Hang Ten: the ultimate longboard surfing maneuver | Photo: Lallande/Vans

When we perform a hang ten, our feet end up at the nose of the longboard, with our toes curled over the edge. It's the ultimate longboard surfing gesture; it's an old-school statement.

Noseriding and tip riding are two critical stages in the art of hanging ten.

The first 36 inches of a board are considered the nose; the first 16 inches are considered the tip of the longboard.

Riding the nose of a longboard is still considered by many the ultimate classic surfing maneuver.

The old-school trick that never goes out of fashion, the iconic moment of any surfer while enjoying a summer ride in Malibu.

Longboarding has evolved so much that loggers can now pull 360s, floaters, and even airs in the blink of an eye. But the hang ten - or hang 10 - is before anything else.

It's the foundation of longboarding, from the moment you learn how to trim a wave all the way down the line.

The graceful move defines longboarders and the genre itself. Hanging ten is like an ID. It represents who you are as a log rider.

Noseriding vs. Tip Riding

However, a perfectly executed hang ten requires lots of practice, observation, and timing.

Hanging ten involves a lot of calculations, wave management, and balance. You need more than just walking the length of the board and riding its tip.

And when you finally get your ten toes over the board's nose, you embrace a new challenge called hang time.

For how long can you ride the tip of the longboard? Can you hang in there eternally? Are you weightless and in sync with Mother Nature?

As you progress, you'll notice that there's a subtle yet relevant difference between noseriding and tip riding.

In other words, you may be able to ride the nose of a longboard, but it doesn't necessarily mean you can ride its tip.

Hang 10: tip riding requires timing, balance, and grace | Photo: Lallande/Vans

Ten Steps for the Hang 10

So, how can you hang ten and stay up for a long time while maintaining style and finesse?

  1. Catch a good-looking wave;
  2. Sweep into a competent bottom turn;
  3. Aim the board for the upper third of the wave, near the curl;
  4. Start cross-stepping quickly toward the nose of the board;
  5. Place your weight towards the inside rail;
  6. The breaking part of the wave will start enveloping your board's tail;
  7. Tip ride for as long as you can;
  8. Close your eyes and enjoy the spiritual and weightless moment;
  9. Shift your weight when the longboard and the wave ask for it;
  10. When you feel you're hanging ten underwater, trim back, cut back, and start all over;

Practice makes perfect. A good and effective hang ten training routine is to do a lot of cross-stepping, running up and back on the longboard fast.

If you end up hanging ten for more than five seconds, you're on the right track to perfection.

Remember that you can't - and you shouldn't - hang ten on the whitewater, so you really need to find a decent open-face part of the wave.

And leave the leash on the beach - it won't help you, and it doesn't look cool.

Discover why every surfer should own a longboard, and get the "Longboarder's Start-Up: A Guide to Longboard Surfing."

Words by Luís MP | Founder of SurferToday.com

Top Stories

The first-ever pro tour wave pool contest was held at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

A wipeout changed Jack Johnson's life. Here's how the young man who once dreamed of becoming a pro surfer went on to sell over 25 million album copies.

Twenty-three-year-old surfer Kai McKenzie suffered a severe shark attack off the coast of North Shore Beach near Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

I have to admit it. There has always been something glamorous surrounding the dreams of living the life of a pro surfer.