Longboard – Surf’s up!

Longboard game box and components
Longboard card game

It’s a beautiful day at the beach, and the surfers are out shopping for new boards.
Create the coolest and biggest longboards to establish your surfboard shop as the best in town.

Living in the Midwest, there are no ocean waves. But surfing is on my bucket list of things to try someday. In the meantime, I’ll try the next best thing; running a surfboard shop right at my kitchen table.

Longboard, designed by board gaming legend Reiner Knizia, brings new elements to open-drafting set collection. Published by 25th Century Games, Longboard plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in under 30 minutes.

Set up: Each player starts with two cards in their supply. Place four common objective cards where everyone can see.


To become the biggest surf shop, players must shape high value boards. Players draft cards to craft longboards shoppers will go gaga over. Shop owners score points for stickers on a board, shop achievements, and completed objectives.

There are no set rounds in this game; players take turns in clockwise order.

On a player’s turn they must take two actions (you may take the same twice): Increase supply, Start or Extend a Board, Swap a Card and Use it.

Increase Supply

Draw one Board card from the top of the deck and add it face up to your supply.

A hand holds a green board card next to a red card and a yellow card.
Adding to my supply

Start or Extend a Board

Select one card from your supply to either create a new board or extend an existing one.

  1. All cards placed on a Board must be of the same color. Multi-color (wild) board cards count as any color.
  2. New Boards can’t start with wild cards.
  3. A player may have more than one Board of the same color.
  4. Each card placed on a board must have a value equal to or higher than the previously placed card.
  5. Cards should partially overlap, hiding earlier stickers.

Swap a Card and Use it

The active player may grab any number of cards from their supply and transfer them to another player’s supply. In return, they take exactly one card from their opponent’s supply. The card taken must have a lower value than the total value of the cards given. Immediately use the newly acquired Board card to start or extend a board in the build area.

Close Shop and Score

At the end of a player’s turn, they may choose to end the game if they have at least three shaped boards, one of which contains at least seven cards (in a four player game).

If no one chooses to close up shop, the game immediately ends after a player draws the last card from the Board deck.

Surf Shop Scoring

Scoring is simple. Tally points in four categories:

  • On fully shaped boards (four or more cards), gain one point for each board sticker.
  • Subtract points for any incomplete boards. Boards with only one card lose two points. Boards with 2-3 cards lose one point.
  • The player with the most shaped boards and the player with the longest board in their shop each earn five points.
  • Objective cards award points to players who meet the requirements. If there are any ties, tied players all receive points.

The proprietor with the highest score is the best Surf Shop on the beach!

Scoring Example

Longboard scoring
Total sticker points: 40 (unfinished red board stickers don’t count)
Deduct 1 point for unfinished red board
5 points for longest shaped board
10 points for three objective cards
Total score: 66 points


Card drafting is one of my favorite styles of game. I love having options and goals that sometimes differ from other players.

Longboard feels unique because the draft itself requires swapping cards with another player – without their say. There’s no hidden information (other than the deck); all cards are visible to all players. This drafting style combined with set collection makes for a fun, but challenging time at the table.

The end-game trigger for Longboard is unique. If a player has enough shaped boards they can “close up shop” and prevent others from getting any additional turns. But maybe they’d rather push their luck to continue shaping boards for a higher score.

The lack of hidden information in Longboard makes it easier for kids to join in. Small hands don’t have to hold a bunch of cards. They can see everything laid on the table, which lends itself to simpler decision making.

Many yellow board cards in Longboard

Surfin’ in Style

Longboard‘s appealing art comes from Tristam Rossin (also known for Tranquility and Pebble Rock Delivery Service). For a card game, it has awesome table presence that will turn heads at a convention. Included in the box are beach cards that function as a little thematic bling – jam your shaped surfboards in the sand.

Surf shop in progress

Wipe Out or Hang 10?

I had high expectations for Longboard, expecting that it would be a great game for family and friends. Reiner Knizia, the designer, is known for simple and accessible games for families. His L.L.A.M.A is a family game night favorite. Longboard made a similar splash with my crew, too.

Longboard is quick to setup and really easy to teach. The theme and art combination is totally rad. And with open information, kids can learn as they play.

The objective cards for end-game scoring leads to high replayability, and at the $15-20 price point there’s plenty of waves to catch.

Ready to be the big kahuna of surf shops? Find Longboard on Amazon, direct from 25th Century Games, or ask for it at your friendly local game store.

Objective cards from Longboard

The Family Gamers received a copy of Longboard from 25th Century Games for this review.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

  • 10/10
    Art - 10/10
  • 7/10
    Mechanics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Family Fun - 7/10


Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 20-30 minutes