decision as you look forward to a long relationship with what could be considered to some surfers as another member of the family.
So how do you narrow it down?
To help clarify questions that I had (and I suspect you will as well) when it came to choosing your first longboard, I turned to an individual who undoubtedly has been and continues to be an enormous influence on the evolution and expansion of surfing, Robert August.
I still clearly remember seeing my first surf film, “The Endless Summer.” Even though I was only 12 years of age, I knew what I had witnessed was the embodiment of the stoke, awe, and allure of surfing that hooks us all for life. Watching Robert August and Mike Hynson explore the world in search of waves made my life feel small, but it opened my mind to the endless possibilities.
August has come a long way since then having worked on several other films, established his own line of surfboards, and benefited many important charities. In case you had any doubts, he is still tearing it up.
With over 50 years of surfing experience, let’s just say he knows a few things about buying a longboard.