Longboard surfboards are making a comeback making the popularity of longboard surfing surge in the recent years. This has been especially true in Asia and among women. The surfing scene today with the modern shortboards are nothing like the 1960s when wave riders frolic on the shores with longboards that were usually 10 ft high.
Let’s take a better look at these longboard surfboards to understand why they’re coming back. We’ll throw in some reviews to help you pick the best longboard surfboard perfect for your next ride.
Table of Contents
What are Longboard Surfboards?
Originally, longboard surfboards were single-finned boards with a large rounded nose and typically ran a length of 270 to 370 cm (9 to 12 ft). A class of longboards that enable the rider to walk to the tip and nose ride are called nose riders. Also known as “Mals”, short for “Malibu Boards,” they range from 270 to 430 cm (9 to 14 ft).
Longboards’ advantage is its significant buoyancy and planning surface. These enable surfers to shred waves generally considered too small to propel a shortboard. Longboards are best for beginners due to its size and the ease of catching waves.
Best Longboard Surfboards
Just because you prefer longboards doesn’t mean you are old. Nowadays, people think these babies are made for small and peeling days and can’t keep up with shortboards. Truth is, deep connection between a surfer and a wave is best enjoyed with longboards.
If you’re planning to expand your surfboard rack, check out the list of longboards we think are promising for you to try.
- Wavestorm 8′ Classic Surfboard
- StormBlade 9FT Storm Blade Longboard Surfboard
- California Board Company Surfboard
- Liquid Shredder FSE Soft Surfboard
- 8’8 Heritage Surfboard by South Bay Board Co.
- BIC Sport PAINT Surfboard
- Wave Bandit Easy Rider 8’0
#1. Wavestorm 8′ Classic Surfboard – Great beginner board
Wavestorm 8’ Pinstripe Classic Surfboard makes it to this list as a great surfing board for novice riders, kids, and surfing classes. It is soft, light, and easy to maneuver.
The colorful design is protected by GFTTM (Graphic Film Technology) allowing it to stay under the sun for too long without fading. It has high-density HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) bottom skin that makes it resilient to ocean waves’ impact. The 3 marine-ply stringers with strong EPS (expanded polystyrene) core helps with handling the surfboard.
No more sliding on top of the surfboard as it has textured foot pads to aid in foot traction as you maneuver through the ocean waves.
Another feature that adds up to it as a beginner’s board is the pre-installed leash plug with removable ankle leash. It is suitable for first-time riders who need a board that is easy to handle. Although, experienced surfers will appreciate what this board can do on summer waves.
With a reasonable price tag, it gives you the soft feel, the right amount of weight, and nice graphics.
|Catches each wave and makes surfing fun for beginners||Made with HDPE which is not the best material when it comes to surfboard performance|
|More affordable than other longboards||200-pound weight limit
|Visually appealing colorful graphics
|Not too heavy to carry around
#2. StormBlade 9’0 Storm Blade Longboard Surfboard – Your blade through the waves
As the name suggests, StormBlade helps you cut through waves no matter how heavy the waves are. StormBlade 9FT Storm Blade Longboard Surfboard is primarily geared towards beginner and intermediate riders. But this doesn’t limit seasoned surfers to ride it too.
This surfboard is constructed with EPS (expanded polystyrene) core combined with 3 marine-ply stringers. Its design features a fine-tuned thickness that guarantees excellent stability and performance at any riding conditions. The construction also includes high-grade HDPE slick bottom and is available in 4 different sizes – 7 ft to 10 ft.
Reinforced with molded cores and latest technology in design, Stormblade has been adopted by numerous surf schools and surf campuses due to its primary focus of standing on the first ride.
|Best Soft-Top Longboard for Intermediate Riders||Can be a little slippery especially when they are new|
|Superior EPS Core with HDPE Slick Bottom||Can’t be left directly under the sun for too long|
|3 Marine Ply Stringers
#3. California Board Company Surfboard 8’0 – Your best buddy in walking waves out the ocean
CBC 8’ Surfboard is another great starter soft-top longboard that California Board Company has to offer. Ideal for surfers of any sizes, this board has a hefty 8’0” x 23” x 2.4” size that helps you paddle easily and get into waves a breeze.
The large size benefits beginners with stability and advanced surfers with a rocky home break. Its durability and lightweight help any rider get their fundamentals down to prepare for other surfboard transition.
