Logging has really taken off and almost gone are the days of high performance longboarding. Joel Tudor must be happy because finally ‘longboarding’ is working out that longboards are meant to be ridden with smooth style, grace and toes on the nose.
I liken the difference between surfing long and shortboards as the difference between driving vintage cars or sports cars. Neither is better or worse – just very different.
And when it comes to cruising the ocean on a Cadillac, with top off, windows down, and the wind in your hair – there’s nothing quite like the nose ride.
Every shortboarder surfer would do well to have a log in their quiver. With the aim being to trim off all of your ugly, un-necessary arm-flapping movements and just stand there and look cool. Easier said than done for the sports car lover. But hey – surfing has always been about style and far too many shortboarders have ugly styles because they are too busy on the wave and forget the golden rule of LESS IS MORE.
Anyway … however you come to find yourself cruising on a longboard – it’s all about the nose. There are a range of topics I could talk about with regards to nose riding – ie: board design, cross-stepping, the set-up and the nose-ride itself.
For now, allow me to talk about the set-up.
The best time to go for the nose is as you come into an accelerating part of the wave – in other words a section. Think of a speedboat. As you plant the throttle, the boat accelerates, the bow rises and the boat goes up onto the plane. Then as you de-celerate, the bow drops as the boat slows down. Keeping that in mind, it makes total sense to head for the nose as your board is accelerating into a nice, long section. Novice nose-riders often speed through the steeper section then go to the nose in the flat part of the wave and wonder why they pearl.
Another way to set up a nose-ride is to stall the tail hard (by pressing the back foot down hard at the rear end). Then with the nose up in the air, this can be a good time to head up front.
Good sliders also head for the nose straight after a bottom turn – mainly because a bottom turn well done is also an accelerating move – which puts the surf board onto the plane.
Getting to the nose? Well that’s another lesson to learn. But it’s got to be a cross-step. Anything less is a compromise. Plus it’s the only way to get back from there in a hurry.
And if you’re new to it … look at the cheater 5. It’s not that hard really if you keep your weight on the rear foot and stretch to the nose.
Next lesson surfers…
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