By this forum's standards, I too am a kook. Mainly because a) I don't surf year round and b) my main weapon is a longboard. So be it. Where we differ is our past. I had the fortunate circumstance of growing up spending my summers in Stone Harbor and Avalon. I started on a 6'4" single fin swallowtail from Heritage in 1976, back when Heritage in Sea Isle and Kona in Wildwood were the only surf shops south of Surfer's Supplies in OCNJ. I progressed through the twin-fin era, and surfed a Cheyne Horan-esque no-nose 5'9" Quad. Somewhere along the way I was given a 10' Vintage Weber Performer by a lady who was happy to get it out of her garage. All the LB haters can hate all you want, but IMO, every surfer should have a LB in their quiver. I now have a high performance LB with all sorts of rocker (not a wave hog paddle cheater) that is suitable for all sorts of conditions, but not everything. I'll grab my smaller boards when necessary.
So, unlike you, I have plenty of surfing experience to rely on, but our circumstances are similar. Job and family inland, yet desire to surf, and more so in the warmer months. (I ride the white waves in the winter.) I live near DC, and surf anywhere from Wrightsville Beach up to LBI when I get in the water, as infrequent as that may be. I still get out there and have fun.
You got lots of advice on how to help get in shape for surfing, but even those in top shape can get "denied" when paddling out, especially on a shortboard (harder to paddle) at a beach break (no channel) and with a short period wind swell (little time between the waves.) It is not always about conditioning and stamina (but those sure can help.)
My advice to you, based on my own experience:
- Watch other surfers paddle out. Watch where they go, when they go, how they go. Experienced surfers know all sorts of things to help them get out to the lineup.
- Choose the right board for the conditions. You have a quiver, use the appropriate board. Steep, fast waves, peeling down the line breaking top to bottom, grab the short board, anything else, choose either fun board or LB. If you see surfers "hopping" on their shortboards to make sections, use the funboard or LB.
- Learn the best way to get through the waves for each board. Learn to duck dive the shortboard. Learn to turtle roll the longboard (this is only necessary if the surf is big).
Stay stoked, have fun, be respectful.
Thanks Capt! You always offer me encouraging, positive vibe replies! Thanks for understanding and empathizing with me here :)
Gruvi its all about you dude. Ive so grown to love you on this site and cant wait till you report back to us all of your awesome progress !!! Ill give you my tip too man .
Traveling to different surf places and taking a lesson at each place from a different instructor really helped me a lot. Sharpens the changing conditions deal bro.
So yes please keep us apprised of your situation and let us know some more stuff about you personally.
Do you guys go to the Chincoteague side of Assateague? Or Maryland/Ocean City end?
Gruvi, you should sell me your Levitator. I will even take you out to lunch at 3 bros in Belmar.
Man thats great to hear- much like everyone else has said on this site- MAKE SURE YOU STICK WITH IT!!!
It takes ALOT of time to learn and thats consecutive time... which is why many say to surf in the winter... so you dont forget what you learned in the fall...
Keep it up bro- make every effort to get to the beach. for instance- this week - jersey looks like almost every morning there is 2 to3 ft waves and offshore- perfect for learning. but only in the morning. so get up early and drive and surf before work!
Keep up the stoke! by this time last year you where out like everyother day... continue!!!!
gruvi: Go with the burpee suggestion too--those things will kick your @$$. I just started doing them regularly. Great for fast-twitch, upper body, lower body and cardio.
Make sure you do them on the sidewalk or in a crowded park--anywhere the most people can witness it. Wear a hot pink and neon green wetsuit if possible.
I also found that when away from the Ocean for long periods of time to keep your "stoke" high make sure you stay involved with the surf world by watching competitions, burning through surf magazines, etc. My favorite? Reading surf travel books while deployed. Nothing turns a great sandbox of the middle east into my favorite surf spots in my mind better then a great book.