Longboard designs come in tri-fin, single fin and 2+1 which is one big center fin and two smaller support fins. The tails can vary but it is common to see a square or round tail and even a rounded pin. These boards can be anywhere from 8ft up to 12ft, though most people max out at around 10ft.
Longboards are the only way to go if you want to surf every day. When it is 1-2ft, a big log will work wonders. Because of their massive size and stability longboards are easy to learn on for many beginners. Don’t let that fool you however, many of the world’s best surfers choose to ride in style on a 9’ single fin, riding gracefully from nose to tail. When paddling it might take some work to get going, but once it gets moving it will cruise. Be careful when paddling into big surf though, it’s almost impossible to duck dive so your only option in many cases is to turn over and turtle.
Riding a longboard will remind you that sometimes you have to take it slow. Due to the size it takes a lot of effort to swing the board around when turning. What they lack in maneuverability they more than make up for in glide. The planning surface on a longboard is huge. Combine that with a medium rocker and you have a board that will float over the surface of the water, cutting through chop and providing you with one of the cleanest rides you will ever experience. Everyone needs one longboard. If for nothing else, they are needed for small days. We think that if you take a second to appreciate the beauty of riding a longboard, you might just decide to take it out more often.
Here are some examples of longboard surfboards in the SurfScience.com surfboard directory.