The great retro movement is dead. What sprung up as an underground anti shortboard revolution has been well and truly swallowed whole by the masses, infiltrated shortboard design and even ended up a big scene on the high street. Retro is sooo commercial now, the past has been packaged up by the mainstream and resold as the latest thing.
Surfing is better for it though. Nowadays surfers can and do ride anything. Hot young kids throw around retro influenced fish crossovers, then jump on an old 80s twinny, pull out a keel fin fishes, or jump on a mal when its small. Mal addicts have come the other way. Pulled down in length by the gleaming resin tints and foam laden classic shapes from the 60s and 70s they have refound the joy of shorter sticks. As a result the barriers between shortboards, retroheads and a longboarders have become a hazy blurr.
Haryley Ingleby is a classic example. The current ASP World Longboard champ grew up looking up to shortboarders, discovered the fun of riding mals, but on any given day can be found riding just about anything he can find. Hes not as famous as Slater, but he rips on a diverse range of equipement. You can check him out on page 78.
Our younger generation of longboarders are no different. They are all now making big strides on the Europe and World longboarding tours, but to pigeonhole
them as longboarders would be to do them an injustice. Its just one facet of the art of waveriding in which they excel. They just live to ride. As proved in this examination of thier quivers from page 82.
Likewise Jools Mathews is a man possessed. He loves fish, mals and everything in between. In between surfing, shaping, surfing, sanding, surfing and running Gulf Stream surfboards in Croyde he rang us up to tell us he wanted to write about his obsession. We said ok. Then he went surfing. Eventually he ran out of energy and sat down and wrote. So here it is. (p84)
In between you will find a while range of beautiful boards to savour. There are details of how they ride, and where to find them. Retro is dead, long live retro. Enjoy!
dANE PIOLI fLOATS HIS LOG AT SNAPPER.
the other world champ
TExT ANd PHOTOS: Moonwalker
Harley Ingleby is he 2009 aSP world longboard Tour champion, but chances are you may not have heard of him. He has no multi million dollar sponsorship, no super star ex girlfriends, no drug habit, no arrest warrants and has never been pulled over by customs having his boards broken into bits for a narcotics search. If only for these facts alone its a pretty safe bet that at this juncture of his life, hes never going to be offered a tell-all, explosive book deal; ala Slater, rabbit, occy or MP. But Harley simply surfs, and surfs extremely well hes not a boring person, but while his compatriots in the shortboard scene are on talk shows, tv game shows and advertising this, that and the other hes happy to just go surf.
Harley hails from a tiny beachside town just north of Coffs Harbour on the australian new South wales north Coast. an area of the world where coastal communities are
scattered like shells on the sand and small town values are held in high esteem.
while hes unarguably a gifted longboard surfer its interesting to note that the current aSP world longboard Champion spends the majority of his water time riding quad shortboard fishes; incredibly fast and loose he says of them. Surfing longboards was initially a social event with his father and friends.
My initial influence for everything has been my dad smiles Harley warmly,
Longboarding was there from the start, my first three boards were longboards but with my dad having such a large board collection I was very fortunate to have all types of boards surrounding me from a young age. I was able to try all sorts and it was great to be able to ride single fins to begin with, that really helped smooth my style out. In my
HARLEY TAkING A PROGRESSIvE APPROACH TO LONGbOARdING. HES ONE Of NEW bREEd Of COMPLETE SuRfER COMfORTAbLE ON ALL MANNER Of EquIPMENT.
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uPSIdE dOWN ON A fISH (AbOvE), A COOL TEN ON A LOG, ANd WALkING THE WIRE.
MANS dEfINITELY GOT bALANCE!
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mid-teen years I was still competing in both long and shortboard competitions. as I became more exposed to the international surfing world Id have to say the surfing of Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and the guys in that era most caught my eye. all the early Taylor Steele movies and Justin Gains movie Pulse; I used to watch those non-stop.
