Complete beginner

Discussion in 'Hawaiian Islands' started by surfnewb, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013

    I am 27 and a complete beginner to surfing, never surfed before (However I am a snowboarder, used to skateboard and also know how to wake-board, not sure how these skills would carry over to surfing though).

    I really want to learn how to surf, and what better place than Hawaii right? I am planning my trip for Jan 17-26 and so far from I can gather on these forums I would pretty much drown on the north side, however the south side swells are pretty much flat?

    So my question is, which Island/beach would you recommend?

    Also, I would love to hire a private instructor maybe even a guide to show me around a bit. I was thinking of getting a local to teach me for a few days instead of using one of the schools, would that be a good idea? As my nickname suggests I am a complete noob and would hate to be that idiot that has never surfed before paddling out on a short board to look cool and getting his ass handed to him. Any suggestions/recommendations?

    Any advice is appreciated

    Also, don't know if that matters but I'm travelling solo (you try to convince a buddy to fly half way across the world with 4 weeks notice haha).
  2. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010

    Belmar always has great waves here in jersey when you get back!

    The easiest thing would be to go to Waikiki beach - "queens beach" and there are rentals and ppl there that could help - it's cheap too and on the south side so even if it's what we would consider flat- it still might be 1 to 2 ft- perfect for beginners!

    Have fun!!

    Also- just to warm you- a lot of ppl in here are not too nice- not like the locals on Belmar, so if anyone says anything just let it go...

    Ps guys please be nice to this guy!

  3. space

    space Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    I was stationed out there in the Navy 20 years ago, at NAS Barbers Point. That's west out past Ewa Beach, at Kapolei. I was 22 and started surfing for the first time at Nimitz Beach on Barbers Point. Nimitz Beach was great for beginners; consistently about 2 to 5 feet all year. The base is closed now, so hopefully the beach is open to the public these days (but I don't know).
  4. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Maui would probably be good. Its smaller island, easy to get around. Stay on the west side in Laheina so there are things to do. Depending on the swell direction, you should get some moderate surf on the north west side of maui. If its dead flat there, you will probably get decent waves across the north shore of the island. There are pretty solid swells this time of year, so you will probably be able to stick to surfing just the west side. Nice part is, if its too big, you can just keep driving south and south east and it will get considerably smaller as you wrap around maui's underbelly.
  5. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Thanks walkingonh2o! Isn't Waikiki touristy and expensive though? I feel like that's the Mecca of all tourists in Hawaii. I'm hoping to find something just in between, a chill vibe but still with something to do at night.

    Maui sounds cool! I guess a car is a must for the duration of the trip?

    Is hiring a local to learn surfing on craigslist a good idea?

  6. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    In case you already forgot, you are a tourist. Be respectful & try not to kill anyone in the ocean with your soft top.

    And, upon your return to the mainland, if a pudgy dood from Maine offers you private 'surfihng' lessons in his barn, well, run don't walk.
  7. Gfootr

    Gfootr Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Take reputable lessons.
    Wear a leash - sometimes the rental boards on the beach don't have them.
  8. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Thanks guys.

    I ended up going for 10 days at the end of January. A local showed me around and taught me how to surf, I ended up surfing mostly at Diamond Head, Waikiki was way too flat. As for the board, I started off with a long board, something like 10' and ended the trip stepping down to a 6 7'.

    On my last day I even got up to the north shore (I think the break was called kokoloco or something, just past turtle bay, long ass paddle) and hit a couple 6' (hawaiians).

    Love this to Costa Rica next.

    If I can recommend anything to other beginners...hit the gym hard before going (It helped me a LOT), you're going to paddle paddle paddle.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  9. Ripcurrent

    Ripcurrent Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2013
    Can you turn how did you ride 6ft Hawaiian straight?!?
  10. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Yes I can turn.

    The 6ft I hit was very bad form though to say the least :).

    I actually cut that session short too because I wasn't yet comfortable with that size..
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  11. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Welcome Newb! I second what Walking said, don't take anything too serious on here and get your feelings hurt. Sounds like you had a good time in Hawaii. Some pretty easy things to remember, don't drop in on others, since you are just learning, try to stay out of the crowds, use a leash, don't come on here and ask where is the best place to surf today (HA HA HA). Most guys are here are willing to pass on great information, but if you ask things like, "Should I wax the bottom of my board?", well, someone may have some words for ya. Have fun and good luck!!
  12. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013

    Thanks man. Yea the surf instructor really stressed the not dropping in on others part, took a couple days just to get a feel for the surroundings. But honestly, most amazing vacation yet, definitely will be coming back to hawaii.
  13. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    I WANT TO GO BACK!!! ... diamond head

  14. wavehog1

    wavehog1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2013
  15. wavehog1

    wavehog1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2013
    Its definitely an addictive sport! Course you may want to think about relocating. Are you really from O'Canada?

    Surfing is the greatest sport ever invented! It does require a lot of dedication though. Actually I would consider it more of a lifestyle than using just the term "sport".

    Sounds as if you may have picked it up a little quicker than some. It takes a good couple of years to really get the hang of it. A big part of surfing is knowledge itself. The more you know about waves and the way they break etc... the better you will do. Also most surfers are amateur Meteorologists. When it comes to predicting waves, locations and times of swells, meteorology comes in big time!

    Like you also mentioned, the paddling.... hitting the gym will help some but to ultimately build up your paddling motors you really have to get and surf for 6-8 hour sessions. I remember back in the grom days my triceps actually charlie-horsing to the point I couldn't move!

    Enjoy yourself man.... its a hell of ride....
  16. RIsurfer

    RIsurfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    Go to pipe, rob JOB's guns, hide in the bushes and wait for swell, paddle out, find JJF, and punch him in the face. Tell me what happens.
  17. surfnewb

    surfnewb Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Yep, live in Toronto.
  18. nynj

    nynj Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    That's awesome bro. Good for you.
    Seems like you have the ability to travel a bit, so you should be fine. The more time in the water you have the more comfortable you'll be.
    You'll enjoy Costa Rica.

    Good luck
  19. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Great to hear - thanks for writing back - it's feeds the stoke for us all, hearing about beginning experiences! Most ppl on here ask for advise on a surf trip here or there but never come back to say how it went...

    I would suggest swimming or paddling to stay in shape and more important , to stay comfortable in the water
  20. rideacarr

    rideacarr Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2010
    glad to here you had a good trip man. i was stationed in hawaii, couple miles from the North Shore. glad some samoan didn't eat you alive, eh? hawaii is a great time, cool to see you have the will to travel alone and try new things. i wish i was at a position in my life where i could just drop everything and travel except i am a broke college student now a days. heres some tips; be safe, don't push your limits (yet), be respectful in the lineup, be humble, watch out for others, don't snake people, and don't be a ****.