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Thread: Gulf Coast Woes

  1. #1

    Gulf Coast Woes

    I have a couple years experience in surfing and recently moved to the gulf of Florida around Sarasota/Venice area. When the waves are good here, there aren't usually many people at the spots I hit. I don't have a lot of experience surfing these beach-breaks. The problem I have is, the waves break at so many different spots and I'm wondering how far out I should be on these? I enjoy any wave size (quantity over quality for me) - I just like to have fun. It seems like I can't really gauge where I should be catching most of the good ones because I seem to just get thrown over the falls half the time (I'm guessing because of the occasional closeout). Even when I'm like 'oh okay I'll just paddle a little further out' and the same crap happens. Am I just reading the waves wrong or am I missing something? I just want to get the most fun out of my sessions but getting a little frustrated on the Gulf.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    stpete/sebastian
    Posts
    24
    Images
    6
    Hey man come to St. Pete this Tuesday to surf a local spot or two and paddle out with me an my buddy. Just PM me if your interested and Ill give you directions for your gps. Ill bring drinks, snacks and some medicine of the herbal variety.

  3. #3
    yo i lived down in charlotte county for a few years and used to surf manasota key and venice inlet when there is surf. if you're surfing manasota it's all about finding sandbars that are getting the swell at at an angle. most of the time the surf there is short period windswell and it's accompanied by ****ty winds too.

    sounds like you need to watch the surf for a little while longer before you paddle out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,479
    Quote Originally Posted by ninechances View Post
    I have a couple years experience in surfing and recently moved to the gulf of Florida around Sarasota/Venice area. When the waves are good here, there aren't usually many people at the spots I hit. I don't have a lot of experience surfing these beach-breaks. The problem I have is, the waves break at so many different spots and I'm wondering how far out I should be on these? I enjoy any wave size (quantity over quality for me) - I just like to have fun. It seems like I can't really gauge where I should be catching most of the good ones because I seem to just get thrown over the falls half the time (I'm guessing because of the occasional closeout). Even when I'm like 'oh okay I'll just paddle a little further out' and the same crap happens. Am I just reading the waves wrong or am I missing something? I just want to get the most fun out of my sessions but getting a little frustrated on the Gulf.
    It's the Gulf man, it's always been a bit challenging due to the type of conditions that normally occur, BUT there are definitely going to be days where it goes off, Debbie and Isaac both provided some very fun swell. Sounds to me that you just need more experience and getting use to the breaks. Based on your location I'd suggest going down to the Venice Jetty, largest man-made structure on the Gulf Coast if i'm not mistaken, it works really good on the south Jetty when the swell / wind is out of the N, NW, or NE, if it's out of the South, then jump over to the North Jetty, but it's not as good usually. I've had some EPIC sessions down there, but I also frequent Treasure Island / Sunset Beach area, just depends on the swell. You'll get it, just go out as frequest as there are waves because when it's flat, it's FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! Also, if you plan on surfing at least once per week, you will have to get use to the fact that you'll be driving 2 - 2.5hrs East to catch REAL waves. PM me if I want, grew up on the Gulf, native of 31yrs, but travel East almost every single week without fail.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ninechances View Post
    I just like to have fun. It seems like I can't really gauge where I should be catching most of the good ones because I seem to just get thrown over the falls half the time (I'm guessing because of the occasional closeout). Even when I'm like 'oh okay I'll just paddle a little further out' and the same crap happens.
    To me, it sounds like you are having trouble timing the wave, rather than positioning. Don't get me wrong, your positioning can be a problem, but if you constantly going over the falls, you are waiting too long to pop up. Surf a little closer to shore and pop up a little earlier. I hope this does the trick - it's hard to gauge issues through text. With this being said, go paddle out with SurfBum and enjoy the ride - wish I was close enough to enjoy the fine western medicine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,479
    Quote Originally Posted by dlrouen View Post
    wish I was close enough to enjoy the fine western medicine.
    +1 to this, anytime you are in the area you are more than welcome to hit me up, it's like that stuff grows on trees around here, weird...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DawnPatrolSUP View Post
    +1 to this, anytime you are in the area you are more than welcome to hit me up, it's like that stuff grows on trees around here, weird...
    I want to go tree climbing in Florida.

  8. #8
    Try to triangulate. Pick a building, palm tree or something that you can refer too in front of you, then to your left or right. Find a buoy, land mark or anything stationary and line yourself up. Definately helps me. Good luck and always have fun

  9. #9
    just to add to what some others said, it sounds like maybe your not getting enough speed to take off on the wave. The general rule of thumb is to match the speed of the wave, which means identifying that the wave is couming before it gets on top of you, and start paddling hard generating speed, once you feel the wave start to push you, pop up, it also helps to take off on a slight angle. Keep at it, don't get too frustrated and keep having fun!

  10. #10
    Stand up faster, I use to have the same problem. The truth is, I just had to start telling myself to stop being barney and just charge on the take off. Now any drop in feels better than the last. Don't get me wrong I still eat it when I miss read it, but once you get that stand up quicker you'll be enjpying the GC just like us up here in Pensacola. Surf the best you know how, it's just surfing brah.

    waterlogged