yep, practice holding your breath. Before I'd do my yearly pilgrimage to CR, I'd spend the month before, getting a base tan, practicing being hot, paddling up and down the beach, and holding my breath. One year I got reamed by a giant 4 wave set in Matapalo(23 footers). while being held under, I thought that since I could do 2.5 min in a tanning bed, I'd have no problem doing more under a true life drama situation.
Just keep telling your self.... its only water... its only water....
and practice.... practice... in time you will feel better!
Pick the days you go- wait for a small day with less wind- an example, here in Jersey when its pumping at 23ft, i dont go out... too big for me... but if its 21 ft, i will go out...you should be looking for those 2 to 3 ft days. pick a spot that the waves break well at and try to stay out of the 'good' surfers way while learning... im sure there are spots where ppl learn at and spots where the summer pros hit up.
It happens like that to me too sometimes, I'm still learning too. I went out to a break with a long board expecting the 1-2ft waves and was surprised by inconsistent head high sets, not stuff i'm used too. Being cold water still, I had the beach to myself, and thought it was too perfect not to try. I paddled out and had to turtle roll a lot, my surf cap kept flying off cause the waves were fast and I was slow in my 4/3. I caught a few but had bad rides and was frustrated at times caught inside, not being able to build momentum. After an hour that was more like the Endless Bummer, I finally gave in and rode one in on my belly (which was actually the most fun ride that felt really fast!) And once I was on the sand I realized what a learning experience that was and how humbled you can be by nature, and most important: It wasn't that bad. Next time will be better: and the next time was better.
Last edited by bassplayer; May 2, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
It's all part of the process my man. You have the right idea by getting out there, now all you gotta do is just keep going out as often as humanly possible and over time you will start feeling more and more confident. You eventually will get to the point where you embrace getting smashed by a wave and actually enjoy the feeling. You just gotta charge toward it, put your head down and just dig dig dig, you'll stuggle for a while like we all did, but one day sh*t just clicks.
IMO, the ocean is the most powerful thing on earth, so to have a fear of it is perfectly normal. I'll be honest, when I first started, the ocean showed me how little I was compared to it. The more times I surfed, the more confident and comfortable I got with it. I would research beginner waves in your area that will help you along with the process. Cowell's seems like a great place to learn and meet a lot of other surfers trying to learn. I'm sure there are other areas around you that are somewhat similar. Just think of it this way, the more time you stand on the beach contemplating to go in, the less waves you will catch to learn. The more waves you get out there and catch, the quicker the learning process will be. 3 years from now, you will say to yourself, I wish I started earlier. Good luck and stick with it, will change your life for the better.
I'm totally serious here. Have you ever heard of the show WIFE SWAP? Well they take two families and switch the matriarch.
Well how aboot SURF SWAP? Yo, I'm not being a wise guy, either. Summer's coming here in the east and NJ is a great palce to get accustomed and confident in the water. The ocean is very user friendly here. No RV sized sharks, the water should be warm, and you'll definately feel more at ease than at zoo'ed out spots with Flea and Ratboy flying around or the spooky spots around Monterey/Carmel.
So we can switch places for a period of time.....It will do us both good.
On another note: learning as a kid is different because when you're 14 you are fearless(well many teens are). I know I threw myself out on any day no matter how big and sloppy and crappy it was. Today I'm like, " Nahhhh I think I'll pass on that..." Getting/being older friggin sucks. The world conditions you to be more cautious and fearfull of things. I'm such a sissy today compared to my oldself in all aspects of life. My God, it's horrible. Jeez, what happened to me, dudes ???? LOL Ahhhhhhhhh. Man, thanks OP dude, now I'm all contemplating my new sissy self. I really think I have to just say F it and hitchike across the country to get my mojo back.
Oh, if all else fails with the anxiety, maybe a little xanax will condition you out of your problem. Just take a low dose, and for God's sakes don't drink on that stuff or you'll find yourself sitting out at Mavericks one day. Good luck.