Why am I such a *****???

Discussion in 'California North' started by Miahnaise, May 2, 2013.

  1. Miahnaise

    Miahnaise Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    I live in Monterey, minutes from several great surf spots. Got a great deal on a 9/23/3 longboard and 4/3 wetsuit (I'm a big guy 6'3" 280) and I am dying to learn how to surf!! I had one lesson in Santa Cruz at Cowells, it was awesome and now I'm ready to hit the waves and have some fun!! Only problem is I get about waist deep in the water and stare at what I know aren't that big of waves but they look huge and I don't have the balls to paddle out.WTF!!! The fist day I went out I actually got out and paddled around for about 40 minutes and I've been out three times since then and not been able to bring myself to jump on my board. I'm going by myself because I'm new to the area and don't know anyone interested in learning but I'm not the only one in the water I just don't know anyone. So that brings me to my original question...Why am I such a *****???
  2. ShredTheBed

    ShredTheBed Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Its like that for everyone. Even now after surfing for 7+ years when youre laying down on a board it looks a ton much more higher then the wave height really is. Im 6'3 too btw. Anyway I remember when I first started surfing my biggest fear was dropping in, I would look down the face and be like "HELL NO" and then I learned you just have to commit. If your fear is paddling out and not being able to get back in, then just ride that whitewater until you get better and maybe paddle around in a sound, lake ect. to build up arm strength on the days that its flat. Hope I helped!

  3. Miahnaise

    Miahnaise Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Thanks for the advice! I know it's a process everyone goes through when they're first starting out and I'm not giving up it's just like Dammit!! It looks like so much fun I wanna be out paddling and wiping out and sometimes even riding one instead of psyching myself out in waist high water!!
  4. brewengineer

    brewengineer Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Not exactly true. When I was about 9 y/o, I tried surfing. I hated it. I had a bad experience where I almost drowned around age 5, so at 9 I was still terrified. It would have taken a lot of work to get me around that fear. Even as a teen, I wasn't completely comfortable in the water. Now, as an adult, I feel right at home in the ocean. It has taken many days and hours out in the surf, on boats, and swimming laps to gain a level of comfort. I am now at a level where I am able to swim out to the break without a board and have no issue treading water hanging out or body surfing any wave that comes along.

    OP, you are experiencing the same thing 95% of us felt when we first started surfing. Just keep getting back out there and put more hours in. Just last year, I would look at a stomach high wave and say no way. Now, stomach high waves seem gentle and easy. Don't give up!
  5. Betty

    Betty Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2012
    Sounds normal to me. You will gain confidence as you build up your skill set. Waist high waves for me are still a little intimidating, I am fairly new surfer. The waves that look small from the parking lot look huge when you paddle out. Keep riding whitewater until you gain skills or the waves get small. A longboard, or at least mine can catch a 2' wave and there is no anxiety about that.
  6. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    You should be intimidated by the ocean. After you gain experience and confidence in your ability and presence in the ocean, your comfort zone will widen. Try to find someone else to go out with... Ask around, you'll find someone. The best way to learn is to observe those who are better then you.
  7. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    What others have said...swim, paddle, snorkel, patience, practice, committment(in terms of drops, making the wave, etc), etc...I think another part about the whole thing is you're always gonna have a "comfort zone" in terms of conditions you feel confident in...might be waist high now, but you'll end up getting pounded on a slightly larger day and realize oh that wasn't too bad...for me, the best days are when I'm taken just out of my comfort zone and I push myself to the next level. And you're not a puss, the ocean is an intimidating place, hence it's reputation as a proving ground for the spirit...i think normal folks don't realize that until they're trying to make it out and getting dumped on...stay at it, you'll be happy you did.

    **sorry Swellinfo, wasn't trying to rip off your comfort zone concept, looks like we were typing at the same time.
  8. Kuono

    Kuono Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    The fact you live in California is bonus for one and ditto to what everyone else is saying.

    Try popping up on your knees (or one knee) a few times before jumping to your feet (in the same sessoin). I started on a similar size board a couple years ago, it didn't have much of a rocker so I was pearling on steep waves or literally hanging off the back of the board to balance it out before I made my drop.
  9. MFitz73

    MFitz73 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    I think this is spot on...
  10. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    yep, practice holding your breath. Before I'd do my yearly pilgrimage to CR, I'd spend the month before, getting a base tan, practicing being hot, paddling up and down the beach, and holding my breath. One year I got reamed by a giant 4 wave set in Matapalo(23 footers). while being held under, I thought that since I could do 2.5 min in a tanning bed, I'd have no problem doing more under a true life drama situation.
  11. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    great to hear that your beginning and stoked!