The slimmer and narrower size allows for easier turns on swells and heavy waves. Its construction and design that includes a wooden graphic look make it appear like a typical longboard. But, don’t get it wrong as it doesn’t ding like most boards. CBC 8’ is 100% waterproof with its EPS core that guarantees it will last for years.
|Comes with tri-fins (1 center fin and 2 side bites)||Top is quite slippery and should be waxed|
|High-density EPS core (100% waterproof)||Poorly packaged
|Comes with a polyurethane leash
|100% waterproof core
|Slick HDPE bottom
#4. Liquid Shredder FSE Soft Surfboard – Your all-around board
Most reviews you will read for Liquid Shredder FSE Soft Surfboard say it is perfect for the whole family to use it. From the youngest and most novice to the most experienced member of the family, adrenaline will truly rush.
Like most of Liquid Shredder’s boards, FSE 9’ Soft Surfboard has a soft but durable ding-resistant deck combined with stretchy fins that significantly cut down your chances of incurring injuries. The broad and stable platform for beginners has a sleek rail design that even experienced surfers can enjoy.
Liquid Shredder has EPE foam for the deck and combined with two wooden and one fiberglass stringer for stiff construction. The white PP (polypropylene0 adds to the rigidity and strength of the board. Not to mention, it is heat laminated with no glue makes it a cost-effective hi-performance longboard.
Perfect for surf campuses, schools, and can definitely work as a rental board.
|Made of EPE deck, EPS core, PP hard slick bottom; Heat laminated (no glue)||Size becomes an issue when it comes to popping up, mounting, dismounting and controlling the board|
|Best for beginner, novice, and experienced surfers; on 1-7’ waves||Plastic fins may break easily
|Removable Tri-fin Thruster included||Leash is sold separately
|Can hold up a load of 200 pounds|
#5. 8’8 Heritage Surfboard by South Bay Board Co. – Your wax-free trip-ready longboard
One of the newest, tidiest, most durable, and advanced surfboard models from the SBBC production line is the Heritage 8’8 soft top board. With dimensions of 104 x 22.5 x 3 inches and a weight capacity that range from 100 to 260 pounds, it is designed to produce the best scores in riding the waters.
It is constructed with materials that don’t only make it durable but also enjoyable and comfortable as well. The customized features like the fingerprint textured foam give you a comfortable feel while aids you with a natural grip while maneuvering. No need to worry about getting it waxed and cleaning the soft top.
The 3-stringer system helps improve the strength of the board at the same time it also reduces overall flexibility. An additional feature introduced is the two 6 oz layers of resin that help improve the board’s rigidity and toughness. Like most boards, it also utilizes HDPE to enhance speed and durability. Bottom reinforced with plastic diamond material also helps to limit its impact of water onto its surface.
Another asset Heritage 8’8 has is its heat release valve that allows the decrease of heat concentration in the core. This technology prevents the surfboard from bubbling or losing its lamination. The logo is printed with high-quality ink that doesn’t wear off, so you won’t have to worry about it staining your wet suit.
|Comes with FCS camera mounted on the nose tip to record all your actions||More expensive than other longboards
|Can support riders up to 250 pounds|
|Heat release valve helps to last a long time
|It can be used without wax
|Easy to clean
#6. BIC Sport PAINT Surfboard – Worry-free boards that rip
BIC Sport PAINT Surfboard is more than just a beginner’s surfboard. BIC’s Paint series was designed to perform and turn small waves into shred-able wave parts for advanced riders while providing a stable platform for first-timers too.
Comfortable to use with its soft and durable finish, it is what BIC aimed to when this was designed. Comfort, safety, and durability are delivered by the EPS core with molded-in wood or composite stringers, plus double 6 oz full layer deck and bottom fiberglass. Add to that the full coverage of IXPE (irradiation cross-linked polyethylene) deck and rails for optimal comfort.
|EPS core with molded-in wood or composite stringers||Does not come with a leash|
|Perfect for the beginner or the advanced rider||Can be too slippery
|Comes with thruster and twin fin setups|
|Great for take-offs and turns
|Durable but lightweight
#7. Wave Bandit Easy Rider 8’0 – Fun board for different waves
Wave Bandit Easy Rider 8’0 comes with an extensive surface area that lets you ride on waves not ideal for shortboards. Its ease of catching waves together with its board size creates the perfect board for beginners to ride and practice in shallow waters.
This beast has outstanding features that make it ideal for any riders at any wave heights. The first thing feature that sells it is its EPS core that is liable for its lightweight and high-density. Such features allow the board to be used on any wave conditions.
