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Thread: Beginner technique questions
Jul 9, 2014, 05:48 PM #12
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.
All good advice above. Check out Longboarders Start Up by Bill Stewart. He breaks down the questions you ponder very thoroughly. I read it when I was a newb and it helped alot. Aloha and enjoy!
Jul 9, 2014, 07:20 PM #14
Take your board to a nice calm flat water lake and paddle paddle paddle. Concentrate on making as little sound as possible entering and leaving the water and keeping your head and torso as straight as possible (i.e. no wobbling side to side). Efficiency, not speed or power, is the key. Get to where you have a really efficient stroke. After a while you will intermittently hit it right and you will notice you paddle and glide a lot faster. Get the stroke right and THEN work on paddling harder and faster. Do burst paddles of 5-6 at a time and work on getting those bursts as efficient as when you are just cruising.
If you don't get the stroke rt you will just be paddling harder and faster but wasting even more energy. Repetition repetition repetition until you can paddle flat calm water for long distances and not even have to think about it anymore. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to catch that wave once you learn how to paddle properly, and will make getting out and maneuvering around much easier.
Jul 9, 2014, 07:35 PM #15Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2014
- New Bedford, MA
Thanks for all the tips guys! Very much appreciated!
I'm in pretty good overall physical shape, but definitely need to work on endurance conditioning of the muscles used for paddling. I'm pretty sore after last weekend. At 6’3” and 205lbs, I could probably stand to lose 10 or 15 lbs as well. It seems that for some reason I don’t burn as many calories pushing 40 years old in a 60hr/week office job as I used to when I worked outdoors and was in the gym regularly.
I’m determined to get this though.
Do you guys think I’m best off continuing to work at it on my own like I have been, or do you think there’d be any significant value in taking some lessons at some point soon? I usually pick things up pretty quickly on my own, and have no qualms with paying my dues in the school of many falls. However, I do know a guy who owns a surf shop and offers lessons, and have been debating whether or not it would be worth the $. I’d hate to spend the dough on whatever lessons would cost if I’m just likely to hear something like, “Yeah, you’re on the right track, you just need more practice.”
Jul 9, 2014, 08:30 PM #16
- Join Date
- Jan 2014
- Marlton, New Jersey, United States
if you have a buddy has a surf shop and gives you a lesson, as long as you learn one new thing it will be worth the money regardless of whether you hear if your on the right track or not. there's no set bar to reach in surfing, no plateau to hit. just go out there and have fun. and if you get a lesson from someone who's been surfing for a lot longer than you, chances are you're going to gain some knowledge by spending time with them. if you want my two cents and you have the money for a lesson, go for it
Jul 9, 2014, 08:44 PM #17
Screw the lessons, the best post in this thread is from ZaGaffer, he breaks it down perfectly. Read that over and over and then commit it to memory. Then go out and do exactly as he says over and over again until it's 2nd nature like riding a bike. You don't need lessons, I didn't take them, and most of the people I know who can surf didn't take them either. It's mostly going to be like you said, unless you get an instructor who #1 cares and #2 knows how to surf well themselves and are good at teaching it. I find that it's not very easy to tell someone what to do while in the water, they almost never listen because they are too focused on not falling or flipping the board over, worried about the wave crashing on their head or just simply overwhelmed with it all.
Start small and work your way up. You'll need plenty of water time before you finally get it dialed in on the regular. Nothing wrong with that, we all went through it. Some learn faster than others. You have the right board for learning, the right attitude, now just put in the continued effort and don't give up. It'll click one day and the rest as they say will be history.
Couple tips that I can add that I didn't see in this thread, 1. Don't start paddling too early, so many people tell you to do this but I find you can actually outrun the wave and when it finally breaks you are too far in front and it just smashes you with white water. Get closer to the wave as it's approaching and turn around in enough time to get a good 4-8 strokes.
2. I find that if I start paddling slow but long / powerful and gradually speed up my paddling as the wave is approaching I tend to catch more waves than if I just paddle hard and fast or slow and deliberate, it's all about timing as many have said. If the waves are moving slow then don't paddle too fast, if the waves are coming in really fast then you'll need to generate more speed before hand. Long story short, don't outrun the wave, be in the sweet spot ZaGaffer talks about.
Last edited by DawnPatrolSUP; Jul 9, 2014 at 09:05 PM.
Jul 9, 2014, 08:52 PM #18
I got the best and simplest advice from a surfing video. In it a young kid is asked what advice he would give a beginner surfer. Without hesitation he replies," Paddle hard and stay focused." Simple and straight to the point.
Have fun, keep plugging away and success will follow. Watch those around you who are already accomplished surfers and you will pick up valuable lessons.
Jul 9, 2014, 08:54 PM #19Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
You're getting some solid advice here. A lesson is okay to get basic orientation, after that its all you brotha.
In your living room put a piece of tape on the carpet to mark the center of your board and practice popping up over and over. Toes on one side of the tape, heels on the other.
Go out and paddle---alot. Find your spot on the board where the tip of the nose is 1-2 in. out of the water, shoulders and head up. Practice changing your paddle speed from slow to fast to sprint (fast as you possibly can). When you paddle into a wave you need to sprint paddle. When you start to feel the wave moving the board, get ready and pop up. If you stall in the wave you need one or two more paddles.
If you pearl (catch the nose of the board - cover your head with your arms so you don;t get bonked. Next time move your weight toward the tail a tiny bit and try again.
For positioning in waves, watch where other guys sit in relation to breaking waves, watch waves, watch how waves break, try to get used to the idea that a wave is going to break on your head.
After you catch waves and ride straight you'll need to figure out how to paddle straight into a wave to catch it and then yank the board to one side while popping up so you can set trim and actually surf a wave.
PLEASE stay out of the way of other surfers (very important for new guys). Nothing pisses folks off like a guy who hasn;t figured it out ruining a ride for others.
That's lesson 1....$35 please
Last edited by sharknado; Jul 9, 2014 at 08:58 PM. Reason: grammar
Jul 9, 2014, 09:04 PM #20
like most of the people on here said,u just have to keep with it.surfing isn't something u can learn in a day,or a week,or even a month.getting pushed into whitewater is easy but its far from surfing.everyone starts at the bottom.to be able to paddle out on ur own and catch ur own waves takes time.
timing and commitment and confidence is key.dont worry about excercizing your body,thats for dorks.doing pushups and sit ups might make u look good,but it wont help with your surfing.the best advice I can give is try to spend as much time in the water as possible.thats the only way ur gonna learn to surf.dont bother watching videos on youtube its all bullshyt.it doesn't help.i watched a billion Kelly slater videos and I still cant surf like him.its really mind over matter and not being afraid to take a fall.once u got ur wipeout game down,u will push urself harder because u know u can handle what the sea throws at u.
so start off on a beach with a crumbly wave,sit there for a half hour watching how the waves break and if theres any other surfers watch what they are doing.with a longboard u have different options on how to catch a wave.u can catch it early,or u can sit a little on the inside ,wait till the whitewater hits u,stand up,and try to go down the line to where the wave is still breaking.its all about the feeling,u know when to go when u feel urself lifted up.when I started I always sat too far out and il paddle for the wave and try to stand up even tho it never lifted me and got nowhere fast.u just paddle til u get lifted up,stand up straight with ur knees bent,dont crouch down because u will fall over,try not to put too much weight on ur front foot and glide