The most overlooked longboard measurement you should be paying more attention to

Board measurements have traditionally been length, width, & thickness & it wasn’t until the turn of the century that volume came into play.

And while I’m not actually here to talk about volume, it’s the one board measurement that has filled in the missing information that length, width, & thickness just couldn’t convey (b/c you can have 3 boards with the same dims but with different volumes).

I look at a board’s volume all the time to gauge compatibility with my surfing, especially with fishes, shortboards, & midlengths b/c I find that small changes in volume at these lengths can make a big difference.

9'4" self-shaped noserider | photo: @jesslowcherphotographer

the missing measurement for longboards

But for longboarding I don’t think it’s nearly as important. Instead, what I look for in a longboard is weight.

Why? Because 2 of the exact same boards with different weights will perform differently.

A lighter board will have less “swing weight” (i.e. less weight to swing around during a turn) so will be a little easier to turn. However, it will be much more affected by chop & wind often getting  bounced or blown around. And if it’s an EPS, it will sit more on top of the water rather than in it.

A heavier board may be harder to maneuver at first b/c it’ll have more swing weight & be a little slower to respond, but for traditional longboarding a heavier board is the way to go in my opinion. It will better handle chop & wind & will sit more “in the water” giving a nice feeling of “grip” with the wave. It will also be more stable & will carry its own momentum through flat sections.

an original Dewey Weber weighing in at 11.3 kgs/25 lbs!

One thing to watch out for is companies selling “traditional longboards” with all the right design elements except that it’s lightweight EPS which will definitely not perform the same way.

At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference though & while boards have overall come down in weight over the years, I still enjoy a bit of weight to my longboards.

here’s some numbers for reference

– A “log” generally starts at 8 kgs/18 lbs & goes up from there.

– A 9’6” I recently surfed from @glassroots weighed in at 9.75 kgs/21.5 lbs. This felt a little heavier than my daily longboard, but nice & stable & not too heavy.

– An original 9’0” @deweyweber I recently surfed weighed in at 11.3 kgs/25 lbs! This is definitely on the heavy end & while I enjoyed riding it, it’s too heavy for my daily surfing.

I’d love to see weight added as a standard measurement, but until then we’ll have to stick with the old “under your arm & see how it feels” scale 😆.

💬 Do you pay much attention to the weight of your longboard?

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