Bri­tish long­board­ers are a bit good. There are loads of them do­ing good things in all as­pects of the 'sport', how­ever that is in­ter­preted. They share some thoughts.

Bri­tish long­board­ing is on the up. While we have al­ways had tal­ented long­board­ers way back to Rod Sumpter in the '60s, I'm not sure we've had as many in­ter­na­tional stand outs as right now.

The last WLT comp in Pa­pua New Guinea fea­tured no less than three com­peti­tors (Bear­man, Skin­dog and Horn­buckle), com­men­ta­tor Sam Bleak­ley and head Judge Lee Ryan. On top of that the UK just had three Bri­tish log­gers at the 2017 Duct Tape in Mex­ico (Lay, Crook­shanks and Parry). So no less than eight surfers at the top of world log­ging, and more young surfers try­ing, and promis­ing, to break through in the com­ing years.

We thought we’d in­ves­ti­gate the rea­sons why our log­gers are ding so well by ask­ing our best rep­re­sen­ta­tives over the years and of course, have a look into rag­ing ar­gu­ment sur­round­ing num­ber of fins al­lowed on over 9’1”s


Firstly I think that the ma­jor­ity of surf we get in UK is very well suited to long­board surf­ing, we gen­er­ally get a lot of mushy fat surf. Also Min­now from the BLU has cre­ated a solid train­ing plat­form for us in the UK be­fore com­pet­ing on the world stage and with many tal­ented surfers com­pet­ing in the Bri­tish con­tests, some heats could well be in a world event.

We also have the likes of Lee Ryan on the WSL judg­ing panel and Bob Fresh­wa­ter and Nor­man Wright judg­ing the Euro­pean events as well as the Bri­tish events. Which is a good thing to have and ask for ad­vice.

Adam Grif­fiths

Lee and I are get­ting old now, so we’re more be­hind the scenes at the WSL events, with Lee judg­ing (he was head judge at the WLC in China last year) and me pre­sent­ing the live broad­cast. Lee has been do­ing amaz­ing things in New Zealand such as run­ning The Ul­ti­mate Water­man event. Skin­dog is at the top of his game as a world class shaper and a threat for ev­ery world ti­tle event (re­mem­ber he got third in 2015), and Adam Grif­fiths’ result in Pa­pua New Guinea was so de­served. He surfed like a cham­pion, and hav­ing lost his amaz­ing mum at the end of 2016 it was a pow­er­ful mo­ment. We’ve al­ways had great rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the ASP/WLT events way back to Chris ‘Guts’ Grif­fiths get­ting a fifth in Guethary, France in 1996, and a long list of names in be­tween (both male and fe­male) who’ve flown the flag for both clas­sic sin­gle fin rid­ing and more at­tack­ing pro­gres­sive long­board­ing.

I be­lieve a lot of the suc­cess is built on Min­now Green’s Bri­tish Long­board Union (BLU) tour, and Nor­man Wright’s Hot­dog­gers Club, and top-class judges like Bob Fresh­wa­ter. The BLU made a key de­ci­sion to in­clude a sin­gle fin divi­sion a long time ago, and that is a hotly con­tested event. And we must not for­get all the surf in­dus­try peo­ple work­ing at the high­est level, such as film mak­ers, de­sign­ers, writ­ers, event or­gan­is­ers, judges, board­mak­ers and glassers who are in­sanely good Bri­tish long­board­ers. For ex­am­ple Welsh­man Con­ner Grif­fiths is work­ing out in Noosa lam­i­nat­ing for one of the most re­spected young long­board shapers in the game: Mitch Sur­man. Con­ner is an in­sanely tal­ented log­ger. And South Devon’s Jim Ne­witt, who (in­spired by Rob Beil­ing) re­ally led the way in UK sin­gle fin rid­ing (along with Ricky Kenyan, Richard Bald­ing, Gor­don Blake, Nick Carter, Noel Creavy and oth­ers), is Art Di­rec­tor at The Surfer’s Jour­nal.

