How to Surf on a Longboard

Hitting the waves on a longboard can be one of the most refreshing and enjoyable experiences for any surf enthusiast. It’s a great way to experience the feeling of gliding over the water while enjoying the scenic views. Unlike shortboards, longboards are easier to paddle and offer stability and speed, making them a great choice for beginners and experts alike.

If you’re looking to dive into the world of longboarding or just want to refine your existing skills, we’ve put together

How to Surf on a Longboard

Surfing on a longboard requires a few essential skills to master, but with a little practice, you’ll be catching waves with ease. First off, it’s important to choose the right longboard for your skill level and body type. A longer board offers more stability and easier paddling, whereas a shorter board allows for better agility and turning.

Once you’ve chosen your board, spend some time practicing your paddling technique. Good paddling is essential to catch waves and maintain momentum. Make sure to paddle in a straight line and use your entire upper body to maximize speed and efficiency.

When it comes to catching waves, timing is everything. You want to paddle towards the wave early, and as it approaches, position yourself on the center of the board with your chest up and your feet near the tail. As the wave lifts you up, pop up quickly to your feet


Longboards are a great way for surfers of all skill levels to ride the waves. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, longboarding offers stability and ease of use. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to surf on a longboard so that you can ride the waves like a pro.

Choosing the Right Longboard

The first step in learning to surf on a longboard is to choose the right board. Longboards are typically longer and wider than shortboards and are better suited for beginners or surfers who prefer a more relaxed, laid-back style of surfing.


Size is an important consideration when choosing a longboard. A longer board offers more stability and easier paddling, whereas a shorter board allows for better agility and turning. As a beginner, it’s best to go for a longer board as it offers more stability and a wider surface area to stand on. A good option to consider is a board that is between 9 and 11 feet long.


Longboards come in different shapes, and each shape offers a different surfing experience. A pintail board is a common longboard shape that offers stability and easy maneuverability. A squared-off tail board offers more speed, and a rounded nose board is ideal for gliding on waves. Choose the shape of your board based on your surfing style and preferences.

Used Surfboards for Sale

Buying a new longboard can be expensive, and as a beginner, you may not want to invest too much money upfront. Consider buying a used longboard instead. Many surf shops and online retailers offer used surfboards for sale that are still in good condition. These surfboards can be a great option for getting started without breaking the bank.

Mastering Paddling Technique

Before you can ride a wave, you need to be able to paddle out to it. Paddling is an essential skill that takes practice to master. The better you can paddle, the easier it is to catch waves and maintain momentum.


Start by positioning yourself correctly on the board. Lie flat on your board, face down, and paddle with your arms extended in front of you. Your head and shoulders should be slightly raised to improve your visibility, and your toes should be pointed towards the tail of the board.


When paddling, cup your hands and use your entire upper body to maximize speed and efficiency. Keep your elbows in and your fingers together as you pull through the water. Make sure to paddle in a straight line and maintain a consistent rhythm. When waves approach, use a butterfly stroke to build up speed and catch the wave.

Catching Waves

Once you’ve mastered the art of paddling, it’s time to catch some waves. Timing is everything when it comes to catching a wave, and the better your timing, the easier it is to ride the wave effectively.


To catch a wave, you need to start paddling towards it before it reaches you. Keep an eye on the horizon and start paddling towards the wave as it approaches. As the wave lifts you up, position yourself on the center of the board with your chest up and your feet near the tail.

Pop-Up Technique

To successfully catch the wave, you need to pop up quickly to your feet. Here’s how to do it: as the wave lifts you up, bring your back leg forward, and push yourself up to a standing position. Your front foot should be around the midpoint of the board, while your back foot should be positioned near the tail. Bend your knees and center your weight over the board. Keep your arms by your side to maintain balance.

Staying Safe While Longboarding

As with any sport, there are risks associated with longboarding. Here are some safety tips to keep you safe while surfing on your longboard:

Know Your Limits

Longboarding can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the sport. It’s important to know your limits and not attempt to surf waves that are too big or too dangerous for your skill level. Start with small waves and slowly work your way up as your skill level improves.

Wear Protective Gear

Protective gear such as a surfboard leash, helmet, and rash guard can help keep you safe while surfing. A leash will keep your board attached to your leg, preventing it from drifting away, and a helmet will protect your head in case of falls. A rash guard will protect your skin from the sun and irritating skin rashes.

Be Mindful of Other Surfers

When longboarding, it’s important to be aware of other surfers in the water. Avoid cutting in, and always give other surfers enough space to maneuver their boards safely. Remember to be respectful and courteous, and always follow the rules of the water.


