Submitted by dude21 on Fri, 01/22/2021 - 18:29
Beginner/beginner-intermediate surfer here.
What is easier to paddle onto and catch the most waves with? a Mini Mal or a Fish, assuming they have the same volume?
I mostly surf around 3' beach breaks (Newy). Looking at a ~50L board, I'm 95kg. I don't care about maneuverability.
At 95kg if you are not too fussed about manoeuvrability and surf 3 foot waves I think 50 litres is on the low side for volume. You won't be cruising into waves at that volume.
Go the mini mal and stay with around 50 litres unless your a much older guy.
A longer sleeker mid length between 7'2" and 7'6" will feel and flex better than a short fat thing in your case...Spend the money and get a good performing board like a Maurice Cole Red dingo, a Lost crowd killer or a Channel islands water hog or anything else proven that looks like them. Get 5 FCS fin boxes as well so you can play around with fins. Your after a glider but why not get one that turns too.
Thanks for the comments guys, keep them coming!
I’m early 30’s, fit but lack the skills. Currently have a 6’8”, 44L chunky short board thing, can get one or two waves on it when I go out but it is a struggle.
Just want something to get my wave count up with.
At Merewether on Gumtree,there is a 6/8 epoxy McCOY...Its 49litres,but epoxy adds a couple of litres.Rails on these designs are forgiving so, easy for beginners.FSC2 plugs, so many fin combos to try once you gain competency.NUGGETS can be surfed by any level surfer.I own the same board, its a gem.10kgs less but it'd float 95 reasonably.Possibly a 7/0 or 7/2 nugget would be an option too...55 and 57 litres.
The board is only part of the equation.
My mini mal is possibly around 65 Litres and 8 ft long. When I was surfing it I was 85kg. It is ridiculously easy to catch waves on. I would get a very high wave count in any lined up sort of wave. But I bought it off a mate who was maybe 95 -100 kg who had become unfit, generally out of shape and had lost his wave judgement a fair bit and he could barely catch a wave on it. It floated him okay but not as well as me.
The point is surf fitness and wave judgement are very important as are the pop up and the take off. Someone who is surf fit and knows what they are doing will catch a lot of waves even if on the wrong board. Paddle fitness is very different from gym fitness. Time in the water is part of the answer but how you use that time is even more important to both build skills and paddle fitness.
Head out, paddle hard all the time, go for every wave you can, make sure you are really on the wave before you pop up. Hunt the waves down. You should have a swag of take offs happening as you go for everything. Wipeouts mean you are at least having a go - a badge of honour. Surf for hours at a time - using your brain - and the fitness and skills should improve quickly.
I see a lot beginners and older surfers (and others) surfing do a lot of sitting and not a lot of really trying to catch waves - sit too far out, too far off the peak, being fussy, worried about wiping out, paddling too far back on their board, picking the wrong wave to paddle for - often one that they were never going to catch etc etc.
How often do you watch someone paddle for a wave that was never going to break near them? I watched a girl do that yesterday at a sucky little beach break. In her case I suspect it was fear (of wipeout or failure). She wanted to magically catch the wave well outside the sucky take off to somehow be up and riding before it hit the bank. She sat out too far. She avoided anything really peaking up. She went for little humps that did not beak for another 5 or 10 metres. She never came close to catching a wave all session that I saw. What did she learn in that surf - nothing. How much fitness did she build - not much. Would a better board have helped - nup. She, like so many surfers, went for a paddle and a sit - not really a surf.
Weirdly many just do this session after session with no self analysis as to why they don't catch many waves and no improvement over time.
The above assumes you are not in crowded surf. If you are, that is your number one problem.
If you can find some space to yourself and set a goal of catching "everything that moves" and analyse why you miss waves, your surf fitness will improve quickly and before you know it you should be catching a lot of waves. I believe this transition can be in weeks, not years if you do it right.
Another thing. Once you start to steam around the line up with some paddle speed and a focused look as you paddle for a wave people will let you have more waves.
Spot on analysis &great advice. So many kooks out there both old&young. Always good to share what you see in others technique& wave judgement,although it can feel difficult sometimes. Sadly some of them don't even listen
Great advice. Thanks all.