Why do we love surfing ?
Nothing is simpler and more complicated at the same time than Surfing.
All you need is a Board and a few accessories to have the best session of your life, if and only if, you are in the right place at the right time.
Surfing is the art of placement. Being on the right spot, at the right time, in the right place, in the right rhythm with the swell and the others, going to the right place, getting on the Board etc etc etc etc… Everything is only tempo in surfing. It’s music that connects you to space and time.
When you surf, you connect with the planet and what it has to offers in contemplation, but also with its deep nature. This wave must have travelled thousands of miles before it came to die beneath your feet. This divine gift makes you the luckiest being in the universe, for at this very moment you are the one who is in communion with the universal elements.
So yes, with two or three Boards and a few buddies, you will go around the world with surfing as your guide line. You will discover others, the richness of the little things, the tolerance and the strong stakes of our civilization.
Whatever the coast, with a few Boards and a lot of patience, you will live those strong moments that sometimes last only a few seconds: being there, feeling alive even if you are sitting still at the peak.
The magic of surfing lies in your ability to enjoy it. You can experience this ecstasy in the absolute purity of the perfect session, in a terrifying drop, just like in a mediocre session that will make you appreciate the quirks that make surfing so special. For many things, passion is the reason, and this is even more true for surfing.
Beyond the mind, surfing is good for the body because the rhythmic symbiosis with the ocean often feels like a battle of swimming out of sync. But then again, it doesn’t matter because all these battles mold your body to reveal the perfect session, and the trick that is perfect.
Surfing at GONG
Surfing is GONG’s reason for being.
Since 1996, GONG has been manufacturing Surfboards. But the particularity of GONG is to also have Boards for all sports. Thus, our Surfboards have had various influences. The passion for surfing has always made us make Boards that fit perfectly into the surfing culture. But we have never been afraid of volume or the Longboard trend.
On the contrary, we have always tried to double our sessions. Maximizing the number of good waves is a healthy goal.
Our goal has always been to offer the best solution for the conditions of the day. Sometimes it’s a sharp step up, but unfortunately it’s more often a bulky and extra light Board. Anyway, we like all kinds of shapes.
With every new Board we try to bring the maximum performance achievable. Making a sharp and super sexy Board that you will only use 10% of the time doesn’t make sense to us. A Board has to work with you to allow you to progress with it. Our Boards are therefore easy to learn. But make no mistake about it, some of them are at the peak of competitive performance.
We have immense pleasure in pushing marginal Boards, such as the Fish, Longboards, Simmons, and many other types of Boards that made people laugh a few years ago and are now becoming must-haves in a Quiver.
This notion of a Quiver is fundamental for us. By buying 100% Direct, you save on the margins but NOT on quality. Your Board will last and allow you to build a Quiver year after year that will give you the full range of Boards to take advantage of waves every day.
How to choose your surfboard ?
Choosing the surfboard adapted to your specific needs is a hazardous exercise when you do not have a solid experience on different boards. So in order to prevent a choice you might regret, we marked the way with boards classified into categories (beginners, inflatables, shortboard, mid-length, retro, longboard), ultra-detailed product sheets, technical advisers at your disposal and a lot of technical information and how to’s in our magazine.
Here below you’ll find the basics to consider when choosing your board.
It facilitates paddling while increasing the glide and the inertia in surfing. Below 7’0, starting is more complex because the board turns at the slightest change of posiiton and the balance is far too complicated for a novice.
The big questions are:
Do you have room to store and transport your board? A 9’0 goes everywhere, a 7’0 fits in a Twingo.
Do you want to Surf cool or radical? Below 8’0 boards are very agile while above 9′ they are super mellow.
A longer board (8 ‘0 or more) also increases the radius of curves, hence the need to pitch it up in some turns. This requires a specific technique that can be learned step by step but it also offers an incomparable glide. A long length can also take off very early while paddling without much effort once the board is launched. It is therefore essential to have more length when you begin.
A shorter board allows shorter turns, or even breaking curves for a trashier ride. This is another style of surfing, very much in the pocket of the wave, in the search of energy so you can burn it better.
With a good level, the length is not a big problem even if it slows the turns. It brings stability and allows you to ride any size wave that a small board does not allow because it will be more exclusive within its utilization.
Very small boards, called shortboards, have a very low rowing speed. The balance is precarious because it combines the management of FORE / AFT instability in addition to port / starboard. But by taking the right volume and width, one can consider surfing this kind of board without being a champion. They are ultra reactive, high performance, and transportable.
With the thickness, it conditions the balance and the lift but also the maneuverability.
You really have to consider the surface area and volume in the beginning. This width brings you incredible comfort. Better to have too much than not enough when you learn.
A 20” surf board is a so-called narrow board. 22” is a “normal” board. A 23″ board is considered to be “wide”. These are good indicators, but you can go much more extreme, in either direction, depending on the needs and disciplines and the users.
