I know this might fall on deaf ears knowing how I was at 14; but there is a great, and funny, book out there called a "Kooks Guide to Surfing" by Jason Borte. Besides highlighting the kookiness out there he has a nice section on competition that both Johnny and Spicoli channeled that basically says Competition's help you learn, meet more people in the surf family, and challenge yourself to see what you can do. He also gives some practical insight on how to compete (know the rules) and how to win not just on skill (if you wait for that perfect wave all heat and it never comes you score a 0; but if you get up and ride you get points).
It's a pretty good book that I give to my buddies each year when they think of taking up surfing in a "don't be that guy" on the break.
My girls, though half your age, will be in their second competition this year. They don't go to win but to have fun; but its funny that when no competitions are on they are always asking to go surfing so they can "be better" next year.
Gonna have to check that book out. I'm going to try to compete in a contest in town next spring. I don't have high expectations, just a bucket list thing. Hell, I may like it and try to do more.
Good point on pushing yourself, improving skills, and learning how contests work. Honestly, I'm pretty much clueless about the rules of competition so this should be interesting.
I'll be sure to post and brag about my 37th place finish out of 30 competitors next spring.
oh, i'm quite stoked bro. but when i was 14 sitting in 2 foot mush trying to catch crap i wouldn't even look at if there wasn't a 'contest' on while 80 pound kids slop-hopped to the shore before doing some lame azz close out snap to 'beat' me i was most definitely, not stoked. i agree that there are some positive aspects to the contest scene, but i'm just saying if you are a 6'3, 14 year old east coast grom there may be better ways to spend your saturday mornings.
6'3" at 14? You should pick up a basketball when you're not surfing. I was about your size at that age and grew to be a pretty big dude. Basketball paid for my college education. At your age, try everything man. It's a great big world out there.