Hey folks, I'm a Coastie from New Jersey. I finally decided to try out this surfing thing this summer. I've grown up within 30mins of the beach and have done a lot of body boarding, but never got into surfing because I didn't really have the cash to put out for a board (I've got other expensive hobbies too). Well this year I broke down and rented a board. First day I got up once, but spent the rest of the time swallowing sand.
I bought my first board, a 7'2" fun shape by Surfboards Australia. First time out with the new board, I stood right up on the first 3 waves. I've hit the waves just about once a week since then. I feel like I've hit a plateau.
I had 2 straight weeks of being able to catch and ride wave after wave. Then I went out on a decent size NE wind swell that was chest to shoulder high. I took off on one wave but got barreled. As soon as I stood up the wave literally flip me right in the barrel. Since then, I can't do anything on the board but ride white water.
I was out last week in knee high (which to be honest, is my preferred condition right now) and had a lot of trouble getting up.
What are some tips for catching the wave *before* it breaks. I stand up easily on the white water, but I'm either mis-timing the take off or something. Someone told me when I go to get up, to literally push the board forward while planting my rear foot. I tried, no luck yet. I just feel like I'm missing something simple. Any advice for a newb?
Yeah I sounds like you got a timing issue and you might be a little slow popping up on the board. How fast you make it to your feet sometimes will make or break you . Also when I ride my shortboards I try to catch the wave as it starts to curl or Peak it will give you the extra push you need I feel
Best thing you can do is watch others and Surf Surf Surf!
watch surfing videos...and when there's waves, sit to the side of the peak and watch guys take off, then try to "'do what they do".
also, it probably sounds stupid, but it actually helps a lot: on your floor or grass field, whatever, lie on your stomach and pop up as if you were standing on your board. even move your arms a bit and pretend you're paddling, visualize yourself on the wave, and stand up in one smooth clean motion. remember it's "pop up" not "take a hundred steps to get on your feet up". do it 20-30 times twice a day, each time visualizing yourself standing on the wave. when you go surf, it's the same damn thing, so feel confident in yourself because you already *can* do it. If you're a little weak, do a lot of core work and some squats because that will help build some power. You really don't need tremendous power (Rob Machado, one of the better surfers of all time weighs about as much as a tree branch), but it'll help.
My buddy made his girlfriend do this before he took her out and...she stood up a bunch of times during her first session, so it does help quite a bit. He's also an a-hole and sprayed her with a garden hose while she was doing it, and that was close to the funniest thing I've ever seen.
There is lots of good advice coming in this thread. Another thing to do to help you ride the face is to paddle at an angle down the wave rather than straight down the face. This will keep your from pearling (nosediving) and help you find your line too.
A good way to find the correct angle to paddle down is to let a couple waves go by and watch the whitewash trail the wave leaves behind. It should feather down in a triangle type shape showing you the best path to paddle.
Hope this makes sense but the best advice was already given.... Surf, surf, surf.
if you feel like your going to pearl (nose dive if you dont know the term), but you cant seem to catch the wave because you board is tombstoning (you're too far back), try to move farther up on the board while your paddling, but not too far, then push yourself back as you pop up. this should get you into the wave nice and early, then get you into a position where you aren't going straight down into a pearl. idk if this is correct but its what I had my brother do when he was learning to surf
First,Very cool Avatar.The pop up is key,but number one is you have to paddle extreamly hard.I watch alot of newbies just paddling nonchalant.You really have to get moving.For myself when I was learning I heard people describing the pop up like a pushup.I disagree.I noticed a big difference in my pop up when I put my hands more towards my ribs then my chest.I feel like that gave me a better lunge up.I would get away from riding the whitewater.It sounds like you are really beyond that.When you take off on a peeling wave you can feel that it just has more energy carrying you.I agree with the previous post practice your pop up on the floor.I think its actually harder to do on the floor then the water.
hey bro i've only been surfing for a year but have tought a few friends in that time also. First thing is firs,t you gotta learn wave positioning. That starts on the beach. Find the wave breaking with a consitant peek. Sort of where the lip comes over into white wash. That is where you need to be to start your wave. Notice where that is in reference to a house on land or a trash can or the most smokin girl in a G'banger on the beach(j/k humans tend to move around too much). Now notice where you're at in refence to distance from shore. That's your cross ref. Stay in that general area. When you paddle for the wave remember you have to paddle like you own it. Thats your wave and you're gonna get it, paddle hard using the S technique. You must paddle hard enought to break the plane of the wave usually 2 to 3 strokes more than you think you need. Your board will project down the face and not back and up into a pearl, if you hustle and break the plane. Next thing pop up! As the pearson states above practice the pop up at home on the floor! Muscle memory is everything! If you pop up enough at home you don't even think about it when it's time, It just happens. Keep your head up and look down the line where you wanna go. I think you might have gotten "butt hurt" and are a little timid. Don't be, you have to remember to hustle and break that plane.
Welcome to surfing!!! Buying that funboard was one of the best decisions you ever made.
I was stuck at the same level you are for about one full season. My problem (which may be a little different than yours) was that every time I went to pop up on a wave that was higher than thigh-high, I felt like I was staring straight down a four foot cliff that my board and I would inevitably plummet into and crash and burn. Four pieces of advice that got me past this, all of which have been stated above:
1. Paddle harder so that your speed is closer to the wave's speed when you go to pop up.
2. Figure out if you want to go right or left and then paddle on an angle so you're not staring straight down the face when you go to pop.
3. As you start to pop up, keep your eyes on where you want to go (down the line in the curl), not where you don't want to go (straight down)- this one was KEY for me.
4. Most important- surf, surf, surf. You'll get past this hurdle, which I've been told is a very common plateau point, and once you do, the sport takes on fantastic new dimensions.
Enjoy, dude. I wish you many safe, happy and fun days on God's ocean.