The round nose provides enhanced steadiness as you enjoy an easy paddling. This part also lets you lift and fast plan which is very useful as you learn how to surf. Rapid maneuverability is attainable with the rounded tail edges. This system enhances the board’s grip and rollover stability.
The double wood stringer is another great asset this board features. These stringers run from the nose to tail and help reduce the overall flexibility at the same time enhancing its strength. In addition, its tri-fin design lets you enjoy a superior turning capability while riding.
Overall, the dimensions and weight make it the ideal surfboard for both professional surfers and first-time riders.
|Comes with stringers to help reduce its flexibility while enhancing its overall strength||May not be ideal for competitive surfing
|Round tip allows increased maneuverability and stability
Our Top Pick
Longboard surfboards are perfect for first-time surfers as they are easier to paddle, and they pick waves that shortboards won’t. This round of review picks Wave Bandit Easy Rider 8’0 as the best longboard surfboard mainly because of the high-quality materials the board is constructed with.
The construction, design, and materials are engineered to enhance performance and durability. The price tag may come hefty but the features it showcases make up for that.
How to Choose the Best Longboard Surfboard
At its most basic characteristic, longboards are literally long, with the length running at 8 to 14 ft long with a rounded nose. But, aside from this key feature, what else should you look for in getting the best longboard surfboard?
Surfboard Design and Materials
The most common longboards are still constructed with the old-school PU (polyurethane) foam that is coated with fiberglass. Down the middle is a balsa wood stringer that adds strength and flex. Longboards made of PU get banged up, hit, and taken on water, but they still continue to rip even when they’ve gone heavy and ugly.
Another popular material to use is balsa. Balsa wood longboards nod to old-school longboard design. A lot of experienced surfers prefer this because of its unique properties. Balsa has the weight and the flex that that surfers relate to. Not to mention, they are good for the environment and is very light and hard to bend.
Strong and light are the definitive description of Epoxy surfboards. However, these boards are too light. Longboards need to be a little heavy in order to liven up their performance. Still, this is a cheaper board that will last.
Longboards by definition are long, but they vary greatly in length. It all boils down to what you need from your board. Shorter boards are maneuverable and navigable. Longer boards add to the space you need to make a turn.
If you need a board for progressive surfing, cutbacks, and floaters, a shorter board is your option. Those that ranged from 8 to 10 ft. If nose riding and cross-stepping are your game, go for the longer ones.
Thickness and Width
Keep thickness and width in moderation. Most longboards are more or less 2.5 inches thick with slimmer nose and tail. It is easier to float and catch waves with thick longboards, however, if they are too thick, they might not work well in turning. Even worst, they couldn’t respond easily to the curve of the waves. Keep it near 2.5 inches, but if you are bigger, you may get that 3+ range.
The same should go with width. Skinny boards are great for juicy waves. They can swell deeper in steeper waves where there’s not much need for receptive turning in snug spaces. Wider ones are ideal for mushy waves combined with flat space turning.
Longboards should be anywhere from 22 to 25 inches at its width. Nose and tail vary depending on its function. Meaning, a wider nose is for nose riders and wider tails are for radical surfing.
Longboard surfboards with more bottom curves are perfect for nose riding. The curvature slows the board and allows it to stay floating on top of the water without additional load on the nose or tail. Fewer rocker boards are faster and swifter but are tedious in shifting your weight and making turns.
Some designs have a nose concave that effectively allows the nose to pick up speed as the surfer steps near the nose.
Longboards have numerous variations. To get that best longboard surfboard, keep in mind the construction material, length, width, and rocker. These should be enough to get you what you need. Tail designs aren’t affecting the ride of longer boards as much as they do on short ones.
Weight is another factor to think about. We did not go through elaborating that is it is something you should feel for yourself. What’s important is, it isn’t too heavy for you to carry.
Surf shops usually let you try out a few rentals first. Take advantage of that to see and feel what you like.
Surfing has been around and never lost popularity for over centuries. Not even when the waves are dull and short. As you enhance your skill keep in mind that your experience as a surfer is greatly influenced by the type of surfboard you use. Make sure that as you start out, that you get the board that depends on your level of skill and body physique.
Longboards may often appear as the sometimes-board. But, there’s nothing wrong with still keeping this in your collection. After all, not all waves are the same and the smartest way to deal with that is having the longboard that catches all the waves.
