I too had this problem at one point. The best thing to do is stay outside further and get the wave earlier.If you do find yourself going for one too far inside, stand up fast and as soon as possible. There will be a fine line between a premature stand up and the right time to pop up when doing this. Also begin standing much farther back on the board than normal to avoid a nose dive and gain control, then move forward to regain speed. Some longboards have little to no rocker which will make your nose diving problem worse. As far as duckdiving on a longboard, fuhgedaboudit.
To the OP, I suggest you focus on taking off on an angle. On a high-rocker short board you can be facing straight towards the beach and then wip a bottom turn, but on a longboard, especially if you're new to it, you need to cheat a little and take off early at a bit of an angle. To start with, take off facing the direction that the wave is going. It helps to get in early, but an alternative if you're a little late is to take off in a less critical section of the peeling wave where it is not quite as steep. The key here is to angle the board, paddle hard, wait until the wave is pushing you, and then pop up. You'll already be pointing in the correct direction so no real bottom turn is needed.
Once you get the hang of that, you can experiment taking off facing in the direction towards the breaking wave (eg, if it's a right, point a little to the left on take off). Then when you pop up, plant that back foot and wip the board around as you hit the bottom of the wave. If you do it right, your momentum will carry you back up the wave and slot the back of the board in the mid-to-upper part of the curl. You can then cross step right up to the tip (with practice of course), or pump down the wave again.
I suggest you get a few longboarding movies and watch how they do the take off - bottom turn - trim.
base coat only on the rails where you put ur hands. works like a charm
I agree also that you have to be back farther on the takeoff,Now in then I use my buddies 8ft and have the same problem.I think you just have to experiment until you find the right spot where your nose will stay up.Dont let that 9 footer hit you in the head.ouch
I just learned to surf this year, but will give you a beginner tip that will guarantee to get the young, experienced sufers howling, but it works. I too surf on a 9'0, and with the waves here at Carolina Beach, I pearl and get pitched quite a bit. I start very early, and paddle like mad, and many times I get on the wave, but they stand up so quickly here that I still pearl. So, I stay on my knees or continue to lay on the board until after the wave breaks, then I stand up late. Unfortunately, it gives you fewer options of what you can do with the wave once you are up, but for me, I can ride all the way into the sand and jump off the board without even getting my toes wet! (I can here them laughing right now!) This may also relate to your problem: alot of times the waves here are tall enough, but don't seem to have a great deal of power. If I stand on the back of my board, it's like slamming on breaks and I just drop right off of the wave. I have found that once I am up, my sweet spot seems to be more than half way up the length of my board, which seems really weird, but that's where I have to stay to keep enough speed to stay on the wave and ride it all the way in. I hope some of this beginner knowledge helps you out with your surfing!!
As others have already said, you probably need to stand farther back while taking off. Plus, it sounds like you may be paddling too far out in front of the wave. Maybe you need to stall a bit just before you stand up. This will keep the nose up and keep the tail in the water more.
I hope that explains what I'm thinking.;)
You are probably taking off too steep/deep/late or you are standing way too far forward on the board. Try not to point the board straight at the beach when you takeoff, go at an angle pointing more down the line. Try and take off a bit more towards the shoulder as opposed to the peak.
You should be nowhere near the middle of the board when you first stand up. In order to crank a smooth bottom turn on a longboard, your back foot needs to be back about where the fin is. As you come out of that first bottom turn then focus on shuffling your feet forward (to get the board more in trim). When you get that down, don't shuffle your feet - cross step.
Arching your back will also help keep the nose out of the water. Once the wave picks you up a bit, arch your back as hard as you can and pop up quickly. For some logs you'll need to be surprisingly far forward while paddling to be in the sweet spot. Really just takes repetition.