so, i've lived in Toms river, nj my whole life and only now am picking up a surfboard...i know i know,, WTF happened. better late than never is what i say.
i received a board for graduation, 6'7" Kechele, and have gone out a few times, but i suck. i know i can go the easy route and get on a big ol funboard, but im trying to do this the hard way goddamnit. so for starters:
pointers? i think my main issue is that i try to pop up way after the wave has me.
booties? i have a 3/2 full suit that im gonna start rippin in this week, but should i get some booties (and do you have some you want to sell me)
first of all, thanks for not asking where to paddle out, or if the waves will be good.
getting a fun board will mellow out the learning curve big time. your first goal is to be able to get up on your board and ride the open face of the wave. the timing and board skills necessary are wayyyy harder with a short board rather than a nice thick, wide nose fun board. also, you need to build up paddling strength to enter the wave early with a shorty - fun boards paddle easier and enter the wave sooner.
i'd say ride a fun board for a couple weeks or months till you get the hang of dropping in and riding down the line, and maybe even doing some mellow turns. then switch to the short board and learn how to pump down the line - a whole different beast.
well, i started on a shortboard about a year ago, and i feel like i would definitly be a much better surfer if i would have listened to others advice and gotten a longboard. like he said above me. the timing and effort is much more critical on a shortboard. there are just way too many things to sqrew up to even tell what your doing wrong. get a longboard bro. you need to master the basic motions first. then once you have that down you can go with a more advanced board. I started last June on a 6'2 shortboard... i have just recently been developing a bottom turn within the last couple of monthes. GO BUY A LONGBOARD!! You can always keep the shortboard you have now and use it when you start to progress
for sure. go borrow or buy an old longboard. doesn't have to be anything fancy. something around nine feet. it is much easier to paddle and more stable to ride. even when you progress to the shortboard, keep the longboard for small mushy days.
try to go out on smaller, less steep days while learning, and for pete's sake stay away from crowds. learning the ropes can be challenging enough without having to listen to a bunch of crap from the local shreddas.
paddling is the most important part of surfing. paddle a lot. even if it is flat, go out and paddle. good luck and remember to have fun!
Dont worry about riding an actual wave at first... start just trying to catch waves in the whitewater so you figure out how to balance yourself on a board. This shouldn't take too long to get the hang of. After that it comes down to timing, paddling, positioning, and popping up.
That is kind of a small board to learn on... but you'll probably like it down the road. Can you get hold of a funboard or longboard for a couple sessions? Don't need to ditch what you have, but it might help just to take out something bigger a few times while you get the hang of it.
The best thing you can do is watch people surf. Watch surfing on youtube and surf videos and people at your beach. Surfing is hard to teach because it happens so quickly and, many times, you dont have time to think about what to do. You'll basically know what feels right when you do it and then develop a technique. I would get a longboard though to learn on and for small days, don't get a funboard because you'll have no use for it when you learn because you'll wanna pull shortboard manuevers and won't be able to.
p.s. dont let anyone discourage you from this site.
If and when you get a big board, think safety first. You're gonna get caught in the impact zone no doubt. Keep distance from others in case you have to bail. And, if your under, make sure you cover your head with one arm while the other arm emerges first in case your board is wailing. An 8ft funshape is a good all around size to help develope your skill.
Go out with friends that are really good. Not just okay...real good. Learn from their work ethic, dont talk, stay out of the way and go out all the time. And also, put that shortboard away for at least 2 years... get a funboard dude.
I know you don't want to hear this but like everyone is saying a longer board wil help you in the long run. I grew up surfing shortboards only. I struggled for a long time and got better in tiny increments. I remember watching some other guys my age and was wondering how they were getting into waves so early (a big plus) and ripping. I only know now that although they were riding shortboards they were long for their size. I continued to ride short boards until my mid to late 20's and did improve but not by much. When I put on some weight I figured I had hit the wall and resigned myself to riding a longboard fo the rest of my life. Well it was the best thing I every did for my surfing, in short it taught me to really surf instead of struggling against the equipment and the waves. It forced me to be very deliberate in how the boards turn, to slow down and really look at what the wave was doing and a whole bunch of other things that I would never have learned with the shortboard. When I started to loose the weight I had put on I slowly went back to shortboards but never forgot what I learned on the log. If I were you I would buy or borrow a longboard and paddle out every chance I got. You can ride a 9" + board somewhere almost everyday and you will learn tons. Doesn't mean you can't grab the shortboard here and there to give it a shot.