Hello everyone,

My name is Gerard a.k.a Gruvi. I am a utter newcomer to the surfboard world. And I learned I'm considered a Grey. I got my first board this past July 4, 2011 and experienced my first ever paddle out on Assateague island in Virginia. I came to begin surfboarding to overcome my lifelong fears of the ocean; Water that big and the creatures that can take a life in it.
My first board sold to me was a new WRV funboard from the very cool people from Atlantic Shoals in Chincoteague VA. They helped me get past my initial fears of surfing and with their personal encouragement and generous free tutelage, they got me stoked on the sport and I truly feel it's for life...I am obsessed to learn and grow as a surfer and I try to get out whenever my work schedule permits.
So far I got lucky once this summer and after a lame pop up I think I rode the wave for two seconds. I have not had anymore luck since but I keep trying.
Today I had good fortune to sit with a nice young pro surfer at the Belmar pro comp. His name was Rene Gough and he totally impressed me. I was walking to a boardwalk bench after coming out of the free surf area near the longboard warm up area, where a shortboard rider narrowly missed me by about a foot (I swear my lane was clear in front and back as I paddled out). Shook me enough to get out of the busy water. Anyway, as I am headed to sit down, Rene in his wetsuit got there just ahead of me. He looked like an easy going dude so I struck up a conversation with him and about ten minutes of advice and teaching was afforded to me by him. I mean this guy made me stand up when he learned I am a goofy foot and he had me emulate his moves on how to position the body to make a board turn and then he gave me more advice on what to look for when watching good surfers.
One thing he said for a beginner to do is try to surf an area where there aren't other surfers near. Great advice I thought after what just happened, but then I remembered I don't like being out there alone (beginner and safety reasons mostly), and this is what got me motivated to make this intro. I have been lurking for a few days and wasn't sure what to write about.
My big problem is no friend of mine surfs and being new to the sport, being an older guy, makes it hard to convince others to accept me in their crew and help me learn. So that is why I am here now. I am hoping I can meet some folks willing to meet up in Belmar NJ (it's the best place for me to get to from home) or otherwise I only surfed Assateague because our family owns a summer place on Chincoteague. I always liked Belmar and I just gravitate here readily now for surfing (okay, I don't surf officially but I have the goal).
I really hope this is the place to reach out to fellow surfers open minded to meeting up whenever possible (I even got a 4/3 anticipating October practices!) somewhere in NJ, especially in Belmar if that is okay? I have met a lot of cool people and keep trying to open up about being new and looking to hang out with other surfers, but I feel some people are being nice but are weird-ed out because I am sometimes overly social looking for surfing friends.
So to end this long intro (thanks for reading this far if you did), please help me out and let's go surfing...everyone, anyone. If you are serious and have a schedule that allows you to get out during weekdays and don't mind a kook wanting to be a surfer enthusiast for real, please really consider PMing me and we can share info. I mean I will even buy lunch (like pizza's please!) if you friend me up. I'm dying trying to find new peeps to surf with. Doing it alone is seriously just too frightening for me at this point and when I am around others I get to know, I am not afraid at all.
Thanks again for reading!