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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    north nj
    Posts
    7

    fear of paddling out help!!! xD

    so I've been surfing for a bit, still a beginner. I can stand up fine and catch waves fine but I find myself a little hesitant sometimes when it comes to paddling out to the lineup. Idk why, could be that i don't have a surfing partner, could be the deep water thing, idk. i do paddle to the back sometimes, but theres times where i just sit in front of the beach like a goon because i can't bring myself to do it, but when i'm out there i have no problem catching and riding a wave. what should i do, i know i'm being a p***y, xD.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    ocean city
    Posts
    24
    just look at everyone else out there and recognize that they are perfectly fine being out there and just do it

  3. #3
    If you paddle out back at times then you know what to do. Just do that the other times. Depending on what type of break you're at and what conditions are, sometimes the better waves are on the inside but not too close to the shore break as that sucks for a number of reasons. Especially if it's high tide at a beach with a steep pitch down the shore to the water, stay the hell away from that.

    What's holding you back from getting out the back, is it mental or physical? Are you comfortable with waves breaking there that are reasonable for your experience? When you have done it, has it been at different tides? If not, then don't push your limits too soon and wait to hunt waves you're both capable of taking off on and riding as well as being confident with and not panicking if you botch it and get thrown under because you will at times no matter how good you get. The guys here will either be shocked, proud, or both that I just said that about wave selection safety relative to skill and experience levels.

    A rip will help pull you out back if you know how to navigate one. There are also other channels at some breaks and tides you can paddle straight out back without dealing much with the impact zone where any waves are breaking and pushing whitewash to the beach.

    There are lots of threads and posts discussing paddling technique here so do a search. You can never get too good at duck dives and rolls so look those up on here as well. Then it's a matter of paddling endurance which is both aerobic and anaerobic. You can never have too much of that either. Search as much as you can on the archives because there are years of good posts from guys that haven't been on the forum for a while and won't respond here as they won't see it.
    Last edited by EmassSpicoli; Jul 30, 2013 at 03:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    north nj
    Posts
    7
    thanks, good advice. definitely holding me back is the mental aspect of it, I have no problem as far as the physical part goes. i only go out when the waves are reasonable for my experience like you say. and i think what my problem is, i'm afraid to wipe out and be held under water by an oncoming set, that and maybe the being swept out to sea thing as dumb as it sounds.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by badon View Post
    thanks, good advice. definitely holding me back is the mental aspect of it, I have no problem as far as the physical part goes. i only go out when the waves are reasonable for my experience like you say. and i think what my problem is, i'm afraid to wipe out and be held under water by an oncoming set, that and maybe the being swept out to sea thing as dumb as it sounds.
    Sounds like you're doing well and approaching it safely and responsibly. Careful with not being overconfident about being physically capable of handling certain conditions. If you want to survive then your least common denominator (biggest weakness) has got to be able to withstand the worst case scenario of those conditions. State champ pool swimmers and triathletes swimming in lakes or ponds by no means are instant all-stars in ocean swimming. It's a whole new ballgame and the earth and its will are much bigger, stronger, and powerful than all of us will ever be combined. You're heading out to the ocean with a breakable floatation device and even if you had nukes to set off it would take a while before you deliver any sort of blow to out planet.

    Concerning fear of the wipeout...that's one of the best parts, brah!!! It's like the rest of them: booze, women, skydiving, alligator wrestling, drag racing...if there's not the remote chance it can kill you, it's not that fun. Seriously though, non-life threatening wipeouts can be mad fun, especially if you still nailed part of your takeoff on a bigger wave or wiped out in a barrel (I've heard it can be dangerous) or trying certain maneuvers. The size of waves you get to enjoy riding will be severely limited if you wish to avoid any wipeouts at all. Simply because not knowing how to wipeout or deal with getting held under could be your demise when it happens and it will happen. You will hop on a wave that you're not ready for and probably not even know it.

    Because of the fact I hopped out in conditions I was no way fit for in my earliest stages, I've experienced being thrown under for a fairly long duration on a single wave. Have never been held under for more than one and that's not something anyone wants to do. For those who want to ride big waves, they have to be capable of surviving a 2 and 3 wave hold over and there's ways you can train and prepare for it without actually getting held under for 2 and 3 consecutive waves. In my case, I've experienced getting completely tossed off a fairly big wave multiple times and thrown under hard not knowing which way is up or down. Putting aside the fact that it was not the choice to make to be in that position, I've been there and am better for having been there. It doesn't mean I can jump out on any wave or even the same wave size and survive it every time at this point in my progression and it doesn't mean you should go out charging rogue waves so you will soon be able to ride them.