The very first type of board ever used in standup surfing was longboards. These were introduced as early as the 16th century by the ancient Hawaiians. These solid wooden boards they use to practice their ancient art of Hoe he’e nalu were 270 to 910 cm (9 to 30 ft) long.
These ancient boards were eventually carved and shaped out of solid wood, extending lengths of 300 to 430 cm (10 to 14 ft), with the weight of up to 70 kg. Commoners and royalty surfed back in the days. But, the longest of boards – the Olo, was reserved for royalty.
At the height of the classic longboards’ popularity in the 19th century, some extreme western missionaries spread the word about surfing being sinful. This active discouragement caused surfing to almost dying out completely. It wasn’t until the early 20th century when Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian Olympic swimmer from the early 1900s, took surfing to mainland United States and Australia.
Duke’s undertaking paved the way to consider him as the “Father of Modern Surfing.” Since then, the California beach lifestyle was never complete without surfing. It was then that boards popularly used were made of plywood, which they called Hollowboards. These boards usually ran 460 to 610 cm (15 to 20 ft) in length and were very light.
In 1950s surfing obtained an extensive amount of popularity as a water sport. Eventually, it changed the material and the design of longboards produced. In the same year, they switched from using solid wood to balsa wood, although the length remained at the same average of 320 cm (10.5 ft).
Today’s modern longboard started from the evolution of design from the 1960s. This was when polyurethane foam and fiberglass were introduced. It was a technological leap in design making longboard continue its popularity as it changed from balsa wood to polyurethane foam and fiberglass.
It was also in the same year when shortboards were introduced in the market. Tighter turns, swift maneuvers, faster speeds were its selling points. This was the “shortboard revolution” that made longboards almost obsolete.
As they say, classic is synonymous with being timeless. Perhaps, this is why longboards keep coming back. Its first comeback in the 1990s integrated a few features from shortboards. This made surfers rediscover grace, poise, and glide that can only be done with longboards.
Longboards have undergone numerous changes since it first came out. The ones we have now are much lighter than its predecessors. The design from the 1960s that consisted of polyurethane foam and fiberglass allowed less drag on waves. On average, they run from 40 to 300 cm (8 to 10 ft) in length, while there are also those that go up to 370 cm (12 ft).
The revival of stand-up paddle-based surfing came about with boards up to 430 cm (14 ft). It was specifically made this way for stability. The classic longboard with a single fin retained its typical design that included single-fin, weight, and considerable buoyancy. Such characteristics allow the board to twist and turn while remaining in the curl of the wave.
The advances in technology also apply to a surfboard. Longboards have stretched out its family into numerous variations such as;
- The 2+1. This longboard is the most flexible and all-around board from this family. Also referred to as “single-fin with training wheels”, it takes the features of the classic longboard and the Tri-fin. This gives it the firm stability of a classic longboard while fusing it with the strength and drive of a tri-fin.
- Mini Tanker. This is a short longboard that utilizes the same design elements, but with enhanced maneuverability, thanks to its shorter shape. Women and children usually ride mini tankers as this gives them more control than the conventional 9 ft longboard.
- Malibu. Named from the place where this racy longboard gained its popularity, Malibu is a racy longboard that is narrowest than most. It has a marginally pulled in nose and tail section that is designed for extra maneuverability. This design allowed surfers to perform tricks such as “Hang Fives” and “Hang Tens.” These stunts have the surfers walk to the nose of the board and hang 5 or 10 toes over the noes, does the “soul arch”, drop knee turns, and alter maneuvers.
- Olo. These surfboards are reserved for Hawaiian royalty because of its size and weight. They are wooden boards that exceed lengths of 730 cm (24 ft) with a weight that reaches up to 90 kg.
- Alaia. These traditional finless wooden surfboards are typically used by ancient native Hawaiians. Their lengths run at 520 cm (17 ft) and weigh 90 kg. Although Alaia has become thinner and shorter over the years, they are still notoriously difficult to ride.
- Tandem. These are oversized boards that can support two people standing up. It was introduced by Duke Kahanamoky and Isabel Letham.
Longboards are highly recommended when you want to surf every day. Its relatively big size and solid stability make it the ideal learning board for beginners. Due to its size, it could be hard to maneuver. However, what longboards lack in turn, they make up for glide.
The huge planning surface added with the medium rocker, allows the longboard to glide over the water surface, cut through chops, and deliver the cleanest ride to experience.
