Agree with everyone so far. More foam is better for sure. My bigger wave step up board on the west coast was a 6'6 which could handle big blacks and most anything else with a 7'2 mini gun that I broke out maybe 3-4 times per year. As far as beach break, commitment is key. Larger boards tend to hesitate and drop in a little later, but on the bigger waves, a 6'6 to me would turn and burn like any of my 5'11 standard shortboards... You will have to initiate turns a little sooner and plan you attack, but if you have nice shoulders and conditions, it actually becomes easier to turn and navagate the waves...
But unfortunately, as mentioned in other threads, there are no reefs and points to go to when the bacj breaks max out... So on many occasions, it could just be too big, or too choppy. So dont feel like you have to climb the mountain every time... Some days just arent meant to be... You can get an A for effort, but on big days, you may g out for an hour and get two waves. Dont beat yourself up... It happens.
Know you limits. Know your spots. Be safe and don't over do it. A lot of those epic east coast photos of guys being shacked in DOH conditions end with them getting swallowed up in a closeout. So if you arent going for broke trying to get cover shots, just know your limits.... But the only way to get comfortable is repetition. You have to just go... Your instincts will take over. You may sit out on the shoulder and dodge sets for 30 minutes, but once you calm down and see what going on out there, your wave will come and you will know its time to go.
Results 31 to 40 of 71
Thread: Big Waves vs. Small Waves
May 8, 2013, 04:16 PM #31
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
May 8, 2013, 04:20 PM #32
May 8, 2013, 04:24 PM #33
May 8, 2013, 04:39 PM #34
May 8, 2013, 04:54 PM #35
90's 6'6" 18 1/4 2 1/4. its a little thin for me now but its still in pretty good shape. i only use a few times a year but when i take it out it's like game on.
what type fins do you guys use on these days? i always use a fin with more rake. i feel it gives me a better bottom turn that gets me in the spot for a good down the line run.
May 8, 2013, 05:27 PM #36
I think the mental aspects are far more important than the equipment. Sure, it's important to have good gear, but none of that matters if you cannot focus and get the job done.
It comes down to fear. Big waves are scary. How scary depends on the level of comfort, which comes mostly from time spent in similar conditions. If you have never surfed a head-high day, it's pretty scary. If you have been around the block for a while, it's no big deal. The same goes for DOH and bigger. When the waves get really big, it's always scary (for me, at least) because there is always the possibility of getting hurt really bad.
Experience, aside from removing fear, also helps us to manage it. Just because you are afraid doesn't mean you cannot nail it and score a big one. You just need to learn to push that fear away from your mind and use your mental faculties 100 percent in doing exactly what you need to do. My gnarliest ride ever was in Hawaii at Logs. I don't want to say how big the wave was because I'd be tempted to lie :P, but all that matters is that it should have been scary as sh!t. It was big and hollow and I could see the lava spikes just inches below the surface as I was getting into the thing. The funny part is that I don't remember being afraid at all. Looking back, it seems scary to me. At that moment, however, it was all focus on what I needed to do. The rest of the universe, for that brief time, did not even exist. I bet the hard-chargers here (and I do not claim to be among them) have even better stories about instinct taking over in those critical moments.
May 8, 2013, 05:39 PM #37
May 8, 2013, 05:59 PM #39
May 8, 2013, 06:07 PM #40
For the wayyy outside sets look up and down the beach around you. When a big set rolls in 1-2 blocks north then a big set rolls in 1-2 blocks south your spot is probably next. Start moving outside a little so you have a head start.