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Thread: Total Newbie

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  1. #1

    Total Newbie

    I'm considered an old fart, I guess, trying to learn how to surf. I'm 54, kinda small size (5'6") and just bought a Degree33 Ultimate Mini, 8.6. It's what I would consider the perfect board for me to learn on, but it certainly ain't gonna surf for me. I had my second go at it yesterday, in up to waist high surf, with nothing but failures. I can't even sit on the board without it practically flipping on me, without any warning. I need help trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I had about 4 chances at decent waves, but as soon as I feel the push from the wave, and it starts taking me, I try to stand and suddenly there's nothing but water under me
    I tried watching others for a while to try and learn from them, but couldn't really see what it was I was missing. I think what I may be doing wrong is that when I go to stand I believe that I maybe should be leaning a little forward and try not to stand too straight until I'm stable. Does this sound at all correct. Help a brutha out folks. I'm not going to fail at this, but I also don't want to spend $100 an hour for a lesson, when I'm pretty sure I just need time and practice.
    And as far as the sitting on the board goes, what the heck is happening? I watch others just sitting there all relaxed with no effort. I try doing the same thing, and all of a sudden the board flips on me. I thought that maybe I'm making it worse, by trying to compensate in the wrong way?
    Any help I could get would be real cool y'all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Instead of trying to stand right as the wave takes you push the board down and arch your back, you will feel the difference, then POP up like a squat thrust. Also make sure you are not to far back on the board. As for sitting on it it's so choppy here I still flip over every now and then. Just keep trying. See you out there!

  3. #3
    you might be trying to stand up too quickly, before you have caught the wave. try riding one or two waves without trying to stand up. you'll be able to feel when you have caught the wave. also, tons of instructional videos to watch online

  4. #4
    I still folllow a rule, take 3 more paddles after you think you have caught the wave then stand up

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Shoting Piers in Honeyton
    Quote Originally Posted by Zman9398 View Post
    I still folllow a rule, take 3 more paddles after you think you have caught the wave then stand up
    That is good advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by hanna View Post
    i have that rule in my a few more like keep my weight further back on the board, widen my stance, compress on the bottom turn etc etc...and as soon as i start paddling for a wave, i get caught up in the moment and don't remember any of them.
    ^ too true!

    Im 39, and just started a little over a year ego.

    One one day lesson, and alot of board rental failures... I finally booked a week long
    surf trip. That one week of intense surfing...just surfing and lessons was what I needed. Your story sounds very familiar to what was rattling in my head last summer!

    Book a week long surf trip, you will be able to enjoy surfing.

    best wishes to you.

  7. #7
    I agree with the videos, they help teach some concepts that could have taken forever to learn wothout any help. I can't comment on classes besides taking a class that didn't help too much besides get me a bit more comfortable in the ocean, it definitely was not 100/ hr though.

    Water time helps a lot of issues too though, even if the conditions aren't great go get some. Balance for sitting comes easy and its way easier to sit on a longboard than an 8 ft board, the same goes for paddling. Though an 8ft board is ok for a beginer, given your age I would have opted for taking any crutch you could get which would mean to me going thicker, more wide, and longer. I have a 10ft barge that pretty much catches a ripple, it has allowed me to progress pretty quickly with my limited water time and I often rent shorter minimals and long boards when surfing with friends so they can use my 10ft board. Guess what? I find myself doing way better on a shorter board now that I have some of the fundamentals down. Maybe you could consider renting some bigger boards to get the hang of sitting, paddling, popping up and then return to the 8ft.

    Texas is pretty inconsistent and if you live fairly far away from the coast its even more difficult to learn to surf. I imagine even if you couldn't make it to a surf camp type of resort that taking a week vacation to surf at a consistent break with beginer friendly waves you would learn more than a few months of surfing in Texas. My biggest improvements have been when a weekend surf trip matched up with good conditions.

    Seems like Texas is a Mecca for beginer surfers, we should set up a meet and go kook up some jettys.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    If you can't sit on your board, you need to be practicing balance..... a lot!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    At my Jetty
    practice, practice, practice and a whole lot of patience...i would also consider doing some push-ups and sit-ups and stretching exercices...dont give up, it will come to ya

  10. #10
    Maybe you are popping up too soon. Maybe you are leaning too far forward. But first things first. Have you read up on basic surf techniques? Worked on your pop-up? Practiced catching whitewater waves first? If not, here is a list of some basic technique stuff I have found helpful:

    Learning to surf takes a lot of time and practice, moreso the older you are. I started at 40 and it took me six months to just be able to catch waves. Be patient, read up on technique, watch more experienced surfers, have a friend video you if possible, but above all you gotta spend the time in the water, there is no substitute.

    Out of curiosity, where in TX do you surf?