In the ideal scenario, we would like to be able to surf every day. That's why few things are more frustrating for surfers than a flat day. But, some 60 years ago, a group of surfers decided not to let a flat day spoil their fun.
They came up with an idea.
What if they could imitate surfing by putting wheels on wood planks? So, that's exactly what they did and they called it "street surfing."
The concept sounds familiar? That's because these guys invented skateboards.
Skateboarding has its roots in surfing, and today, it's still a great way to practice your surfing skills on dry land and become a better surfer.
Of course, the first skateboards were far from what they are today. They were crude with metal wheels, so they weren't exactly flexible enough to recreate that surfing feeling. Today, we have numerous skateboard models, some of them created specially to replicate the surfing experience, just like all the Hamboards models.
From then on, skateboards helped surfers take advantage of flat days but they also started serving as an inspiration and practice for the actual surf. Surfers started practicing complex aerial stunts on their skateboards, trying to recreate them on the waves.
However, while professional surfers now use skateboards and longboards to prepare and polish advanced tricks for the contests, novice and intermediate surfers can also benefit from longboarding.
So, how does longboarding make you a better surfer?
You can't surf every day. Sometimes the waves are just not breaking, the beach is overcrowded, the weather is terrible. Or, you may live inland and you don't have access to the ocean whenever you like. This lack of consistency can seriously affect your skills. With longboarding, you can practice the moves even when you're not able to surf.
Longboarding and surfing require a very similar board-body technique. Simply said, this is the way your body connects to the board in order to perform certain movements. Novice surfers will find this particularly useful so they can get the feel of the board and try out the carves, turns and smooth transitions on flat ground.
Another thing that longboarding helps you practice is balance and coordination. Riding the pavement helps you get familiar with the board and teaches you how to distribute the weight for each maneuver. For example, longboarding helps you learn how to keep your feet apart and how to lean on your back foot when doing a turn - all the important lessons for when you actually step on the surfboard.
Not everything in surfing is about the crazy stunts and maneuvers. You first need to learn how to walk before you can learn how to run, right? That's why you might want to ditch your regular skateboard for a longboard. Longboards are excellent for practicing cruising and flowing as they replicate mid-length and longboard-style surfing quite well.
Hamboards Classic was created with that in mind - to recreate the essence of surfing with the familiar feeling of thrashing, cruising and flowing. And, the inevitable noseriding that comes with the longboard.
Balancing on a longboard or a skateboard activates the same groups of muscles as surfing does. This means that longboarding will increase your strength and get you in shape for the actual surfboard. For a more serious workout, choose a shortboard like Pescadito that will boost your leg strength and simultaneously activate your whole body as you're doing pumps and slashes.
Not only will you increase the strength of your muscles and get in shape for the surf, you will actually teach your muscles how to behave in certain maneuvers. This is called muscle memory. On dry land, you will be able to do the same maneuver until you get it right. And, once you're surfing, it will be much easier to repeat those movements because the practice will translate onto the board.
When you're surfing, you will actually spend the least time standing on the board. There will be a lot of waiting around for the right moment, for the swell, for your turn on the wave and so on. Then there's paddling, falling and swimming, and these are all part of the surfing experience. However, longboarding will give you more time to practice on the board and prepare you for the most fun part of surfing - riding the wave.
We love the swells but it’s simply not possible to be under the barrel every day. And some of you are simply landlocked.
However, that should not stop us from surfing. Not with our Longboard series. Get yourself prepped and in shape, plus have all the fun of being on the streets.
So, next time you're craving surf and the waves are flat, beaches are overcrowded or you are simply too far away, just remember that you can always go street surfing. Simply grab your favorite longboard skateboard and surf the paves.
And don't be too stoked if you notice your surfing skills have improved the next time you’re on the waves.