Hello, I live in Panama City and recently surfing caught my intrest and I would like to start. I was hoping someone from the PCB area could give me some information on where a good spot to begin surfing would be, what type of board is best for gulf coast surfing, some tips on how to be safe, and how to actually surf :P I appreciate any advice that can be given. Thanks
there is rarely ever good surf in the panhandle, but when there is, it breaks well at st. andrews and st. george's island. it is very rare for these places to get any waves at all though. go to a local shaper in your area and talk to him about the board, not a big corporate level surf shop, they dont care what you ride, they just want your money. there is nothing that can be learned on the internet that will transfer well into the water. if you wanna learn you have to go out there with someone with some experience. but the only realistic way that you will ever get good at surfing, is if you move far far away from the gulf to somewhere with consistency and a good local surf culture
For starters ignore jddo9c! There are some pretty consistent spots along the PCB area and yes St. Andrews would be your best bet to learn. I would recommend starting with either a long board or a fun shape as these will last you long enough to find your own style and will work in the majority of the surf we have here. I personally like buying my boards from Kenny Brown down on the West end, but I have been surfing long enough to know what I want. For your first stick look on Craigslist or the local shops for a used one. Laura at Liquid Planet can help you, or Tony at Mr. Surfs has some pretty good specials this weekend. If you really want to learn to surf and are going to be in the area go and invest in an annual pass to the state park so that you have early morning access, and shoot me a line if you need some help. I have been teaching my own children and several friends how to surf for years and don't mind sharing what I love with anyone who wants to try it out.
the first piece of advice here on this thread was stinky.....if you have a board sport background id go with a 6'4 to 7'4 board.....there is alot of good advice on the internet on what size wave to start learning on.....usually get into waist deep water and ride the white water to start.....dont go to the good surf spot....go to a crappy break to build stamina water sense and get ur comfortable level up.....DONT EVER SNAKE ANYONE ON PURPOSE.....I practiced on empty beaches and line ups untill I was up to par with surf common sense.........go out with small waves whenever you can and practice x3