James Parry and Mike Lay just got back from the Mexi Log Fest at the long lefts of Sal­a­dita. James was shoot­ing photos (and in my eyes he still has one the best back­hand hang tens in the game) and Mike was a stand­out in both the Mexi Log Fest and Joel Tu­dors’ Vans Duct Tape In­vi­ta­tional (both for­mats re­quir­ing 9’6” plus boards, no leash and one fin). The win­ner of both events, Cal­i­for­nian CJ Nel­son (ar­guably the best noserider in the world right now), was so im­pressed with Mike’s per­for­mance that he used his In­sta­gram ac­count to share an @jim­my­james­parry image of Mike with this cap­tion, “My brother @laymike driv­ing a bor­rowed board at the @mex­ilogfest. I watched him ab­so­lutely dom­i­nate ses­sion af­ter ses­sion dur­ing the week prior to the event. It was some of the best log rid­ing I can ever re­mem­ber see­ing and it was con­sis­tent. I can’t wait to see where this young man takes his slid­ing.” That says a lot. Mike joined me on the last Bril­liant Cor­ners episode in Mau­ri­ta­nia in Fe­bru­ary, along with Easkey Brit­ton, and he was ab­so­lutely charg­ing on his four fin fish, so he’s more than just a log­ger. It’s very ex­cit­ing that so many cor­ners of global long­board­ing are rep­re­sented from the UK. Sam Bleak­ley

Yes, it’s amaz­ing to see. So stoked to catch up with Sam, Adam and Skin­dog on the tour these days. The boys are rip­ping! Not sure how we all got there?! I guess hard work and pas­sion for the sport! But you know what they say the cream al­ways rises to the top.

Lee Ryan You know, we have al­ways had a thriv­ing long­board scene since the “re­birth of cool” in the mid-eight­ies. Bri­tain has pro­duced world class long­board­ers time and again. A lot of this suc­cess has to be at­trib­uted to Min­now Green’s Bri­tish Long­board Se­ries which has helped nur­ture the long­board tal­ent for decades now with fun, cool and highly com­pet­i­tive con­tests.


The UK has al­ways pro­duced amaz­ing long­board­ers so I’m not sur­prised a fair few have gone onto be­ing highly re­spected in the world of surf­ing.

Con­nor Grif­fiths

It should have, and should al­ways be this way. No mat­ter who you are, what you do, what var­i­ous sur­fcraft you rep­re­sent, where you’re from or what pure ado­ra­tion and in­volve­ment you have within the sport of surf­ing. It maybe due to the fact that the Bri­tish have been given a chance to show they are true purists within the sport also ... as well as your typ­i­cal Aus­tralian, North/south Amer­i­can, Hawai­ian, French folk alike. It’s great for the sport as it should dis­play a di­verse cul­tural rep­re­sen­ta­tion world wide.

Sam Crook­shank

I think it’s mainly due to the waves the UK gets. The ma­jor­ity of the time we’re dealt with pretty weak, small swells that are more suited for rid­ing a long­board, and a large amount of our beaches are long­board friendly too. The av­er­age Bri­tish long­boarder def­i­nitely has a much larger wave count than the av­er­age Bri­tish short­boarder, as many days in the summer are doable on a long­board as op­posed to a short­board. More waves means more prac­tice, so I think this is why our coun­try has pro­duced many great long­board­ers.

Jack Unsworth

On the con­test side there’s the BLU run by the le­gendary Min­now Green. That’s re­ally helped a lot of com­pet­i­tive surfers get go­ing, Ben’s ob­vi­ously led the charge in that arena. For the free surfers I don’t think you can ig­nore Sam (Bleak­ley) or James (Parry) in­flu­ence but I also think it’s part of a big­ger shift in surf­ing; with the in­ter­net you aren’t only in­flu­enced by who­ever rips at your lo­cal beach. You see what peo­ple are do­ing all over the world and can take what you’re into and leave what you’re not.

Matt Travis

There is a great crew at all the na­tional BLU con­tests where a healthy dose of com­pet­i­tive­ness has re­ally pushed ev­ery­one. Com­pet­ing against coun­tries like Aus­tralia in short-board­ing is al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult due to the abun­dance of high qual­ity waves they have to train in. On the long­board side, this is not so much of an is­sue mean­ing here in the UK we can prac­tice in any­thing from half a foot and up!

Ben Howey

I think we have al­ways had a rich pedi­gree of in­ter­na­tional stan­dard long­board­ers. When I was grow­ing up Sen­nen was al­ways full of amaz­ing long­board­ers, more so than most beaches I think. The BLU did and still does play a mas­sive part in the de­vel­op­ment of UK log­gers, with­out the con­test frame­work and the sense of com­mu­nity that it pro­vides the scene wouldn’t be where it is to­day.

Mike Lay

I think a mas­sive thank you has to go to the WSL, for giv­ing us a few Euro­pean events in their tour. We are get­ting to com­pete against world class surfers from all con­ti­nents, which can only help us learn and push us all to be bet­ter. I would en­cour­age as many Brits who can, to be en­ter­ing these events, to im­prove, as it’s a whole new ball game over­seas. It’s also amaz­ing to go over to these events, and have a Bri­tish rep­re­sen­ta­tion of at least half a dozen women and men as friendly faces and sup­port for each other.

Emily Cur­rie

This has been go­ing on since the ‘60s with guys like Rod Sumpter lead­ing the way, free surf­ing and on the world com­pet­i­tive stage. We are just for­tu­nate to be in an era where we have so­cial me­dia and peo­ple are tak­ing no­tice.

Grow­ing up in Sen­nen I was for­tu­nate to have Sam Bleak­ley as a role model, from the be­gin­ning I knew that style is a huge part of long­board­ing thanks to him. I was also very lucky to have Lee Ryan pretty much take me un­der his wing when trav­el­ling, we trav­elled to a lot of the WSL con­tests when I first started he was so help­ful in teach­ing me how to surf as a com­peti­tor. So it’s re­ally cool see­ing both my role models tak­ing over the WSL tour. They know what they are talk­ing about and they both re­ally love the sport. Lee is the best thing that hap­pened to the WSL as things are chang­ing in a good way, it will take time but now Joel is hav­ing a lit­tle in­put we should be see­ing long­board­ing go back to its beau­ti­ful el­e­gant ways.

James Parry The worlds was re­ally a big eye opener into the con­test world and an awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence with Adam com­ing away with an amaz­ing result. I know James Parry and Mike Lay just got back from the Mexi Log Fest and what I can see from photos that trip looked epic with some of the best log­gers in the world all be­ing apart of it, its def­i­nitely go­ing to be a goal to get to!

Joe Horn­buckle


I just love surf­ing be­cause it’s great fun. Ideally, I would like to get bar­relled a bit more of­ten! Adam Grif­fiths

I’m re­ally in­spired by the emerg­ing surf cul­tures in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and that’s some­thing I ex­plore in my Bril­liant Cor­ners films (and al­ways have done in my writ­ing). Mak­ing these films is a mas­sive driv­ing force in my work at the mo­ment. I frac­tured my back in Jan­uary 2016 in In­dia, fin­ished my PHD in the heal­ing time, and once I was surf­ing again in summer 2016 I worked very hard to shoot a whole se­ries of five new episodes, right up to the last one in Mau­ri­ta­nia in Fe­bru­ary

I think the re­la­tion­ship be­tween surf­ing and dance is very in­ter­est­ing, and some­thing that can re­ally be ex­plored in the new wave of surf­ing lakes and wave-gar­dens where per­for­mance can be chore­ographed to mu­sic. And adap­tive surf­ing and surf­ing for ther­a­peu­tic benefits is some­thing that re­ally cap­ti­vates me as a core part of Wave-gar­dens. I wrote a lot about this kind of stuff in my last book about surf­ing and mind­ful­ness. As far as per­for­mance goes, women’s long­board­ing is amaz­ing at the mo­ment, and re­ally touches on that re­la­tion­ship be­tween surf­ing and dance. But women’s surf­ing in gen­eral is very ex­cit­ing all around the globe right now.

The work that Easkey Brit­ton is do­ing to em­power women through surf­ing is gamechang­ing, from Iran to Pa­pua New Guinea (PNG). The Surf­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of Pa­pua New Guinea have ini­ti­ated a cam­paign to raise aware­ness about is­sues of gen­der equality and women’s em­pow­er­ment, us­ing surf­ing as the tool to get lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties ac­tive through the so-called pink nose rev­o­lu­tion. By paint­ing the noses of half of all surf­boards do­nated to PNG pink, fe­male surfers are given ex­clu­sive own­er­ship of boards and their equal sta­tus is made vis­i­ble. This

is a sim­ple tool to pro­mote women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in surf­ing and to give women greater own­er­ship and recog­ni­tion in the surf. I be­lieve that many of the models and poli­cies de­vel­oped in PNG can be to make a pos­i­tive im­pact in many emerg­ing surf cul­tures such as In­dia.

Sam Bleak­ley

Surfers that ride ev­ery­thing and flow with the wave, draw­ing unique lines in­spire me. I have al­ways been in­spired by Joel Tu­dor, Don­avon Franken­re­iter, Tom Cur­ren and Dave Ras­tavich. I also like surfers that never lose the stoke and pas­sion for what they do. Bar­ton Lynch and Mason Ho in­spire me for their con­stant stoke! Lee Ryan

Right-hand point breaks for sure. Watch­ing places like Morocco, Cal­i­for­nia and Mex­ico fir­ing re­ally ig­nites the fire in­side me to go and surf, even when Bri­tain is pro­duc­ing its finest summer slop! How­ever surfers like Ryan Burch, Tommy Witt and Au­gusto Olinto who are push­ing the boundaries of sin­gle-fin log­ging re­ally in­spire me to go out and try new things on a wave. Jack Unsworth

I have two dif­fer­ent types of in­spi­ra­tion re­ally. I’m more a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde sorta guy. Dr Jekyll likes the hon­est pas­sion, pu­rity and nat­u­ral stoke by your­self or with friends. The var­i­ous par­adise lo­ca­tions, a sim­ple sun­rise/ sun­set, an off­shore breeze, smiles from ear to ear, spon­ta­neous ad­ven­tures near and far, friend­ships and fam­ily connecting to one an­other over such pas­sion of the sea.

Mr Hyde prefers the raw, punk rock, no rules, no re­spon­si­bil­ity side to surf­ing. A man truly seek­ing his own path, know mat­ter what that takes with know ob­sta­cle greater than he. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Him­self ver­sus the world, push­ing the lim­its of cre­ativ­ity, chaos, ab­sur­dity, care­free­ness and the truth be­hind many oth­ers eyes

Sam Crook­shank

I love be­ing out in the sea with friends, fam­ily or on my own. I love surf­ing’s counter-cul­tural her­itage. And I love surf­ing’s in­nate cre­ativ­ity we’re apes that have sculpted wings for our­selves to fly across waves of en­ergy - that’s pretty spe­cial. Also, I think Thomas Camp­bell prob­a­bly de­serves a lot more recog­ni­tion for his in­flu­ence on mod­ern surf­ing.

Matt Travis

I love com­pet­ing against and surf­ing with Skin­ner as he is con­tin­u­ally push­ing the level higher and higher and if you want to win you have to beat the best! The Delpero broth­ers are an­other force to be reck­oned with. Their style, even in re­ally chal­leng­ing waves, is some­thing that I re­ally want to achieve. From a re­ally young age I grew up watch­ing south coast le­gends, Rob Beil­ing, Jim Ne­witt, Rick Kenyon, Steve Daniels and the like, and still re­ally en­joy surf­ing with some of them to­day.

Ben Howey

I get in­spired by surf­ing great qual­ity reef/point waves which is why I’m road trip­ping the length and breadth of the coun­try at the drop of a hat to

try and catch my favourite lo­ca­tions when they’re at their best.

As for surfers who in­spire me, I would have to say Cur­ren, Slater and Occy are my all time faves for style, power and rail game. Joel Tu­dor and Rob Machado are close be­hind too.


Surfers who have in­spired me are Ben Skin­ner, Mike Lay, Joel Tu­dor and of course the big­gest in­spi­ra­tion was from my dad, Chris ‘Guts’ Grif­fiths.

Con­nor Grif­fiths

Travel is a big in­spi­ra­tion for me, it in­spires both my writ­ing and my surf­ing. I love cold wa­ter des­ti­na­tions and places that are gen­er­ally off the radar. Long­board­ing is an in­cred­i­ble tool for surf ex­plo­ration as it opens up a whole other di­men­sion of sur­fa­ble waves not avail­able to short-board­ers. I get stoked if it’s one foot or if it’s six foot, just surf­ing in new places is a buzz. That be­ing said, home is a huge part of my cre­ative and surf­ing life, a day ex­plor­ing Corn­wall in the win­ter, look­ing for hid­den cor­ners, is a day well spent. Surfers like James Parry, Sam Bleak­ley and Matt Travis from Sen­nen in­spire me and guys like CJ Nel­son and Ryan Burch fur­ther afield. Joel is ob­vi­ously a huge in­flu­ence on all of us.

Mike Lay

Ryan Burch def­i­nitely has to be up there, that man can ride any­thing, even a square block of foam and he still kills it. I’m su­per in­ter­ested in his asym­met­rics. I think when it comes to long­board videos you re­ally have to think mu­si­cally what works so jazz mixed in with a slight hip hop beat def­i­nitely works for me.

Joe Horn­buckle

Just hav­ing an amaz­ing surf, when you’re try­ing out new things and it all just comes to­gether. Emile Cur­rie

Peo­ple that in­spire me are peo­ple that are open to try new and dif­fer­ent things. At the mo­ment Ryan Burch is by far the main man for me. He’s de­sign­ing and shap­ing all his own boards and

the lines he takes are so beau­ti­ful to watch on all crafts. He has carved his own path in the surf in­dus­try, in this day and age I feel thats a re­ally dif­fi­cult thing to achieve. Not only that but he is a su­per kind, hum­ble and smart guy. We need more guys like this in the line­ups.

James Parry


per­son­ally like rid­ing a board the suits the con­di­tions. If it’s tiny and peel­ing I love rid­ing a log, un­for­tu­nately it’s not like that very of­ten at home so I tend to ride a 2 + 1 board for more con­trol and I find it fits into the pocket bet­ter and a log on choppy days or short waves!

To be hon­est I don’t think it should be such an is­sue the whole sin­gle fin vs 3 fin! Let the waves dic­tate the board you ride and ideally WSL should host a few events, one at a peel­ing point and one at a per­for­mance wave to crown the all round world champ.

Adam Grif­fiths

I don’t mind what peo­ple ride, but stylis­ti­cally I def­i­nitely favour long­board­ing based on foot­work, noserid­ing and smooth lines, and I’ve seen this per­formed beau­ti­fully on all kinds of equip­ment over the decades. There has been a mas­sive move­ment of sin­gle fin rid­ing for the last five to ten years, but with the grow­ing num­ber of women long­board­ing in a va­ri­ety of waves, I would not be sur­prised if a new gen­er­a­tion of fe­male long­board­ers who reg­u­larly ride ei­ther larger, more messy, or more un­pre­dictable surf (ie beach breaks) on long­boards might start to use side fins again for grip and con­trol. I want to work with the WSL to unite both ap­proaches for the wider health of long­board­ing. I’ve been around long enough to know that clas­sic and pro­gres­sive ap­proaches have al­ways caused fric­tion within the long­board com­mu­nity.

Controversy can be ex­cit­ing, and heated de­bate should drive in­no­va­tion and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. In a WSL con­test for­mat, what is vi­tal is a clear vi­sion about the cri­te­ria. For me the key thing that is be­ing over­looked is foot­work. The way the rider moves up and down the board through con­trolled foot­work has to be cen­tral to a score i.e. us­ing all of the board (through foot­work) and all of the wave. Fol­low­ing a judges’ video re­play, if it is clear that shuf­fling is used, the rider must be pe­nalised. In the same way the short­board judges will an­a­lyse the sub­tleties of airs, tube rides and turns, the long­board judges should do the same with foot­work. Shuf­flers can then be elim­i­nated. Foot­work is cur­rently men­tioned as a key el­e­ment in the cri­te­ria, but cur­rently I be­lieve it is be­ing over­looked. I have wit­nessed ex­cel­lent scores be­ing re­warded for im­pres­sive turn­ing, noserid­ing, pocket rid­ing, speed, power and flow… whilst there was clear ev­i­dence of shuf­fling. In such sce­nar­ios I have con­sid­ered the rides wor­thy of the shuf­fle siren. Walk don’t shuf­fle!

Sam Bleak­ley

I am com­ing from the per­for­mance long­board­ing camp, so take what I say with that bias in mind. I feel that the board has to suit the wave, be it sin­gle fin, twinny, thruster, 2+1, quad or even fivefin set ups. If a surfer can perch on the nose and hang ten to the beach, does it mat­ter how many fins are in the back? By im­pos­ing rules on the board types that can be surfed, you are es­sen­tially sti­fling pro­gres­sion in the sport, whilst also ex­clud­ing a por­tion of com­peti­tors. If the con­tests were judged 50/50 then a tra­di­tional surfer could only score a ‘5’ if they do no turns and visa versa for the pro­gres­sive surfer. This would mean to win you must show a mix of ma­noeu­vres with style, speed, power and flow ... my idea of good long­board­ing. Don’t get me wrong, I think Joel Tu­dor is one of the most ex­cit­ing surfers to watch at breaks like Pipe etc, but peo­ple seem to for­get that he won his world ti­tle do­ing tail 360s and round houses!

I am wait­ing to hear if the ATP is go­ing to be mak­ing ev­ery­one play with wooden rack­ets this year at Wim­ble­don.

Ben Howey

I’m lean­ing to­wards the retro side of things these days as I think the retro move­ment as a whole is much more pleas­ing to the eye and the soul. I have an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the rad­i­cal lev­els of the per­for­mance long­board­ers too but it just doesn’t en­gage me in the same way as watch­ing great old­school log­ging does.

There is one ex­cep­tion to this - and that would be Ben Skin­ner. This kid has the per­fect blend of style and old-school flavour wrapped up in the most balls out high-per­for­mance surf­ing imag­in­able. Style has noth­ing to do with the num­ber of fins on your board - it’s all down to how you choose to use them!


I’m on the log side of things as ev­ery­one has their own unique style which makes watch­ing it way more in­ter­est­ing.

Con­nor Grif­fiths

SURF­ING IS SURF­ING, when did it get so se­ri­ous? Ob­vi­ously you have to cater for each cat­e­gory of surf­ing. A tra­di­tional log in­spired comp should seek to the tra­di­tional ways of long­board­ing and high per­for­mance long­board should seek to the ways of per­for­mance style ma­noeu­vres. If we are go­ing to treat this as a sport in which it’s highly rep­re­sented, judges need to have a truth­ful in­sight in the his­tory of the sport and know the rules first be­fore we as surfers do ... oth­er­wise it’s a waste of



time and money.

Tra­di­tional in­spired log­ging, thrusters, sin­gle fins, bonz­ers, twin fins, high per­for­mance long­boards, hand planes, fin­less boards, body boards, SUPS, guns are all in­di­vid­u­ally so dif­fer­ent when rid­den on a wave. Ev­ery­one should re­spect and dis­tin­guish these ba­sic facts. Joel Tu­dor and a few oth­ers, within the mod­ern surf­ing world are great as they all re­spect a wide se­lec­tion of var­i­ous surf crafts. Hav­ing surfed within the cru­cial his­tory of the sport they rep­re­sent surf­ing in its most tra­di­tional, gen­tle­man­like way.

Sam Crook­shank

I think it’s re­ally a deeper, fuzzier ques­tion of surf­ing as art ver­sus sport. Are you ex­press­ing your­self or are you try­ing to beat other peo­ple? To me, per­for­mance long board­ing has be­come a kind of one-de­sign class sport where the guys who are into it are try­ing to win within a cer­tain set of pa­ram­e­ters. If you change those pa­ram­e­ters to make the boards more tra­di­tional it’ll prob­a­bly still be the same guys do­ing it, just with tweaked equip­ment. Style comes from mas­ter­ing rather than win­ning. I stole that from Gerry Lopez. Matt Travis

I firmly be­lieve we need two sep­a­rate di­vi­sions in com­pe­ti­tion as they are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to rid­ing a long­board, and the equip­ment is to­tally dif­fer­ent. Most good long­board­ers can surf HP mals and logs equally well (Tay­lor Jensen, Josh Con­sta­ble, Kai Sal­las, etc) but some wave lo­ca­tions are suited bet­ter for log­ging (noserid­ing like Noosa, Malibu) and some places just suit more rail surf­ing (Pipe­line, most punchy beach breaks) To find the best “long­boarder” in the world we need a four or five stop tour in point breaks, reefs and beach breaks to de­ter­mine who is the over­all world champ. The funny thing is all the young kids want to be a hip­ster these days but the ironic thing is all the best hip­ster log­gers like CJ Nel­son, Jai Lee and Dane Peter­son aren’t both­ered about be­ing WSL World Champ and don’t even com­pete on the WSL tour. They are anti-es­tab­lish­ment.

Lee Ryan

The long­board­ing com­mu­nity is def­i­nitely stuck at some cross­roads right now, for sure. Those that pre­fer to ride pro­gres­sive long­boards and those who stick to the tra­di­tional sin­gle fin. Per­son­ally, I pre­fer rid­ing sin­gle fins purely down to the num­ber of fun surfs I have on them, even when the waves aren’t great. Also be­ing a com­pet­i­tive per­son I still en­joy com­pet­ing so I have to go down the WSL route for now. I’m hop­ing the cri­te­ria will change in the fu­ture to suit sin­gle fins, how­ever if this has to be done venues also need to be changed. The next stop of the Euro­pean WLT isn’t ex­actly log-friendly. I’d like to see change!

Jack Unsworth

I started off rid­ing high per­for­mance boards, com­pet­ing reg­u­larly, not short­board­ing all that of­ten. I loved surf­ing my HP, but ever since I tran­si­tioned to sin­gle fin logs I have en­joyed my surf­ing even more and have a far bet­ter all round ap­pre­ci­a­tion for wave rid­ing. It is to­tally pos­si­ble to be stylish on a high per­for­mance long­board and also to be un­stylish on a log, but rid­ing a heav­ier sin­gle fin is far more conducive to stylish surf­ing than a high per­for­mance board (in my opin­ion, it’s all sub­jec­tive af­ter all). I’m not about to dis­miss peo­ple who ride HP boards, I love watch­ing Ben’s drop­knees or Adam’s tube rid­ing, but as far as pure long­board­ing goes, I get more plea­sure watch­ing Ryan Burch do a long hang heels, or Joel Tu­dor do a drop­knee on his 9’9”. It is in­ter­est­ing trav­el­ling to long­board­ing hubs like Malibu and Noosa, or Cal­i­for­nia and Aus­tralia in gen­eral, no one rides HPS any­more, it’s maybe one in 50. The UK is dif­fer­ent in that sense, HP rid­ers still prob­a­bly out­num­ber sin­gle-fin log­gers buck­ing the global trend. At the end of the day,

ride what­ever you want it doesn’t mat­ter, I just know sin­gle fins are the way for me.

Mike Lay

Be­cause I short­board, per­for­mance long­board­ing came a lot eas­ier to me, and I can throw a long­board around, a lot more than most girls can. But in the past year, mostly I’ve been work­ing on is my tra­di­tional style. Tra­di­tional long­board­ing is an art, the way you move up and down the board so ele­gantly, and it’s such an awe­some thing to watch when done cor­rectly by the likes of Mike Lay and James Parry. But at the end of the day, be­ing able to mix it up, com­bine the style and pro­gres­sive­ness, adapt­ing to the con­di­tions, is where long­board­ing is at its most im­pres­sive. That is some­thing Skin­ner has ab­so­lutely nailed, and it’s pay­ing off with his results on the world stage!

Emily Cur­rie

To be hon­est I don’t re­ally care for per­for­mance long­board­ing, I have been there and done that. I started on a big sin­gle fin. I re­spect the guys that do it, they are very tal­ented surfers. If the waves are long­board­able, I get a log and if it’s a lit­tle big­ger I love to ex­per­i­ment on mid-lengths, fish and any­thing else in-be­tween. I can turn and change di­rec­tion way quicker on some­thing smaller, for me I don’t see the point strug­gling when I can ride some­thing a lit­tle smaller with more flow. I al­ways fol­low the Long­board Tour and at the mo­ment in the per­for­mance scene I re­ally en­joy watch­ing the ladies. They surf them so ele­gantly, there’s a lot of guys out there who thrash around, pump­ing and hop­ping when there’s no need when you have nine foot of foam un­der your feet.

James Parry

For me I just en­joy tra­di­tional log­ging be­cause that’s what in­spires me most and why I ride a long­board. When I want to try turns or airs I’ll go on my short­board I’d rather just ride what­ever board suits the con­di­tions best so I’m not strug­gling and I’m still hav­ing fun. I think per­for­mance is cool be­cause it’s hard go­ing out in eight foot waves try­ing to get tubed but it’s just not for me.

Joe Horn­buckle Surely style isn’t de­pen­dant the num­ber of fins in your board?:

No I don’t think it mat­ters, my favourite board is a retro shape with a 2+1 set up. It was ac­tu­ally a trial, Nigel Sem­mens and I tried, to see how I would get on with it, and I love it! I also don’t think that be­ing a more pro­gres­sive surfer means you have to lose the el­e­ment of style. Emily Cur­rie

No, def­i­nitely not. How­ever the weight and out­line of your tra­di­tional sin­gle fin al­lows much more glide than your long­board with its 2+1 setup. Rid­ing a sin­gle fin re­ally makes you ac­knowl­edge the lit­tle things about rid­ing a wave, so the whole idea of trim and flow are more re­fined and fo­cussed on, and there­fore looks a lot more aes­thet­i­cally ap­pre­ci­at­ing to the viewer. Jack Unsworth

No not at all. A lot of the time peo­ple just think that from an out­side view. If you look at some of Tommy Witt’s lat­est footage he’s rid­ing a 2+1 and he’s got one of the smoothest styles go­ing. So I think the whole fin as­pect is down to per­sonal pref­er­ence rather than style in it­self.

Joe Horn­buckle

Not at all, style comes from the surfer and the way they surf the board not the num­ber of fins the board has. And in my eyes, the best surfers are the ones who can surf all sizes of boards and still look stylish.

Con­nor Grif­fiths

Style, per­son­al­ity, and in­di­vid­u­al­ity are key fac­tors within surf­ing. Each to their own. Do/ride/ shape/say what­ever makes you cap­ti­vated. Never lose sight of what makes you feel the ut­ter­most. Sam Crook­shank





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