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.
The comments and advice by "Frog" are very useful .Good surfers ( i.e not me) can catch wave after wave riding on a fence post !!.
Good points Frog.
I would expect a mini mal would be easier to paddle and catch waves, but a fish easier to surf once on waves attest from a turning perspective.
But that said I've never ridden a mini mal.
At age 64 I have finally swallowed my pride and gone for more volume getting a 6'6" S4 superfish (polyurethane) and it has given me a whole new lease on life. It catches waves I wouldn't have even looked at before and glides over dead sections with ease. I feel like a grommet again and am frothing to go surfing. Funny how a lot of learners seem to think there is some secret magic tip that would have them surfing like a pro in three weeks when in reality there is only three tips, practice, practice and practice. Every time you hit the water your body and mind learn things without you even realizing and after a few years things start to come together and you can start to think about calling yourself a surfer. Cheers.
Old Dog- new tricks . Good for you!
The only bummer about all the higher volume shorter and longer boards is fewer older (and younger) farts miss waves or don't make sections - so you get less chances to grab a peeler they stuff up.
They make the fashion of skinny and thin that held sway for decades look ridiculous though. I remember when even a 19 1/4 wide was treated as a loser board.
For those older guys on volume boards 6'6" and below don't forget you can turn those things all over the place and move your feet around to get better trim and find the sweet spots on the board. If not, you miss half the fun by just trimming and are acting old before your time.
Dude, my advice is to get the shortest board you can for the volume you need. While respecting much of what frog says, if you’re 95 kgs the. 50 litres should be plenty of volume to get waves.
Plan shape and rocker are also super important, but none as important as paddling. If you can’t paddle then nothing will help you. Lying on the sweet spot on the board is super important too, no amount of volume gets you around that if the nose of the board is pointing in the air.
You say you don’t need manoeuvrability but I disagree. Unless you point your board in exactly the right direction and pop up just in the right spot on the board then a bit of manoeuvrability will help you correct those early errors.
But those are just my biased thoughts. Surfing mals, even mini-mals, requires friendly waves. If you’re surfing beach breaks you often don’t get that.
old-dog - Update on your Superfish
Are you still in love with it - Good Quality ?
Where do you surf the most often? mini mals wont go well at many reefbreaks an oversized fish will sometimes.
for paddle power 50 (litres) minus 95kg equals negative 45 float.
Closer to 40 negative float is best for paddle speed but a bit less for more response and speed through turns.
I used to surf my brothers "Dartboard" 7'2 mini mal sometimes. it had a lot of rocker, well a bit more nose rocker than a lot of mini mals but it was super fun to surf in almost flat waves but also in some really good surf too like barrelling shoreys etc it was soo strong.
Had some really good barrels on it , and back then i weighed around 70kg so it was way too buoyant for me.I wouldnt surf a mini mal on a solid reefbreak though.
Anyway mini mals can be really good for wave count while true fish arent just extra volume boards, the good fish out there are made to fly swoop and glide with speed in down the line reefs or pointbreaks.
If the waves near you suit longboarding more than having a look at a few logs might be for you.
Not if the waves near you are ledgey or super sucky.
After about 3 decades at about 85kg I am now stable at around 79kg. That is now my "line in the sand".
It was not that hard to do. I did not do a special wierdo fad diet with annoying shopping and menu requirements. I just cut my portion sizes down a lot and say "no" to myself all the time when snacks tempt (due more to habit than hunger).
Less weight makes a difference physically and mentally. You feel 20 years younger and on the "up" rather than being on the slide down to being an old fart.
Sometimes you see someone cruise into a wave effortlessly on a lower volume board and wonder how until you check again and realise that they were probably 70kg. Being 95kg is a lot to float and push up on the takeoff.
I used to be 95kg when i was gaining that weight my surfing went to shit only a few months earlier i was riding 5'10' fishes and 6'0 shortboards but got put on strong antipsychotics and a lot of booze in flat spells and not working much drinking on all days off get to 95kg. first time i surfed Jakes point i weighed 70kg and was taking off under the lip straight into the tube, once i gained weight i could hardly get to my feet on fat whitewash shoulders.Bodyboarding was easy though so was bodysurfing but i just couldnt get to my feet on a standup. I also added a repella to my favourite shortboard which seemed to be in the wrong spot so not sure if that was part of the problem.
Tried fasting for three weeks no food at all, little effect except exhaustion.
Tried eating super natural meals which are only about $4 each and taste great.no washing up keeps the kitchen clean. had one meal a day and one duramine tablet a day for three months (legal speed). im now down to 73.4 kg...i was also doing 10-50 situps a day and some gym work on my gym setup, mainly presses or whatever they are called. two lots of 40 a day on 50kg...didnt seem to improve my paddling ability though.
I surfed a good glassy day at 2-3ft jakes a couple of weeks ago and couldnt make the sucky drops into the pit, i need to get back on the lid, get healthy and surf fit on that first as bodyboarding is my strength.
And flippers are backup if i run out of paddle power, which happens to me a lot on a standup lately on rippy days.
Been stuck in many a current out of energy thinking ill miss the last chance keyhole before its sharp rocks and dodgy areas to get in.Not sure why no one has drowned here, been plenty of close encounters.
WA swells are viscous and full of power 18 second periods and raw beauty but deadly. Keeping fit and surf often as you can to keep up the paddle fitness is key. East coast swells are a piece of piss.
Only problem with super natural meals is when you poop its as hard as a rock and too big for the anus to fit through...you only shit about twice a week...ease em out is the way.above the anus and below the coccyx(bum bone) is a soft tissue you can press to ease out hard poos. works wonders.
No, mate. That doesn’t sound right. Eating healthy shouldn’t make you constipated. Eating healthy should make your body efficient with easy and regular elimination of waste. When you say healthy food are you talking about plenty of salad and veggies? Maybe your 3 months on the gear has messed up your body as you’d expect it to?
green chick peas, curry quinoa brown rice, some small chicken pieces sometimes meatballs in pasta kale spinich purple cabbage suger snap peas or snow peas green lentils lamb pieces peas pumpkin are just some of the ingredients...maybe seem slightly vego but they are tasty
Sounds like a good diet. I’d say the gear has cooked your insides. Stay healthy and normal service shouty resume unless there’s something else going on. The food you’re eating is not the problem. Are you still on any other medication?
zyprexa for schizophrenia (helps me sleep) and clopixol which is for hearing voices..really helps.
Also valium when im not on Duramine as valium makes you hungry.
i blame valium for my lack of muscle memory, not sure if theres any truth in that.
You’re not still smoking weed as well are you?
no i smoked a cone about a week ago and started getting schiz symptoms and havent since. i would only smoke if im on valium but even then rarely. like once a month or less.
just avoid it all together, obviously sounds like it doesn’t agree with you these days.
Yeah i will i dont enjoy it at all any more, just sucks when i meet a lady who wants to come back for a smoke and i have some there..well you know... i cant anymore though does my head in..