I was hoping someone could help me out with a few problems I've been having recently.
I taught myself to surf last year, I'm using a 6'9 NSP board but when I surf I surf alone because I basicly know no one who surfs. When I taught my self to snowboard, this wasn't a problem because alot of my friends did also so it was easy to get real good real quick.
Problem I have now is I don't really know which waves to pick to go for and when to go at them. I tend to just go for which ever one looks good to me and I try and catch it before any part of it breaks at all. Most of the time going over the falls, maybe I'm picking the wrong waves or maybe I'm not gettting up quick enough but either way that is the biggest problem I've been having, once i'm up on the board it is not a problem it is just picking the right waves and hitting it at the right angle that I am lost on.
Anyone got any advice from when you first started surfin cause at this point I'm basicly cluecless on where to go from here.
this may seem obvious, but practice, practice practice. it really takes a little while to get the feel of it down. one common mistake and the easiest to adjust, is just positioning on your board. a lot of noobs, may be too far back on the board, which is going to kill your paddling speed and ability to pop-up. And, the right position is going to depend on the size of the board.
While you may be surfing by yourself, make sure to pay attention to any other surfers in the water that look like they know what they are doing as far as board positioning and wave choice.
Just youtube some "surf instruction". A lot easier to watch and learn than to read and understand. When you're learning, you basically learn how to not hurt yourself. You'll start catching more and more waves, and your brain should equate which waves work and which ones just close out on you. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot more to it than that. Just gotta get back on the horse. And if you're new to the spot, stay out of the way and watch what the guys and gals are doing. See how they get into it. And if you're nice about it, ask someone there for some tips. I know a lot of guys helped me out when I started out bc I stayed on the outside and respected them and never dropped in on them. I showed them respect, so they kind of let me in their group and gave me tips. I do the same in the line up now too. If I see someone struggling, but being very respectful and mindful of the surfers around him or her, I try to help them out with what little I know. Oh, and make sure you don't have 3 feet of board in front of your chin. I see a lot of guys and gals starting out that seem to have a shuffle board size space on the front of their board.
I remember when I just started and for years after, I always picked the wrong wave or at least it seemed that way. I would see the older and better surfers paddling hard to get to a wave and didn't understand why. I always thought "why are you going nuts to get over there when there is a wave right here" lol. Now it is clear why and you will develope an eye for it over time and with practice. Anyone who has been surfing a long time can look way out to a wave in an approaching set and tell where it is going to break and how based on the texture and color of the water and a little bit of sixth sense. I have had beginners ask me why I always seem to be be right at the spot when the wave breaks and I always say time and practice make it second nature to read the water.
my advice for a new surfer, trying to get better waves is this: The good surfers will paddle over and try and take off in the right spot. Under the lip, on the main peak, as it is initially breaking.... For a beginner, stay over on the shoulder. Stay on a less vertical takeoff zone, so stay in an area over to the side, so the wave is already breaking down the line as you are taking off. That way its easier to judge how fast the wave it pitching, so you dont get thrown over the falls... The second part is, COMMIT. The third, probably most helpful part, that even intermediate surfers dont get is this: Aim down the line. Dont aim at the beach. Even as you are taking off, grab your rail and dig it into the wave face, so your board is aimed more sideways then straight at the beach, that way as you are standing up, your board is locked in the face and already heading down the line. Most newbies drop in straight, which creates likea 90 degree drop angle, which is hard to make. You will pearl, you will get pitched... Stay wide on the shoulder, and take off down the line. If the board isnt taking off down the line at the right angle, pull out of the wave... Just wait for the one that looks right, and feels right as you take off.... And then commit. Before you know it, you will be sticking fast take offs, and you body and mind will naturally teach you the cutback... It is instinct once you can stand up and go in the right direction. You will just start turning you board around. Then your really hooked and have to give up all of your free time for the rest of your life.
i heard this once and it seems pretty accurate...let the board float in the water and see how it sits....thats how you want it to sit with you on it....this will help you pick your spot on the board so that you know your nose isn't sticking way out or underwater....also when you creep up on the board and nose pearls and when you are paddling...make sure you have your feet together this will keep more weight over the back of the board keeping the nose out....as for wave choice i agree with previous posts on take the shoulders for now until you get a better eye and feel for what is going to close out and what is rideable...