I just had an encounter with a very nice surfer out in the lineup today.
Lately I've been using my dad's board and I'm not totally used to it yet. Today the waves were a little smaller than they have been the last couple times I went out and as the tide came up I was having trouble catching as many waves as I'm usually able to catch because the waves weren't forming up as nicely.
I guess my frustration was showing because an older surfer came up to me and politely asked "may I make a suggestion?" I said sure and he told me that I'd paddling for the waves lying too far back on the board. I guess I wasn't properly trimmed as I was paddling for waves and that's why I was having trouble. Sure enough I started paddling a little further forward and it made a world of difference.
I'm not an amazing surfer but I'm also not a beginner. It was a little embarrassing to have made such a "rookie mistake," but it was really nice that there was somebody in the water nice enough and polite enough to point it out in a non-judgmental way. I guess sometimes it's hard to see what you're doing wrong when you're in the moment.
Anyway, I just figured I'd share this because I thought it was an instance of "this is how surfing's supposed to be."