Surfing is a spiritual act, there’s no denying that. Once you get a sense of it for the first time, you can’t really backtrack. At that point you’ve fostered a relationship with the ocean and the waves that is pretty hard to escape from. The love and necessity you feel for surfing that comes out of this relationship is what drives you to try and improve your skill and in turn, deepen that connection with the ocean. In that way, surfing is largely focused on progression, and that’s a good thing. It keeps you excited. But we also need a reset once in a while; logging does that.
When we are constantly focused on what we can do better, we lose sight of what is really special to us about surfing. My understanding of the reason we all love standing up on a wave and wiggling around so much is because it focuses our entire attention into that act. As far as “living in the moment” goes, surfing is probably one of the best shortcuts out there. The problem is, when we ride high performance shortboards consistently we can get too focused on what we’re going to do next that we forget what we’re doing now. We get frustrated when the wave isn’t what we hoped it would be, or the way we’re surfing doesn’t live up to our expectations. We turn aggro. We start getting angry at other people in the water for trivial reasons. We have more and more bad sessions. We don’t understand why we are surfing so badly and it pisses us off. Enter the longboard.
As far as “living in the moment” goes, surfing is probably one of the best shortcuts out there.
When you come back to logging after spending too much time on a shortboard, suddenly you feel like you’re having more fun than you’ve had the past 10 sessions and you’ve barely done a turn. You re-learn to appreciate the glide. You get waves where all you do is stand there and enjoy that feeling of trimming, appreciating the wave for what it is. You’re centred entirely in that moment. When you’re on a log, no one really cares what you’re doing on the wave and you couldn’t give two shits about what anyone else thinks anyway. That’s the beauty of it all.
This is of course a pretty biased opinion, coming from a guy who has a deep love for longboarding, but I still think there’s some truth in it. Logging for me is a reset, a stoke reviver. In my opinion, in order to get the best experience from a longboard, some loose rules should be set for this as well. For one, keep it fun. No one likes the guy on a log who is still aggro because some kid on a wavestorm doesn’t know how to surf and paddled for the same wave as him. Secondly, try and lose the leash. You’ll appreciate the drops and the feeling of glide so much more when you aren’t attached to anything, it’s like flying. And finally, surf whatever you got. New, custom longboards, are f*cking sick, don’t get me wrong, but if it’s big and floats you’re almost guaranteed a good time.
So go hose the two inches of dust off your dad’s old 9’6 P.O.S. and get a few ankle high peelers, it will give you a whole new perspective on what it means to be two foot and firing.