Over the past 15 years, logging has gone from being a counter-cultural throwback niche to an everyday part of the surfing vernacular. What was once nearly a lost art has made a massive comeback, largely on the shoulders of legends like Joel Tudor and CJ Nelson, and contemporary trim masters like Tyler Warren, Alex Knost, and Harrison Roach.
But despite the mainstreaming of this once fringe sub-culture, and the existence of logging-specific contests like the Duct Tape Invitational, there is still a substantial part of the surfing population that writes off all styles of longboards, and would never deign to ride anything other than a high-performance shredstick.
The reality is, in the right waves and on the right board, logging might just be the most fun a person can have on a surfboard. In long, waist-high, perfectly peeling waves, all of our expectations and attachments to performance and wave count fade away with every effortless paddle and extended trim. Logging brings us back to the essence of surfing, the feeling that addicted us in the first place—which makes sense, since this is what surfing looked like way back when it started.
Of course, mini-peelers and nostalgic trimlines aren’t enough to convince everyone. So for the hardened cynic who refuses to imagine surfing on anything but a shortboard, here are are six waves that will make you fall in love with logging. And, bonus, click on each spot below to take you through to the forecast then tab over to check the seasonal data.
The original dream wave, back when surfing in California was longboarding and nothing else, First Point Malibu is endless, symmetrical, and usually pretty small—in other words, it’s the quintessential logging wave. Like most perfect point waves, it is also fun on just about anything else you might choose to ride, which is why half of LA paddles out every time it breaks. And when does it work best? Go here for more info.
Noosa is the centre of Australia’s logging scene—and for good reason. This series of picturesque right-hand points bends into a quaint country town that has grown into a boutique tourist destination. Despite all the development, Noosa still holds onto much of its original charm, especially when swell pours into Tea Trees, lighting up the sand points for locals like Harrison Roach and California transplant Tom Wegener.
There’s a reason the Mexi Log Fest has been run at Saladita the past few years—and that reason is a fun, long, waist-high, peeling left-hander that lends itself to noserides and traditional trim lines. Logging kingpin CJ Nelson has spent a couple months down in Mexico each season over the past few years, so you’d have to assume he’s onto something good.
While many people might think of endless, head-high, rippable walls when they hear the name Pavones, Costa Rica’s longest left is actually pretty damned good at waist-high too. Joel Tudor, Rob Machado, and Skip Frye took a bunch of longboards and mid-lengths two decades ago, and the sessions that resulted are still the stuff of legends.
While the crowded, rippable right-hander in Arugam Bay isn’t the best logging wave on the planet, it is surrounded by a bunch of other sand-bottom points that just might be—at least on their day. More than half a dozen Sri Lankan sandbars wait within an hour drive of A-Bay, and most of the time they peel off empty and unmolested. While a hundred Russian and Israeli backpackers fight over sets at A-Bay, those with a bit of gumption and the right boards can take a short tuktuk ride north or south and quickly find themselves in logging heaven.