Like most of the guys have said. Just keep at it. Study every video, watch other surfers. swim, work your core big time. Its really where its at. Paddle paddle paddle and get strong. Practice good surf etiquete. that will get you far in the lineup. Dont just stand straight up. thats most peoples problem. Stay low... do the hulla. Try your friends boards. Most guys I surf with will work constantly on one board for a long time then change over. I pretty much ride a fish but its fun to change up with a heavier board and work the arms and diffferent turining patterns.
I agree with most of the others - it is about water time - surfing has a steep learning curve - that's why I suggest you keep the shortboard, but put it aside, and get a used longboard beater - then you'll be in the water a lot more time, given the crap that's been rolling in - after you get more water time on the long board and get a little more comfortable, learn how to drop in on somebody (kidding), but learn the rules of the road, then try out the shortboard again. You'll prob want both.
become a strong paddler which you can do on any board. beginners focus on standing up too much when they'd get better faster by concentrating on paddling
Well said, most places that give surf lessons contribute to this mind set by starting out 100 pound 13 year olds on 8 foot funshapes. takes learning to paddle out of the equation, but the parent gets the shot of the kid standing up, instructor gets good tip from stoked parent, everybody goes home happy, and the kid still cant paddle.
I was reading the new surfer mag the other day and caught the article about "Surf with the Pro's" where people drop big $ to go on Indo trips with Rasta and Shane Dorian. It all boiled down to 3 basic tips that apply to 98% of non-pro surfers-
1. Stay low on the board.
2. Widen your stance
3. Probably the most surprising to hear from those guys- Ride a bigger board and get your wave count up.
Yo the 6'8 is not so bad for your body size. The most common mistake newbies make is that they lay to far back on the board when paddling for a wave which makes the nose stick up too far making it almost impossible to drop in. When paddling, your sternum needs to be right on the balance point of the board. If your sternum and hips are in the right place you should be able to control the way the board floats by arching your back ....or laying more flat. Arch your back to bring the nose up and of course the opposite of that is to lay more flat to bring the nose down. When paddling for a wave if the nose of the board is too high you will never drop in. You have to be able paddle effectively and balanced before you can catch a wave and you have to catch a wave before you can surf. You will probably have to pearl a few times until you figure out how to control the plane of the board.