Hey I don't know if you ever read the surf article in the beachcomber newspaper, but the guy that writes it gives lessons, I think his # is in the paper. You should definately talk to him, he is a veteran in the water, and a friend of mine had lessons from him and was pleased. Pick up a paper and check him out.
And just some advice, I tried surfing on my good friends shortboard alot and had a tough time, but recently got lent a longboard and it is sooo much easier. Even if you want to eventually ride fishes and shortboards, a log is a great place to start.
I have been surfing for 7 years and have given lessons for a surf shop back home in NJ. I am a senior at salisbury university and If you are interested I can give you lessons for 20$ an hour. You can rent a long board from chauncy and I can give you lessons right on 30th. Let me know if your interested.
My best advice that I could give you when I was struggling to learn is to practice your pop-ups. That for me was the biggest challenge–getting up lopsided or not quick enough creates problems dropping in which, if you run into trouble there, the rest is not possible.
What I did was practice pop-ups in my house, basically imagining a board under me, in a sort of push-up position. Then go right from prone position and bring your feet under you without dropping to a knee (and make sure your feet align as if there was a board under you). I also did this on my bed which made for an unsteady surface helping my balance a little more. That, for me, was when everything clicked. My next session out i popped up and made my drops without a problem, letting me focus on other aspects (going down the line, turning, etc.)
Maybe if you ask your old man real nice he'll give you some pointers for free. Which gives rise to an interesting question- how many of you out there actually took lessons and how many started from skim boarding or sponging? Just curious. If you like, I can give you some free pointers or beach side lessons if you like. Just say the word and I'll see what I can do to accomodate. I've got time, plenty of it.
the first thing you need to do is get yourself a bigger board. The smaller the board the longer it will take for you to pick it up. The wider and longer the board, the more stable it is. I would suggest if you are just starting out, get yourself a board bigger than 7 foot. Possibly a fun board. Once you master it then go back to your thinner faster short board.