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  1. #31
    Honest question, and please don't take this the wrong way--why do you want to surf? I see so many adult beginners these days, and I guess I just don't get it. When I was a kid, surfing seemed cool, it was fun to goof off in the water with other adolescents, it was fun trying to dodge the older guys, all that. Now if I step back from it it just all seems kind of juvenile, I can't imagine being 40 years old and thinking it was something I wanted to take up as a hobby. And in my mid 30s, I long ago came to the realization that I will never really be that good at this thing, the best I can hope for is to try to age gracefully, maybe become some kind of grizzled weirdo sitting way out the back, whatever. And I've been riding waves for 30 years! What future is there for an adult beginner?

    Anyway, as far as advice, almost always in my experience lack of conditioning is not the cause of not catching waves, I mean surfing on a beginner level just isn't that physically demanding. If the beginner has decent technique and board positioning the problem is usually a lack of basic wave knowledge, being able to read incoming waves, know when and where they are going to break. Have you ever ridden a boogie or bodysurfed? If not, you might want to try those things out, spend as much time in the ocean as possible, watching the waves and trying to catch them without worrying about being a "surfer."

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbx View Post
    And in my mid 30s, I long ago came to the realization that I will never really be that good at this thing, the best I can hope for is to try to age gracefully, maybe become some kind of grizzled weirdo sitting way out the back, whatever.
    Man, this is great, right there with ya homie. #grizzledweirdo4life

    Lots of good advice here OP, good thread on the basics. But log as much water time as you can!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New Bedford, MA
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    51
    Quote Originally Posted by sbx View Post
    Honest question, and please don't take this the wrong way--why do you want to surf?
    Good question. I've always loved the ocean and everything about it. I love free diving and scuba, and often just go for long free-style swim sessions in the ocean at night after the wife and kids are in bed. I've done some boogie boarding here in NE and on a several vacations out in Cali.

    I think the thing that made me want to take up surfing at this stage in my life is two-fold. Lack of any really physically challenging hobby, and the fact that my kids wanted to learn and I really want to be able to help them get started when they're ready and do it together as they grow up. I realize I'll probably never be that great at it, but if I can hang with my kids as they learn I'll be happy. I wish I had had a dad who was interested in doing things like this with me when I was a kid...

    They have some friends who are just a little older than they are who are pretty accomplished competitive surfers and are itching to get into it themselves. My son is just turned 8 and my daughter will be 10 this fall, and they really need to up their swimming skills a bit before they're ready to surf, but they have been enjoying their boogie boards in the mean time.

  4. #34
    Jake- you need to get better at judging when to take off. Sounds like you are scrambling and paddling when the wave is not ready to be caught. Try taking off later and later. It sounds counter intuitive but you will find that "point" when the wave face is just about to crest, and it just picks you right up. Combine this with little tricks like shoving the board down under water and riding it's buoyancy back up into your paddle, and you should be killing it! The guys who sit way out side know what a wave should look like at that point, and time a few strokes so that they are flying already by the time the short boarders start to scramble on the sandbar. Just sitting out deep and paddling for bumps will get you nowhere. Also, that arthur swell was a bit weird, not the easiest waves to catch, so take that session with a grain.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    southern NC
    Posts
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by sbx View Post
    Honest question, and please don't take this the wrong way--why do you want to surf? I see so many adult beginners these days, and I guess I just don't get it. When I was a kid, surfing seemed cool, it was fun to goof off in the water with other adolescents, it was fun trying to dodge the older guys, all that. Now if I step back from it it just all seems kind of juvenile, I can't imagine being 40 years old and thinking it was something I wanted to take up as a hobby. And in my mid 30s, I long ago came to the realization that I will never really be that good at this thing, the best I can hope for is to try to age gracefully, maybe become some kind of grizzled weirdo sitting way out the back, whatever. And I've been riding waves for 30 years! What future is there for an adult beginner?

    Anyway, as far as advice, almost always in my experience lack of conditioning is not the cause of not catching waves, I mean surfing on a beginner level just isn't that physically demanding. If the beginner has decent technique and board positioning the problem is usually a lack of basic wave knowledge, being able to read incoming waves, know when and where they are going to break. Have you ever ridden a boogie or bodysurfed? If not, you might want to try those things out, spend as much time in the ocean as possible, watching the waves and trying to catch them without worrying about being a "surfer."
    Maybe they didn't have the opportunity to learn to surf when they were younger. If you did, consider yourself lucky and don't begrudge your elders the chance to give it a try.

    I took it up in my 50s. That OK with you?

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow View Post
    Maybe they didn't have the opportunity to learn to surf when they were younger. If you did, consider yourself lucky and don't begrudge your elders the chance to give it a try.

    I took it up in my 50s. That OK with you?
    You live in Southern North Carolina? I'm fine with it.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,687
    Age is just a number, anybody can learn at any age, people shouldn't limit themselves on what they are capable of, even in their later years. I struggled with surfing when I was younger, caught waves here and there but never really excelled to the point where I would say I was any "good". Fast forward to 30yrs. old, I got COMMITTED, and now at 33 years old I'm light years ahead of my teenage / 20's self. Just takes commitment and determination and if you really want to get better, you will. Sure we all have our limitations physically, but you can't measure someone's heart.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Science mother****er
    Posts
    2,789
    Quote Originally Posted by sbx View Post
    Honest question, and please don't take this the wrong way--why do you want to surf? I see so many adult beginners these days, and I guess I just don't get it. When I was a kid, surfing seemed cool, it was fun to goof off in the water with other adolescents, it was fun trying to dodge the older guys, all that. Now if I step back from it it just all seems kind of juvenile, I can't imagine being 40 years old and thinking it was something I wanted to take up as a hobby. And in my mid 30s, I long ago came to the realization that I will never really be that good at this thing, the best I can hope for is to try to age gracefully, maybe become some kind of grizzled weirdo sitting way out the back, whatever. And I've been riding waves for 30 years! What future is there for an adult beginner?

    Anyway, as far as advice, almost always in my experience lack of conditioning is not the cause of not catching waves, I mean surfing on a beginner level just isn't that physically demanding. If the beginner has decent technique and board positioning the problem is usually a lack of basic wave knowledge, being able to read incoming waves, know when and where they are going to break. Have you ever ridden a boogie or bodysurfed? If not, you might want to try those things out, spend as much time in the ocean as possible, watching the waves and trying to catch them without worrying about being a "surfer."
    I didn't start until I was 29, and since I am a runner, I can tell you I am in better shape than most young beginners. If you are in good shape, it shouldn't be that difficult to put in some time and get good enough that you can have fun out there. Surfing is a rush to me, even though I am not great at it (yet). As I get better, it will continue to make me happier. I already loved the ocean, so this is another hobby that brings me closer to it. I will probably never compete, and I don't really care about pulling off tricks, but I will always have fun. If it stops being fun and starts to feel more like work, I will probably quit. I think it is great that a 40y/o person wants to take up a sport like this. Most would just go for something a lot easier.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Yeah beats taking up fu*king crossfit.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New Bedford, MA
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by seldom seen View Post
    Yeah beats taking up fu*king crossfit.
    beats it with a stick