The duck diving lesson is all well and good for surfers who ride shortboards, but what about those longboard lads and ladies out there? Hopefully you've found your way here before trying to duck dive your 12-foot board in 6-foot surf and taking a battering.
Duck diving relies on sinking the board nose first and going underneath the wave. Longboards are too buoyant to get away with this. The turtle roll (also know as an Eskimo roll) is the best way to get out to the lineup on a longboard.
The guys over on the longboard forum were kind enough to put a few tips together on how to roll with style. Here's how you do it:
As the wave comes towards you
As with surfing in general, it's not good form to let go of your board when faced with breaking waves; it may injure other water users. Also remember that you have to keep clear of surfers who are riding in on waves. It's your responsibility to keep out of the way, even if it means paddling into a wall of whitewater.
NEVER hold the board near the nose when rolling under; it's dangerous. Grabbing near the nose in this situation will almost guarantee a backwards cartwheel as the entire board gets launched.
NEVER wrap your legs around the board. What can happen is that with the body laying horizontally, it doesn't act as a sea anchor. The board and rider then accelerate towards the beach, the tail of the board digs in, and the board and rider then cartwheel backwards.
It's not easy, and like duck diving, it is really all about practicing. It's a lot harder to get a longboard through a wave than it is a shortboard. The bonus with a longboard is that you can paddle it in-between waves faster. There's a whole world of technique happening down there when rolling under, and some effective decision making is also required.