Malibu longboards and their inefficiency: four reasons why

Four  points  with regard to the inefficiency of the 'malibu' noseriding longboard type ( in its various forms) are as follows:

1) The separation of the turning and trimming areas. This is inefficient because it requires walking up and down the board in order to turn and trim. It also prevents carving turns at speed and forces the rider into an ungainly flapping surfing style which is detrimental to optimum positioning and to speed and conrol

2)Having the trimming position near the nose increases wetted surface area precisely when it should be reduced. Planing hulls do not work well that way.

3) The reverse rocker profile. efficient planing hulls should reduce rocker aft and increase it forward. Due to the artificial nose riding, tail rotation, and walking requirement the noseriding type usually has the opposite. . . more rocker aft than forward.

4) Balance. For good balance a surfboard should have a sweet spot in the middle of the board. This simultaneously reduces swing weight and nose leverage during turns, and allows finer control when trimming. Malibu longboards don't have this. . . the middle of the board is only used when passing through from one end to the other. It's like having a car with the accelerator on the bonnet and the steering wheel in the boot. 

For efficiency a rider should ideally be able to turn and trim simultaneously, this requires a sweet spot whereby both can be done from the same position.

Any board which has separate turning and trimming areas does not have a sweet spot as the rider is only able to do one thing from each position.

Efficient surfing requires the ability to turn for positioning while at maximum trim speed. . . rather than the jerky flapping stop/go approach dictated by the malibu surfboard

The Ten foot four surfboard below is able to turn and trim at speed from one position.

These two boards are able to turn and trim from one position, unlike the malibu board.

That feature gives them a huge advantage

The 70 pound 13'9" Dragonboard trimming from a central position, with turning available  via subtle  'fingertip' control or larger muscular exertion, as required.

The 12 foot Future Primitive, carving a turn while in trim. This board is almost never in static trim, it can snake through turns while trimming almost as soon as the rider thinks of turning, which as stated gives a huge advantage.

The reason why the vast majority of longboarders don't realise that they are riding inefficient, ungainly, ugly, ill conceived and badly designed boards is mainly because they never confront a well designed longboard in the water. They generally huddle together with those on similar boards, not doing well but secure in their poor performance because they are insulated from reality by scientific marketing and safety in numbers. When they confront a pure surfing  longboard like the ones above the difference in performance is often so vast that their happy deluded bubble is burst. . . with a variety of emotional reactions best left to the imagination !

A recently published description of malibu surfing as jerky flapping is a sober judgement of the type of actions required to ride the boards and it is coming from an intelligent adult. I stand by it.

  A reference to longboard riding 'style' made by a malibu apologist today in response to this article is a key to the discussion. Nearly half a century of marketing has dictated what looks 'cool' and what doesn't, but it has little to do with efficiency in spite of the entrenched attitudes it has created.

Furthermore if one ever builds and rides surfboards of over twelve feet in length one will discover that the supposed 'longboard' attributes of the noserider don't work in real longboard lengths . . . as they rely on light weight and shorter lengths to overcome their design deficiencies. They are not really classicly functional longboard shapes at all. That distinction goes to the curvaceous teardrop shapes of the pure surfing longboard

Eventually the truth will get through and longboard design will catch up with what we are doing, this will create a lot more joy in longboard surfing than the endless repetition of essentially awkward surfing and tired mantras which most people are forced to subscribe to at present.