What is the Physics of Longboard Surfing?

Like all other games longboarding is a game of rules and formulae. It means that the longboard works on some regulations and calculations. You might not know the physics of catching a wave when you are out of the ocean riding on your board. 

So if you want to explore the physics of longboard surfing, according to Newton’s law of mechanics, the force exerted by the wave depends on the mass of water pushed against the surfboard and its relative acceleration. The surfboard works with this force to get velocity and move along the wave.

So keep on reading the informative blog piece about the details. 

Physics of Longboard Surfing

When riding in the water, you do not have a calculator to figure out the intensity of surfing. You want to enjoy a surf. While a lot of physics is involved in this technique, being a surfer, you become an expert in hydrodynamics and physics without being aware of it. 

Where Do You Enjoy the Physics of Surfing on a Longboard

Like other waves in physics, ocean waves are an output of energy transfer because surfers are always looking for perfect waves to enjoy longboarding. 

So the science of surfing starts when your surfboard hits the water as a surfer searches for the accurate wave to come in. 

The most common experience that a surfer has is a rule of buoyancy, as construction and board size play an essential role in this and help to displace a lot of water. 

Simultaneously, the buoyant force becomes equal to the weight of the displaced water that pushes up the water. This counteracts the surfer’s weight and allows them to float while waiting for the paddle for a wave. This is known as buoyancy.

Physics Behind Surfing

Physics Behind Surfing

Forces at rest

In the rest position, the buoyancy and gravitational forces become equal and opposite, and the net force on the board and surfer also becomes zero. 

When the surfer gets the wave, they face acceleration. While the wave comes nearer, the surfer paddles come in contact with the wave speed madly. The board creates the angle with the water waves, resulting in pressure on the bottom of the board. 

As the surfer catches the wave in the water, they get acceleration. Due to the increased momentum, the surfer becomes more stable because they surf and stand up along the wave. 

Behind the center of mass, move back on the surfboard when the nose of the board tilts up until the buoyant force comes in contact with gravity again. 

When the surfer moves forward in the right direction, the tail of the longboard pushes tough on the water, thus bringing him to a stop.

Starting the Turn

When the surfer wants to move backward on the board, buoyancy and gravity move out of the alignment, producing torque in addition to twisting force on the surfboard. The longboard rotates until the forces are rearranged. 

Turning gravity

The surfboard will rotate unless the buoyancy force in the center of mass of the displaced water is aligned and rearranged with the gravity force on the surfer.

What is the Physics of Longboard Surfing

When the board rotates, the center of mass, the center of buoyancy of the displaced water, moves towards the back of the board. When gravity and buoyancy of water come in contact and align, there will no longer be torque. 

So fins of a surfboard allow a surfer to change their speed and direction when they reposition their weight. 

Moreover, the parts of the surfboard, like shape and channel rails, play an essential role in the whole process and affect how forces are disturbed to make the ride of the surfer more enjoyable. 

Catching the wave

As the surfer catches the wave in the water, it pushes the surfboard in the forward direction. In the end, the net force will become zero and accelerate the speed of the surfer, become equal to the speed of the wave, and go beyond it. 

Meanwhile, the particles in the wave crest’s water will accelerate. The forces in the crest become faster than the bottom of the wave and topple over itself due to the force of gravity.

Physics of Longboard Surfing

When the ocean bottounnels that surfers refer them as barrels,  wind speed, and coastline do perfectly with one another, the break can create and produce hollow Riding the wave

When the surfer is going fast on the wave, in the water, hydraulic forces on the surfboard are a big addition to oppose the center of gravity, thus resulting in net zero force. 


There is no game except surfing on a longboard that works without surface tension, buoyancy mass, and shape with hydrodynamic forces work together. In surfing on a longboard, shape, and mass are related to the surfers, while hydrodynamic forces are related to the surfboard.


What is the physics of a longboard?

The construction and size of the board help to displace a lot of water. A buoyant force becomes equal to the weight of the displaced water. 

What is the physics behind the surfboard fins?

The physics behind the surfboard fins is that when the pressure becomes equal, the pressure on the flat side pushes the fin. 

Is surfing dynamic or static?

Surfing on a longboard is an innovative game that needs dynamic movement throughout a longboard’s moves.

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Walter Beard

Meet Walter Beard, a passionate Longboarded who has been immersed in the exhilarating world of longboarding for eight years. With his love for the sport, Walter understands the joy and excitement that comes from executing thrilling tricks and being part of a vibrant longboarding community.

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