Of all surfboard shapes the longboard is the most nostalgic and points to memories of yesteryear. Ideal for beginners who want something super buoyant to get into their first slow-rolling wave, the stability, paddle-power, and surface area are also popular amongst older surfers who have given up on the idea that they are the next Filipe Toledo.
That said, a longboard is a must in any surfers well-rounded quiver, including yours truly. My tastes tend to shift towards the smaller longboards (~8’) whereas my wife loves the more traditional 9 footers. She might be on to something as there is just something about taking out a longboard on those days where there is barely a breaking wave and styling your way through the stubborn dopes who are shortboarding on a one foot day.
Anyhow, enough banter, let’s look at some of the best longboards you can get your grubby little hands on right now.
Note that we’ve only listed one board per shaper to keep things simple.
Our pick for
If the “comp” in the name didn’t register with you, that is referring to the competition aspect of this board and its prowess as a noserider. While all longboards are good for cruising and smooth sailing, not all longboards are shaped with noseriding and progressive longboarding in mind.
This board in particular has a pulled-in square tail, a bit more rocker than your average longboard, and a nice wide nose for speed generating and paddle-power. Of note is the Tuflite construction, a company representative of producing highly durable, lightweight, and reputable materials that stand up to a beating.
Our pick for
Gerry Lopez surfboards get mentioned a lot in our annual surfboard best of posts for good reason. For starters, they just seem to be easier on the eyes than other boards with a high attention to detail to colors and especially Gerry’s signature lightning bolts.
But looks aren’t everything in longboards, it’s also about how you’d like your board to perform. For this area of perspective, again we have another higher performance longboard for your tastebuds. A true noserider with high durability construction, this board is one of the best longboards for longterm use and a permanent spot in your garage.
Our pick for
If you’re a fan of the Endless Summer movies you’re probably familiar with one its most iconic characters, Wingnut. With Robert August as his shaper, this iconic duo is for the longboard purest and likely pulls on the heartstrings of the more senior of our readers.
Robert August is one of the few shapers on this list that focuses primarily on on longboards and doesn’t mess around too much with other shapes. This provides a certain credibility to his shapes that other longboard shapers can’t replicate and which will likely be felt in the quality of ride. The Wingnut II comes in the traditional poly construction, making it more lively than the newer constructions but sacrifices some durability.
Our pick for
This softtop longboard from Alton is designed for one thing: fun. For the surfer who wants to toss it in the car with the family on the way to a long beach day, the Scorpion is the perfect blend of entry point purchasing price and fulfilling the purpose of what we all started surfing for anyway.
Don’t expect a lot of respect in the lineup paddling out on one of these; something you probably don’t care about anyway because you either have a kid in diapers on the nose, are already three beers deep, or both. This board has the added bonus of a fin in the purchase which is something to note if you are new to longboards and their high cost of fins.
Normally I’d suggest a foamie like the Scorpion as a the best longboard for a beginner, but I’m going to have to go with the Donald Takayama Noah Comp. With durability that exceeds a softop, and a versatile shape that allows you progress from whitewater roll-ins to hang-five’s, this is the board you’ll want as an investment as a longterm product and your fun.
Unless you really know your way around a longboard, you probably aren’t going to notice the nuances in shape that would be more easily recognizable in a shortboard. That is why most of these longboards are actually fairly similar in shape and end goal, however all allow you to do whatever it is you want to do on a longboard (not including the softie).
That said, longboard selection, more than anything, is about your interest in certain shapers, colors, or materials. As always, there is no best longboard as the decision is entirely up to you and entirely subjective.
Surfboard shapers don’t publish sales data, and there is no central hub where surfers buy boards where you can find loads of reviews (like Amazon), so you just sort of have to know a thing or two about boards, brands, and shapers.
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