Indeed, a narrow board usually goes fast. The Row is flagrant and the shorter the length is more extreme it becomes. But surfing is not so simple. In very fast waves, a narrow board is essential. But in normal or soft waves, the width generates lift and therefore acceleration. The prejudice against width and that it inhibits speed is unfounded in 95% of sessions.
The criticism is identical in the ratio of the width with the maneuverability. Often a wide board is more maneuverable than a Gun style board. The width offers off-center supports that can increase maneuverability if you are able to tame it.
This outer curve of the board takes the elements of length and width but the way the shaper will join the 4 “corners” of the board will define everything.
OFO (one foot off) data are often used, measures of width 30 cm from the front and the back. This gives good indicators for the curvature of the outline.
In your marked curves, the back third of the outline is often used for the rocker. As a result, a strong difference between the master ‘bau’ (maximum width) and the rear OFO but also the tail gives a very lively board in the curves. She will really turn very short. The other side of the coin: it will be hard to control. A rear third more “right”, “square” will be less maneuverable curves but more powerful.
Indeed, the wider the tail in comparison to the master ‘bau’, the faster the planning will be and accelerate faster. These are so-called powerful boards which need a lot of heavy back foot.
Similarly, a pinched nose will be more manageable because there will be less length of rail in the water when turning. On the other hand, it will work less for the noserides but will be faster to paddle …
Maximum thickness is important. A board less than 2”1 / 2 thick is a thin board.
More importantly is the distribution of this thickness. A very heavy board (with the dome-shaped bridge as seen in section) will often be manageable but unstable. Conversely, a flat deck board will generally be super stable but have a lot of drive and will need powerful foot support.
To get an indicator, be aware that a flat board that is one inch thinner than a board is generally stable.
Note that the distribution of the thickness in the width is very important, but the redistribution within the length is also crucial.
Indeed, a board that has little volume through the tail is often manageable and controllable. When excessive, it is also a board that will be very sensitive to foot placement. Too great of an imbalance with the distribution of volumes will be a vector for parasitic behavior and often this board will prove to be bad and jerky.
And a back half that’s too thick makes the board easier and less sensitive but almost impossible to turn.
You have to be careful about the scoop line (the banana). It is indeed not uncommon to see scoops that are absolutely ineffective.
Often, the initial ideas are good but they sometimes go of the mark and go wrong. For example, it is not uncommon to see surf boards with a big spatula or excessive kick. Good ideas pushed too far often lead to serious mistakes.
A scoop must be harmonious and especially in connection with all the other parameters of the shape.
Buoyancy is a well-known fact thanks to a certain Archi …
But experience shows that we are constantly making small mistakes that burden and inhibit buoyancy.
The rule is that to float comfortably you need half the weight of the surfer in liters, so If I’m 80kg, I’ll be ok on 40 liters.
It is advisable to cut 20% more than this rule for experts. I’m 65kg, I need 65/2 x 0.8 = 26 liters.
And a good 20% more for beginners: 65/2 x 1,2 = 39L.
Note that the duck dive is not an element within this equation. You must certainly pass the bar to take waves, but a beginner has a hard time duck diving. So, he will tend to take, or think he needs, a board that’s too small just because of this duck diving obsession. Fatal error.
In short, direct yourself to true connoisseurs, and real passionate people. Escape the commercial BS, gadgets and miracle solutions. A real Shaper does not need that to sell his creations.
How to practice surfing ?
The ideal is to start in a school but it is sometimes restrictive. The best solution is to go with a buddy.
For it to work, you have to be diligent and cultured. First of all, to develop your experience and your physical condition, and then to avoid doing the wrong things. You can quickly find yourself in danger if you don’t respect the basic rules of surfing and the ocean. You will find in our How To Surf section a multitude of tips on all aspects of surfing.
The great choices among our surf range
We have spent the last 30 years developing this wide range. The diversity of shapes and different sizes of our surfboards range mean that a model in our shop is bound to perfectly correspond to your style, your size and your conditions! In addition, our direct sales model allows us to offer you shortboards from 299€ and longboards from 449€!
You will find them in our shop under the following categories :
- SHORTBOARDS: There are more than 15 shortboard shapes available in more than 70 sizes. From pure shortboards for hollow waves to the most versatile shapes, we have the board to shred on your spot.
- MID-LENGTHS: Shapes that offer more versatility to provide comfort and excellent glide. Modern egg, mini-malibus or funboards are some of the options in our range that favor fun over anything else.
- LONGBOARDS: Because the programs are varied and very specific in longboarding, we offer you no less than 6 different shapes.Whether it’s for competition, chilled out surfing, getting into old school style, initiating the family or taking off from afar on soft waves, 9ft boards and over are a must have in a quiver!
- RETRO BOARDS: strangely enough, surfing an old school retro board is one of the best ways to experience new sensations in surfing. Our range counts several retro shapes that all have in common a great comfort for paddling, a lot of fluidity in the curves and a timeless style.
- BOARDS FOR BEGINNERS: our range offers a lot of possibilities for beginner surfers. Easy yet scalable boards that allow for fun at every stage of your progression. ASK OUR TECHNICAL ADVISORS to find your first board!