This was my thought in my head this morning as I was walking to the daily grind. So many alternative “unconventional” boards being surfed these days, that are they even unconventional anymore?
I have come to admit and accept that I actually really enjoy riding not-so-short boards. Many people probably know me for not riding shortboards often, but I feel I only accept it now. I was stubborn before – conditioned into believing that you are only a proper surfer if you shortboard. Oh, how times have changed.
I started experimenting with bigger boards when I was living in Jeffrey’s Bay six years ago when I surfed a session on an old 7’4. I actually REALLY enjoyed it. But, still believed it did not count as a proper session as the board was not high-performance and not shorter than 6ft.
I continued to mix it up between shortboards and bigger boards, only counting the shortboard sessions as “proper surfs”. However, years later, I started finding that I actually have more “soulful” fun when I surf fun-boards/minimals. I can sit further out the back in the line-up on a bigger board (no, not to snake, I do wait my turn). I can catch the wave earlier before it gets heavier. I am more confident catching bigger waves. And, I can really drive the board without feeling as though I am going to hit a speed wobble or the board is going to fly from underneath my feet, or something.
That is just how I personally feel.
The first photograph is of me riding that old 7’4 at Kitchen Windows (J-Bay) six years ago, not realising it was starting to shape my surf style from then onwards. And, the second photograph is from a few Saturdays ago at Elands Bay where I was really understanding and feeling this fun 6’8 Torq board. How cheesy? But, it’s true!
I am, however, looking forward to reuniting with my blue 6’4 Bukit board a dear friend Holly Robertson passed on to me ever so kindly in Sri Lanka.
Moral of the story: is it conventional to ride unconventional boards? Don’t be stubborn like I was! Ride whatever makes you happy.
By Jelaine Jellyfish
Blue Betty Life