I found it laying there, magnificent, beautiful and forgotten all at once. It was an 8’6″ noserider with no distinct markings other than a wonky looking flower that was drawn onto the surface of the foam. The rails were a vibrant rose-petal red and a cherry wood stringer flowed elegantly through the center of the board. Pressure dings indented every inch of it’s top, signaling a life spent riding waves. But there it was, laying behind the shed of a house in suburban Pennsylvania, an hour away from the nearest surf break. This was my first surfboard.
From that day on, longboarding has always been the way I connected with the waves. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve ridden every type of shortboard and on occasion I still will. However, the art and skill of walking the board, sliding along the wave face, and hanging 10 is -in my opinion- pure joy.
This ideal however, is in stark contrast to today’s surf culture which is focused on high performance, no limit surfing. So I can’t help but wonder if a counter culture movement is ripe for the longboarder’s picking. Could this be longboarding’s “mustache moment?” The craft beer movement for longboarders? Are there enough of us old souls to band together and make waves in our local communities and beyond?
If a renaissance were to begin, who and where will it come from? What will it take to bring longboarding back into relevance? While I can’t say for sure, I do know that when the moment comes I’ll be ready to jump on board. Will you?