Longboarding is a fun and exciting sport that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s always something new to learn and experience when out on the water. Remember to take your time, practice your skills, and most importantly, be safe!

Tips for Improving Your Longboarding Skills

Longboarding is a skill that you can continue to improve over time. Here are some tips for taking your longboarding skills to the next level.

Try Different Board Sizes and Shapes

Experiment with different board sizes and shapes to find the one that works best for you. You might find that a slightly shorter or wider board offers a better experience. This is where buying used surfboards for sale can be a great option since you can try different boards out without breaking the bank.

Work on Your Balance and Coordination

Strong balance and coordination are key to successful longboarding. You can improve your balance by practicing Yoga or Pilates, which will strengthen your core, improve flexibility, and increase your focus. Additionally, working on pre-surf stretching can go a long way to preventing injuries.

Practice Longboarding on Flat Water

Longboarding on flat water can help you improve your balance and paddling technique without worrying about waves. Practice paddling in a straight line and maintaining a consistent rhythm to improve your speed and efficiency. You can also practice turning and maneuvering your board on flat water.

Longboarding Etiquette

Longboarding etiquette is vital to a safe, enjoyable surfing experience. Knowing the basic rules and courtesies of longboarding can help prevent accidents and make the experience more pleasant for everyone on the water.

Don’t Drop In

Dropping in occurs when someone steals a wave that someone else is already surfing. This is one of the biggest no-nos in surfing and should be avoided at all costs. Surfing is a cooperative sport, so be mindful of those around you and wait your turn.

Respect the Line-Up

The line-up is the area where surfers are waiting for waves. Respect one another and wait your turn in line. Don’t cut in on others or take more than your fair share of waves. This is the golden rule of surfing.

Leave No Trace

Respect the beach and the surrounding environment by leaving no trace. That means bringing all your trash with you when you leave and not disturbing the natural surroundings. Keeping the beach clean and natural helps protect the environment and keeps it enjoyable for everyone.


Longboarding is a fun and exciting sport that requires practice, patience, and respect for others. By choosing the right board, practicing your paddling technique, and mastering wave catching, you’ll be surfing like a pro in no time. Remember to be safe, respectful, and enjoy the ride!


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about longboarding:

Q: Can I Longboard if I’ve Never Surfed Before?

A: Absolutely! Longboarding is a great way to get started with surfing. It’s easier to balance, and the paddle out to the waves is less challenging. Start with smaller waves and work your way up as you gain confidence and skill.

Q: Is Longboarding Only for Beginners?

A: Not at all! Longboarding is an excellent choice for surfers of all skill levels. Experienced surfers can use a longboard to ride bigger waves and carve swooping turns. It’s also great for cruising and relaxing on flat waters.

Q: How Do I Know Which Longboard Is Right for Me?

A: Consider your height, weight, and skill level when choosing a longboard. Longer and wider boards work well for beginners or larger individuals, while shorter boards can handle a more athletic and lively ride.

Q: Do I Need a Wetsuit to Longboard?

A: It depends on the water temperature. If the water is cold, you’ll need a wetsuit to stay warm. Invest in a high-quality wetsuit that fits you well for optimal comfort and warmth.

Q: Can I Longboard in Flat Water?

A: Absolutely. Longboarding in flat water can be a great way to hone your skills and increase your balance on a stable surface. It can also be an excellent way to explore new areas and enjoy the scenery.

Q: What is the Pop-up Technique in Longboarding?

A: The pop-up technique is how to transition from lying down on your board to standing upright. As the wave lifts you up, bring your back foot forward, and push yourself up to a standing position onto the board.

Q: Can I Use a Shortboard to Longboard?

A: Shortboards are not ideal for longboarding. They are designed primarily for high-performance surfing and are harder to balance while paddling. Longboards will give you a better experience when longboarding.

Q: What are the Benefits of Longboarding?

A: Longboarding is a low-impact exercise that improves balance, coordination, and flexibility. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy nature while getting a great workout.

Q: Is Longboarding Safe?

A: As with any sport, there are risks associated with longboarding. Wear protective gear such as a helmet, leash, and rash guard to reduce the risk of injury. Longboarding in safe waves, practicing proper safety protocols can help minimize injury too.

Q: How Do I Store My Longboard?

A: When storing your longboard, keep it out of direct sunlight and avoid damp or humid storage spaces. Clean it properly before storing to keep it free of sand, debris, and saltwater. Store it in a dry place where it won’t get knocked over or bumped around.

Q: How Do I Transport My Longboard?