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  • Andrew Cowell

LET THE WIND HOWL

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

It’s noseriding, the magic art of walking foot-over-foot on a traditional longboard.  You’re hanging five toes, maybe ten, off the nose with nothing except air and water before you.  You’re flying, Jonathan Seagull free, working without a net.



Born in the 1950s, noseriding a longboard – done while riding the front third of a surfboard — became an accomplished maneuver.  The greats: David Nuuhiwa, Corky Carroll, Lance Carson, and others tested their cat-like skills while balancing on a moving surfboard, propelled by a spirited wave.


In the mischievous game of surfing shenanigans, new tricks beyond the classic hang five and hang ten were added to the dance.  The Stretch Five, Hanging Heels, Front Foot/Heel Hang, Back Foot/Heel Hang, and the Crow Bar.


In 1965, philosopher, inventor and accomplished jazz drummer, Tom Morey (Morey Boogie Board fame) created a cutting edge surfing competition — the first of its kind — The Morey Invitational.  Morey’s concept was a timed noseriding event.  Whoever stood with both feet on the front third of their surfboard the longest would be crowned champion.  Two Hobie riders emerged triumphant that day.  Mickey Munoz won the men’s division, with Corky Carroll taking out all comers in the junior’s.  Both victors rode boards that were specifically designed and shaped for the event by the great Phil Edwards.


Today traditional noseriding flourishes worldwide, thanks impart to Donald Takayama and Joel Tudor.  This is not to slight any of the shapers and surfer’s who have contributed to the resurgence of longboarding and noseriding.  After all Herbie Fletcher proclaimed, “The Thrill Is Back” in the 80s.  I believe that history will show that it was Takayama’s Hawaiian linage and South Bay history of designing and shaping surfboards for the greatest of all noseriders, David Nuuhiwa, that foretold the rise of eminent world champion, Joel Tudor.  Traditional longboarding, like a hibernating bear, emerged to take its rightful place in the surfing pantheon.  Many dismissed longboarding and noseriding, labeling it retro, but Tudor, whose skills rivaled and surpassed those of the greats, passionately defended the ride, igniting an underground, grassroots movement that has fueled the imaginations of today’s young riders of the nasal passage.


Photo by Nathan French. Surfer - JJ Wessels


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