    Just keep telling your self.... its only water... its only water....

    and practice.... practice... in time you will feel better!

    Pick the days you go- wait for a small day with less wind- an example, here in Jersey when its pumping at 23ft, i dont go out... too big for me... but if its 21 ft, i will go out...you should be looking for those 2 to 3 ft days. pick a spot that the waves break well at and try to stay out of the 'good' surfers way while learning... im sure there are spots where ppl learn at and spots where the summer pros hit up.
  12. bassplayer

    bassplayer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2012
    It happens like that to me too sometimes, I'm still learning too. I went out to a break with a long board expecting the 1-2ft waves and was surprised by inconsistent head high sets, not stuff i'm used too. Being cold water still, I had the beach to myself, and thought it was too perfect not to try. I paddled out and had to turtle roll a lot, my surf cap kept flying off cause the waves were fast and I was slow in my 4/3. I caught a few but had bad rides and was frustrated at times caught inside, not being able to build momentum. After an hour that was more like the Endless Bummer, I finally gave in and rode one in on my belly (which was actually the most fun ride that felt really fast!) And once I was on the sand I realized what a learning experience that was and how humbled you can be by nature, and most important: It wasn't that bad. Next time will be better: and the next time was better.
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  13. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    It's all part of the process my man. You have the right idea by getting out there, now all you gotta do is just keep going out as often as humanly possible and over time you will start feeling more and more confident. You eventually will get to the point where you embrace getting smashed by a wave and actually enjoy the feeling. You just gotta charge toward it, put your head down and just dig dig dig, you'll stuggle for a while like we all did, but one day sh*t just clicks.
  14. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    You always come out of the water better off than when you went in.
  15. tibu35

    tibu35 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    IMO, the ocean is the most powerful thing on earth, so to have a fear of it is perfectly normal. I'll be honest, when I first started, the ocean showed me how little I was compared to it. The more times I surfed, the more confident and comfortable I got with it. I would research beginner waves in your area that will help you along with the process. Cowell's seems like a great place to learn and meet a lot of other surfers trying to learn. I'm sure there are other areas around you that are somewhat similar. Just think of it this way, the more time you stand on the beach contemplating to go in, the less waves you will catch to learn. The more waves you get out there and catch, the quicker the learning process will be. 3 years from now, you will say to yourself, I wish I started earlier. Good luck and stick with it, will change your life for the better.
  16. TX Shreddin

    TX Shreddin Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2012
  17. Paddington Jetty Bear

    Paddington Jetty Bear Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    I'm totally serious here. Have you ever heard of the show WIFE SWAP? Well they take two families and switch the matriarch.

    Well how aboot SURF SWAP? Yo, I'm not being a wise guy, either. Summer's coming here in the east and NJ is a great palce to get accustomed and confident in the water. The ocean is very user friendly here. No RV sized sharks, the water should be warm, and you'll definately feel more at ease than at zoo'ed out spots with Flea and Ratboy flying around or the spooky spots around Monterey/Carmel.

    So we can switch places for a period of time.....It will do us both good.

    On another note: learning as a kid is different because when you're 14 you are fearless(well many teens are). I know I threw myself out on any day no matter how big and sloppy and crappy it was. Today I'm like, " Nahhhh I think I'll pass on that..." Getting/being older friggin sucks. The world conditions you to be more cautious and fearfull of things. I'm such a sissy today compared to my oldself in all aspects of life. My God, it's horrible. Jeez, what happened to me, dudes ???? LOL Ahhhhhhhhh. Man, thanks OP dude, now I'm all contemplating my new sissy self. I really think I have to just say F it and hitchike across the country to get my mojo back.

    Oh, if all else fails with the anxiety, maybe a little xanax will condition you out of your problem. Just take a low dose, and for God's sakes don't drink on that stuff or you'll find yourself sitting out at Mavericks one day. Good luck.
  18. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    If you ever question going for a wave or not the answer is always go for it!!
  19. 252surfer

    252surfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    +1 to everything zaGaffer said. and yes, always go for it man. i guarantee it will be the best experience of your life
  20. mushdoc

    mushdoc Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    Just push yourself a little more each time you go out. Small steps will get you down the road.