I just returned from a great trip to OBX. I generally prefer to scout out an isolated sandbar break as opposed to a point break, simply to avoid crowds as with my novice skills, I like to stay out of the way and save embarrassment from the crowded piers and jetty breaks.

So I have a general question about reading typical sandbar surfing where you have waves peeling both directions. When you see a ridable wave coming, how do you read whether you should turn right or left? Its so easy to tell from the beach view whether a surfer should turn right or left as he paddles in for a wave, but I can't seem to grasp any cues or visibiltiy from sitting outback and starting my paddle. I've found myself catching waves and turning right (since I'm not goofy) only to cut into a closeout realizing too late the wave choice for that given wave was to go left instead. Each wave set seems to be slightly different in how it breaks so its not like I can line my choice up with a land/beach marker is it? Is it just something that comes with gaining a better eye and more time in the water or is there a tip that can be given? Jokes about me being a kook is always welcome. Fire away, but someone give me something constructive!