“Fucking longboarders,” the kid said under his breath. I was sitting at the peak on a 9’6, while he was a little ways inside on a 5-something. He was probably 14, and by the looks of it, was pretty new to surfing. He was not new, however, to the age old longboarder vs. shortboarder war. He didn’t say it to me, and he didn’t say it for any reason other than his own frustration–I hadn’t dropped in on him or taken too many set waves–but he said it, and I heard it.
The thing about that day was that the waves weren’t good… for a regular shortbard, anyway. Small, slopey and gutless, they didn’t offer enough push for anything other than a longboard. But for a longboard, it was fantastic. Long, glassy runners, crumbling slowly as they made their way towards shore. The kid, when he was able to catch one, pumped his way down the line, arms flailing frantically in an effort to just keep surfing. It was hard to watch. All I wanted was to tell that kid to get out of his shortboards-only mentality. I wanted him to have more fun, because he looked miserable. And if surfing is making you miserable, you’re doing it wrong. Logging might make you do it a little more right.