Our two most popular longboard models face off in a head-to-head compare and contrast: Lumberjack vs. Surf Thump
Tails & Turning:
When identifying what the intended use of a longboard is, look first at its tail.
The tail of the Lumberjack is wide and square, which allows for pivot-like turns. A pivot turn is when you step back on the tail of the board—slowing it down—and proceed to swing the board as though the fin were the hinge on a door.
It is important to note that the outline of the Lumberjack is fairly straight through the tail.
Here is Kameron Brown demonstrating a pivot-style turn—utilizing a drop-knee approach to get his back foot as far back on that tail as possible:
In contrast, the Surf Thump has more curve in the outline of the tail, which leads into a narrower "thumb-shaped" tail. All of that extra curve means that the board doesn't need to be stalled and pivoted, the additional curve (when the board is put up on rail for a turn) allows the board to more efficiently maintain speed while arcing through a turn.
Here is Nathan Adams demonstrating a rail-initiated turn on his Sano Special (very similar tail curves to the Surf Thump):
When judging the noseriding ability of a longboard, it is important—once again—to look at the tail. The nose is where your feet are while noseriding, but the tail is what is submerged under water, supporting your weight.
The full, square tail of the Lumberjack offers a tremendous amount of support for the noseride-oriented surfer. Combine that with the necessity to stall off the tail to bottom turn, and you have a board that is already encouraging the surfer to set up their wave in a way that is highly conducive to noseriding.
Both the Lumberjack and the Surf Thump have blended nose concaves, which create additional lift in the nose, without inhibiting the boards' ability to glide effortlessly.
The Surf Thump, because of its tail and slightly narrower nose has a more lively feel overall. It will still noseride very well when you stay in the pocket, but will be less forgiving when you get out into the flatter part of the wave, on the shoulder.
How do you know which is right for you?
In general, I would say if you plan to surf a variety of different waves (sizes, shapes, etc..), I would lean toward the Surf Thump. It combines a lively feel under-foot, with enough classic noseriding to satisfy your hunger for getting perched.
However, if you know that noseriding is your main aim, and you want the board that is going to make the most out of smaller wave conditions and keep you hanging out on the bow as much as possible, the Lumberjack is the board for you.