I shape three types of longboards. One variety is a wider, thicker, “retro” design version which feature softer 60-40 rail contours and straighter bottom rocker. This shape has a definite emphasis on noseriding (large nose concaves) yet also allowing the stable and gliding sensations of old-school longboarding ala David Nuuhiwa and more recently the likes of Joel Tudor. This type of board usually comes with a larger template glass-on single fin but can also be set up for a tri-fin arrangement.
The second type are “high performance” longboards made popular by surfers like Bonga Perkins and Rusty Keaulana. These boards have down rails and bottom contours (extra rocker, concaves,hard edges in the tail, etc.) which are very close to the modern shortboard and would be, except that they come with the length and width dimensions of longboards. The emphasis on this type board is on speed and maneuverability; hard bottom turns and quick cutbacks in and around the pocket,but still allowing forward trim and occasional noseriding. The fin set-up I usually recommend for this type of board is the tri-fin for better noseriding stability but many of my clients prefer the thruster set-up instead.
The third type of long board I build is what I call the longboard gun, a specialty category that is basically the high performance longboard given some important features taken from my gun designs. These boards are designed to make the heavier drops, absorb ledges and chop on bumpy faces and negotiate big wave barrels, over and over again. When the waves were in the 8′-12′ plus category, I have ridden this kind of design with great results at spots as far and wide as Puerto Escondido, Mexico; Scorpion Bay and Todos Santos, Baja; Honolua Bay, Maui as well as here on the North Shore. Some of my clients have made this their “go-to” travel board rather than take both a longboard and a gun in their travel quiver and as of yet, I have gotten only rave reviews and positive feedback on the performance of my longboard guns.