The Case Against Mid-Lengths
A good mid-length can be like the porridge that Goldilocks was looking for—not too long, not too short… just right.
Everyone seems to be riding a mid-length these days (including us). But what about the case against mid-lengths?
What the mid-length offers in versatility, it lacks in specialization.
It will never be as shortboard-y as a small board. It will never be as longboard-y as a true longboard.
If you want a board that gives you peak control and performance, a smaller board will nearly always be more sensitive than a mid-length under your feet—capable of tighter turns and more vertical lines.
If you are looking to noseride (or even just glide effortlessly) in small surf, a mid-length will never carry the same paddle-power and glide that a longboard will. (Even the beefiest, widest mid-sized board can’t compete with a 9’6 or 10’ board.)
So if specialization is what you seek, it's likely that a mid-length is not the way to go—at least not on those days.
Nine-tenths of the battle is selecting the proper equipment for the conditions at-hand. Somedays, that might be a 9’8 noserider. Other days, it might be a shortboard or even a hand plane and a pair of fins to access the waves, because as we say often: well-rounded surfers have well-rounded quivers.