But when I went away with my family and friends to the longboard events I found myself really enjoying both the competitive and social sides everything for me grew from that, it wasnt really a conscious decision to be a longboard champion, thats just how it panned out.
when not around contests Harley has no specific board agenda, I ride whatever board to suit the conditions, I dont ride the same thing all the time. Its always fun trying new boards and new improvements Ive been working on with my shaper Billy Tolhurst. But riding retro boards (70s to early 80s shapes encompassing single, twin and twinzer fin setups) really makes you learn to tap into the waves power and to surf off a rail - whereas some of the kids these days just jump straight onto a wafer thin thruster and are surfing really flat off their fins, simply because they have a good fin setup to push off from. riding retro boards is a good base to learn how to turn a board properly and learn how boards work. He has a very valid point, to put it a little more into perspective; Formula one drivers dont jump into an F1 racing car right at the start of their driving careers do they?
My high performance longboards are 91 x a fraction under 22 wide x 2 thick x 17 nose, a pretty standard bottom shape, fairly flat under the nose, no radical concaves or anything, maybe a subtle vee or double concave then flattening out in the back of the board and a nice, even rocker. For my shortboards I like riding 511s quads, and again no crazy bottoms, just subtle and simple curves. 90% of the time Im riding quad shortboards, I love them, I find they have less resistance and more hold, theyre a lot quicker on the face and hold speed through turns better. Having those two fins on the outside rail means you can ride short, wide boards in really hollow sections and they still hold in.
Contemporary surfers Harley looks up too include . . .Dane Reynolds, Jordy Smith, those guys have taken surfing to a whole nother level. Its been a while since surfing has taken a noticeable step up. And those guys have done it in the past 12 to 24 months. on the longboard scene theres so many, but Bonga, ned Snow, fellow Aussie Jarryd Neal, Antoine Delpero and Ben Skinner all standout. Such a variety of talent, personalities and style thats what makes the longboard scene so interesting I reckon.
High performance is where its at for me, I dont like riding my longboard when its small. From head high to double overhead are optimum conditions for HP [high performance] longboards to start performing really well, I mean you have such a long board you need a bit of room for solid turns. on really hollow days HP longboards are so much fun, especially in peaky beachbreaks. Its easier to get into the wave at the right angle, to be in the right spot and to get into the waves far earlier than on a shortboard.
I think with the way the whole retro surf deal has become more mainstream over the past few years I really believe its helping to blur the lines between longboarding and shortboarding. a surfer is a surfer, no matter what type of board they ride, thats the bottom line. I really do believe that the longboarding culture is moving forward, once more corporate companies start getting involved, and now with some surf events being televised live, things are only going to get better for surfing and longboarding.
Harleys future is sure to be big and his vision is bold.
My hunger is still there to win consecutive world titles, Im ready to see how far I can take this. In short I want to win more titles and see more of the world. Not a bad goal for a lad from a small coastal town and has already come so far at the ripe old age of 26.
Harleys tips for better surfing are quite simple You have to be enjoying your surfing, if youre not enjoying it, you wont improve. You have to surf as much as youre able. Having a fun board for all conditions will increase you water time. also ride different boards. They all have different characteristics and getting them dialed will not only open your mind to which designs you like but will improve you surfing overall. Get to know your boards well. Dont chop and change, really feel them out. And finally, most importantly build up a relationship with a shaper whos boards you really like and get on well with. working with a shaper who knows your style will ensure you surf better, guaranteed.
His boards are honed to the nth degree, Harley explains;
A NICE CARvING CuTTY ON HIS fISH.
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Rob WRight 9'6" NoseRideR The slide65 board is shaped by my boss from Towans Timber Frames rob wright. He has only shaped a handful of boards and this one is a 9'6" noserider. I just use this when it is small long walls where you can camp on the nose. I feel it is good to have a good noserider in your boards to work on your footwork and style.
thomas bexoN 9'6" This board is another 9'6" shaped by Thomas Bexon from noosa australia, it is my good friends board alex white. He keeps it at my house for when he comes to the Uk, so I am kind of baby sitting it for him, but its another amazing noserider.
bilbo This bo