    Safely falling off your board even on a small wave requires certain techniques for optimal outcome. Learn the right way to fall off your board, both for yourself and those around you (you surfing safely is not limited to your own physical safety). Learn what to do when you're thrown under. Learn what to do in every possible situation you could find yourself in, both situations you can control but don't make the right choice as well as situations out of your control. Waves can close out on you when they looked great a second earlier when you decided to paddle into it. Things like that become less of a likelihood the more experienced you become because you'll know what to avoid and what to look for. Wave selection is one of the most critical skills of the best surfers in the world.

    The guys at Surf Simply (best videos ever for learning!) talk about it being a great success if you're a novice and you're catching 10% of the waves you go for. 10%. You're doing well says those experts if you're failing 90% of the time. Why? Because you're selecting waves that are very challenging at the current time but those are waves you'll want to be catching on the reg when you're intermediate and actually need to catch to get the reps for skills to become intermediate. That doesn't mean paddle into any wave you hope to someday ride at any point now, because falling off the back of the wave is far, far less consequential that eating it and going over the falls.

    Laird Hamilton is about as inhuman as Brock Lesnar but when he charges the world's tastiest, biggest and most dangerous waves he's accompanied by a jet ski partner to tow him in and rescue him if needed, plus another spotter on a jet ski that's outside the break in case the first responder (tow guy) gets in a dangerous spot. That's at a minimum. Why? Because even though it's Laird, the ocean is still the ocean and he's a drop in the bucket. That and if something happened to Laird surfing as we know it would cease to exist because SUP riding would spontaneously combust.

    If you're wondering why my previous post was encyclopedic in length, and that this one is no one-word answer either, please review the following facts:
    1) I have the propensity to write lengthy posts; less these days, but still do it.
    2) Writing it was my penance for the "8 to 10 episode".
    3) Reading it was the penance of certain forum members for the exponentially excessive reprimand they gave me.
    4) We are talking about safety and efficiency. You can never be too safe and efficient. If there are any inaccuracies with my statements, you'll be sure to see corrections from others and I'm glad for all of us that is the case.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by badon View Post
    thanks, good advice. definitely holding me back is the mental aspect of it, I have no problem as far as the physical part goes. i only go out when the waves are reasonable for my experience like you say. and i think what my problem is, i'm afraid to wipe out and be held under water by an oncoming set, that and maybe the being swept out to sea thing as dumb as it sounds.
    Listen man, I'm afraid of sharks. When I was younger, I would seriously have to force myself to paddle out on lonely dawn patrols. Once or twice, I even said "screw it" and just left the beach. Now, I have to just look back and laugh. Sharks are simply a part of surfing and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Equally so, there is always going to be the possibility that you get caught between sets. **** happens, dude. You just need to let go of this fear, beacuse there may come a day when you aren't able to surf and you're going to regret not paddling out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Gnomes Riding Giant Toothpicks Suck!
    Posts
    1,116
    Quote Originally Posted by dlrouen View Post
    Listen man, I'm afraid of sharks. When I was younger, I would seriously have to force myself to paddle out on lonely dawn patrols. Once or twice, I even said "screw it" and just left the beach. Now, I have to just look back and laugh. Sharks are simply a part of surfing and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Equally so, there is always going to be the possibility that you get caught between sets. **** happens, dude. You just need to let go of this fear, beacuse there may come a day when you aren't able to surf and you're going to regret not paddling out.
    Yep, same experience I had when younger. Don't let your mind get the better of you out there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    In a state of flux
    Posts
    2,966
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarter View Post
    Yep, same experience I had when younger. Don't let your mind get the better of you out there.
    ^^^this. if you can't do that then you probably should look for other activities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    236
    Quote Originally Posted by badon View Post
    thanks, good advice. definitely holding me back is the mental aspect of it, I have no problem as far as the physical part goes. i only go out when the waves are reasonable for my experience like you say. and i think what my problem is, i'm afraid to wipe out and be held under water by an oncoming set, that and maybe the being swept out to sea thing as dumb as it sounds.
    Always remember that you can simply turn back. When I was younger and not as strong I was always afraid when it was bigger and dumping that I would get caught out there. One time I went out by myself and was 'in over my head' so to speak. I turned around and just let the white water push me back in while I held on to the board. Ever since then, I've been fine. It sucks when you are paddling out, get caught insde and are just getting worked, but you can choose to not continue paddling out. You can go back to the beach. Just try to remember that you have an out.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    kim hammorck is the greatest women surfer of all time. if you saw her surf from a distance you'd think it was a dude. she has ridden some of the biggest Waimea waves of all time, man or women. and, she slams the lip with authority, plus does full blown real airs on a longboard (or shortboard). doesn't just pose and look pretty (not possible). she used to win all the bud tour stops back in the day. she's as hardcore as surfers get.