I'm still in the very beginning stages of learning how to surf, and am really struggling with both getting up to speed to catch the wave and popping up. Was hoping that some of you might share some tips that would help. Iíve been reading everything on here that I can find on the subject and just hoping for some more input from you guys that make it look so easy.
I have a 9'8" longboard thatís got a lot of volume, and I really should be able to catch a lot more waves than I do, but I'm really struggling with paddling fast enough to stay out in front of it and get on plane, especially on smaller waves for some reason. I've been searching YouTube for any longboarding videos I can find that actually show the guy paddling into the wave and popping up so that I can maybe see what Iím doing wrong, but that seems to be cut out of most of the videos and you only get to see the ride after the popup.
The ones I have found that show the whole process make it look almost effortless, some with the guy only paddling 4 or 5 seemingly gentle strokes before heís up and riding.
Iíve been experimenting with positioning incrementally more and more forward on the board so that Iím not pushing as much water while paddling, and I think Iíve found where the sweet spot is for my board between pushing water and going nose under, but I still have to start paddling way early and give it everything Iíve got only to get passed up almost every time.
When I do catch a wave and go to pop up, it feels like I weigh 2 tons and I really struggle to get enough distance between my body and the board to get my feet under me. When I do, and can stand up, I keep my balance pretty well for a fun ride, but getting there is killing me for some reason. Iíve been practicing the pop up technique at home with tape on the floor marking a center line and foot position to help build the muscle memory and itís really easy there,,, popping up in one fluid move with my feet landing right on the marks most of the time. In the water on the board it feels completely different, like Iíve suddenly gained a massive amount of weight.
I was out from 5:30 am until 8:30am last Friday and Saturday with some decent swells from Arthur coming in, paddled for many, many waves, but only actually caught 7 and got vertical just once in 6 solid hours of trying.
Having a blast, but really struggling to get the basics down right nowÖ.
Thanks in advance for any tips you all might have, and the inevitable heckling that Iím sure will be included as well.
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Thread: Beginner technique questions
Jul 9, 2014, 03:50 PM #1Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2014
- New Bedford, MA
Beginner technique questions
Jul 9, 2014, 04:10 PM #2
you need to sit deeper or nearer to the breaking wave. those guys doing litttle or no paddle take offs are taking off right where the waves is breaking. not a great place to be for beginners. as you feel more comfortable work your way closer and closer to the curl.
Jul 9, 2014, 04:22 PM #3
Lot's of pull ups and bench presses! Paddle faster = more waves, Paddle faster = catch waves earlier. Catch waves earlier = more speed = "lighter" feeling ride.
Or you can get a 15 ft long canoe to surf from a magical Gnome that hangs out with Hobbits and Wizards and
sh!t like that.
Jul 9, 2014, 04:24 PM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
- Long Buried Island
The best advice is to have confidence. When paddling for the wave convince yourself that you are going to ride this wave, get rid of all doubts in your mind. It sounds silly, but it works. Also make sure your head is over the board and your eyes are looking to where you want to go towards.
Jul 9, 2014, 04:26 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
- Atlantic City
when catching the wave remember nose of board perpendicular to beach.
if not that than a 90 deg angle to the wave DIRECTION i.e. where its headed.
don't start cutting til you're sure you have the wave.
also re-consider your conditioning - good, fair, poor etc.?
consider hitting the pool if you really want this sport ( and i think most would say you do…)
if you do master the sport you'll look back at where you are now and smile.
Jul 9, 2014, 04:53 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2014
- Marlton, New Jersey, United States
Keep doing what you're doing, experience comes in time. Exercise out of the water to stay in shape and spend as much time as you can trying to catch waves. Most importantly, do not let yourself get frustrated. Have fun out there and if you screw up and fall, get back on your board and paddle back out. The more you do it the more your paddling muscles will grow making it easier to get out can get into waves. You will learn in time my young padawan.
Do push-ups and crunches (sit-ups). Start about 2 weeks before your surf day(s) and alternate with push ups one day, then sit ups the next. Once you can do 15 push ups, start trying to do another set of 15...and so on.
On the crunch days, try to do 30 the first day. When you can get past 30, try for 50...keep upping it until you can do 60. Just this little workout will have you popping up like it's instinct.
If your legs are weak, try 25-30 non-weight squats every other day. (I also mix in some bicycle riding for cardio and quad work...but endurance may be jumping the gun for you.)
Start paddling early for the wave you want...really early. That way, you have a better chance of getting the board on a plane before the wave gets to you.
Jul 9, 2014, 05:09 PM #8
Jul 9, 2014, 05:10 PM #9
Time in the water. That's it. I started almost 3 years ago, and I used to only get out once a month (due to location). When I moved to the coast, I started hitting it a couple times a week, and that helped a ton. I still have some issues catching the really big HH/HH+ waves, which is purely a confidence thing. Anything chest and less is now fairly easy to catch. If you were out in the big Arthur swell, I can see how you wouldn't catch much. Start smaller if you can. I think waist is perfect for a beginner.
Jul 9, 2014, 05:48 PM #10
If I had to guess, you still aren't far enough forward on the board. The nose should be just above the waterline. Without seeing a vid I can't say how far "just" is but experiment until you are starting to pearl more often, then move back a little bit. When you find the spot that works best for you, mash a little ball of wax right under your nose so you can lay on the board in the same place again.
I'm no instructor but I would tend to disagree with the "point straight at the beach" idea. You're on a 9'8" board and the smaller learning type waves are going to want to lift the tail of your board and pearl your nose if you are pointing perpendicular to the wave. Try aiming the board somewhere between perpendicular and 45deg. to the wave face. This kind of depends on the type of wave too. If you're on a mushy, slopey type wave, straight to the beach may be fine but if there's any steepness/curl to the wave, try adding a little angle to your takeoff.
good luck. the most basic skill in surfing is also one of the hardest things to learn as a beginner.