So I grew up in San Francisco and always felt pathetic that I never learned or even attempted but the waters cold and the thought of jaws kept me out of the water.
Now I'm going on a trip to San Diego and me and my buddy are taking about taking surfing lessons.
My two major concerns (besides a shark ripping me limb from limb) are...
I'm 6'4" 260 pounds, they say everything is included but do wetsuits really come that big?
The bigger concern is fitness level. I'm not wanting to do this if it's going to be embarrassing and not fun due to how out of shape I am.
I'm a strong swimmer and still feel completely comfortable in the water but I'm not flexible, drinking and smoking have ruined my cardio. Went from running 10.5 miles to only being able to do 2 miles now.
I can still crack out some burpees but not like I used to.
Given what I just said am I simply too out of shape? I've quit smoking for about a month now and started running again but I only have a month til the trip and don't think it'll make a drastic change in fitness level.
Should I wait til I can get myself in better shape.
It's never too late. The most important thing to aim for is to have fun (because without that you won't stay motivated to continue). If you continually boost your confidence with each session, you'll keep coming back for more.
Most surf schools will have high volume boards (ie wide, thick, long) that'll float you well and they'll guide you into fun easy waves that'll allow you to practise over and over without getting smashed.
They should have wetsuites to accomodate just about everyone but give them a call ahead of time just to make sure.
What Ben said also what's a burpee?
Give up cigs.
GS a burpee is a little tiny weeeee burp.
If this guy can do it, so can you.
I recommend just do as much swimming as you can. Do laps and every second lap, swim as hard as you can when you are at the halfway mark to the end. Then cruise for another lap and a half then smash out the last 25 metres or so again. Don't wuss it and don't cut corners. Do this for a mimimum 20 laps (1000 metres). If you can do more, great, but a minimum of 20 laps of a 50 metre pool. If you can get to the pool 4-5 days a week or every second day I guarantee your paddling fitness will be up there within a month. Even after a week you'll notice the difference.
Importantly, as said above, just have fun that's the main thing.
big tony from huntington beach on a fiji reef: