Per­fect LOG­GING


Surf Girl - - My Surfgirl Life - Words by Sa­man­tha Sun­shine, Im­ages by Surf­sis­tas

Long­board­ing is about find­ing grace, flow, and a smooth style; not about surf­ing the big­gest or gnarli­est waves. Wave con­di­tions make a huge dif­fer­ence to the ex­pe­ri­ence of long­board­ing. If the surf is two foot and clean, the board will glide a lot more ef­fec­tively along the face of the wave. If the wind is blow­ing on­shore and the sea is messy, it can be quite bumpy and a lot more dif­fi­cult to re­main in con­trol. So, ideally you want a light off­shore wind (too much off­shore wind means it will be harder to catch the waves), and a nice, for­giv­ing break where the waves are knee to chest high, so you can get com­fort­able with han­dling a long­board.

It takes time, ex­pe­ri­ence, prac­tice and pa­tience to learn to read the waves. So when­ever you head out in the surf, it’s a good idea to watch a few sets roll in be­fore jump­ing straight into the sea. Com­pare the wave height to the peo­ple surf­ing, take note on other long­board­ers out there and how they’re get­ting on, and spot the peaks and rips to fig­ure out where is good to pad­dle out and catch waves.

When you start log­ging, you want the gen­tlest, long­est peel­ing waves you can find. This means you get max­i­mum ride time – which means time to progress. So, when you’re watch­ing the waves, look at how long the green

sec­tions run be­fore turn­ing to white wa­ter. You prob­a­bly want to avoid re­ally low or re­ally high tide at most beaches, as this tends to be when the waves close­out more than at mid tide.

Some re­ally nice places to start long­board­ing, on a smaller swell, in the UK, in­clude

Gwith­ian, Saun­ton Sands and Water­gate Bay. If you chat to lo­cals or staff in the surf shops of the area you’re in, they can usu­ally give you the heads up on where it’s good to long­board. When I’m trav­el­ling, I usu­ally find my­self scour­ing the surf travel books for spots that say they are good for begin­ners and long­board­ing. Mel­low point breaks, such as Im­souane in Morocco or Noosa in Aus­tralia, are per­fect for long­board­ing as they tend to pro­duce long, crum­bling waves to prac­tice on. How­ever, not all point breaks are ideal long­board­ing ter­ri­tory as some can pro­duce much more punchy, hol­low waves.

So, wax up your log, check the fore­cast, wait for those small clean days and go for a glide. Even if you don’t score mag­i­cal con­di­tions, it’s al­ways good to get in, learn more about the ocean con­di­tions and have fun. See you in the sea!

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