Why You Should Longboard
For some time, shortboards have conquered the top spot as the wave-riding tool of choice for surfers, whether weekend warriors or world-class pros. But, like a timeless piece of gem, longboards have over and over resurged, that lately you see more longboards than shortboards at famous surfing spots. This is especially true on smaller and less powerful waves, where longboards are best used at.
As perfect as longboards may appear to be, keep in mind that the best type of board depends on whether it is a good fit for your skill, water conditions, and body type. Here’s a deeper look at the reasons you should longboard.
It Is 2ft & Rolling
Bad days aren’t so bad. There will be days where small, slopey, and gutless waves are all you will have to deal with. Such waves will just leave shortboarders frustrated. Riding a surfboard that is only made for “good” waves makes you crumble your way towards the shore.
Longboards can roll just fine even when the forecast reads 1 – 2 feet. This is because of small waves like big boards. It is easier to catch even the smallest waves with the extra floatation and paddle power that come with a longboard. The additional weight aids in creating your thrust as you float and glide the lower rocker. This allows you to plane even going in a straight line.
What makes longboards different than most is its 1/3 of the board. Other surfboards’ front part isn’t used much. Most of the time, they are used as entry rocker, or worst, like cosmetics, or a cool spot to stick on those sponsor stickers.
Not with longboards. These beasts let you walk up there, spend 50% or more of your time with your toes dangling. This is the element of cross-stepping and footwork. Longboarders experience walking to the front and back throughout the ride – an exciting stunt that you can only do with longboards.
Make More Rideable Days
Various wave conditions are at the heart of excitement and frustration in surfing. Wave conditions are out of our control, but with the right board, even when the world seems flat, you will have more fun days riding.
Who wouldn’t be stoked with 4 ft waves? How about 1 ft? Almost any board can ride that 4 ft, but it is the opposite for 1 ft. With longboards, instead of only being able to surf when the tide’s up, which is approximately about 200 days in a year, you will also make use of the low tides during the remaining 100 days.
Variety in your ride is the most effective way to increase fun and excitement in surfing. A longboard is an essential part of that.
Get Way More Waves
Every surfer wants more waves. We’re not trying to tell you to be a wave hog being on a longboard, but honestly, when you are, you can catch more waves. You sure can catch waves with any boards if you are an advanced surfer, but if not, longboards can give you a lot of standing time.
Longboards get you more waves. Ankle busters that you can’t even consider paddling for on a shortboard get you ridiculously excited. Waves that you considered mushy are no longer mushy. Your wave count shoots up and you end up being the happy surfer.
Longboarding is more relaxing as they have a certain grace to them. The size of it causes it to not move around as quickly, so your movements have to be more drawn out. Most, if not all longboards make wide sweeping turns and graceful walking of the nose.
Tips on Surfing
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced surfer, it won’t hurt to get insights on how to surf better. Here are some tips you can keep in mind on your next ride.
- Enhance your physique by engaging in push-ups.
- Remember that mark on your board that makes it balance on the water while you lay on it.
- Pull the position of your chin backward to adjust the board’s nose from the water.
- Avoid placing much weight on the back of the board to keep it from corking. Move a little until you get the right balance.
- Keep yourself from paddling with both hands at the same time if you are trying to control the speed. Use the crawl stroke to maintain a constant speed.
- Keep calm to maintain your control ability.
- As you sit on the board, try to reduce the rate of the movements you do.
- Make it a habit to properly stand on the board by gradually raising yourself with your weight being balanced on the stringer.
- Avoid looking at your feet as you stand.
For New and Experienced
- Always wear your leash.
- Protect the back of your head with your hand with your wrist and elbow across your ears when you fall off the board.
- Do not leave your board afloat the ocean.
- Use vest or a rash guard to keep your body from unnecessary harm.
- Join practice sessions or surfing classes in your community to learn more and share your knowledge.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
Q: What longboard surfboards are recommended for beginners?
Q: When should I apply wax?
Q: Are leashes necessary?
Q: How important are the rails in longboards?
Q: Does weight matter?
- Longboard Fins
- Fish Surfboards
- Surf Wax
- Surfboard Travel Bags
- Bodysurfing Fins
- Mini Mal Surfboards
- Surf Helmets
- Surfboards for Intermediate Surfers
- Foam Surfboards
- Surfboard Brands
Torsten Bird is a talented and adventurous waterman from Western Australia, passionate about surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, hydrofoiling, skimboarding, snowboarding and skateboarding. Torsten has spent countless hours mastering his skills and his dream is to one day represent Australia as an Olympic athlete. Follow Torsten’s adventures on Instagram.