New to Surfing

rob's picture
rob started the topic in Friday, 5 Feb 2010 at 8:32am

Hello I am new to surfing and thought I could use the depth of knowledge of swellnet forum to obtain some friendly advice. I am 47yrs, 165cm and 80kg. I took a lesson down at Wollongong and got the surfing bug. I had done some initial research and was going to purchase a 7'6" mini mal then I spoke with a local shaper who advised that his 6'8" 21"wide 2 7/8" thick nugget board was a board that was best suited for a person of my size, height and experience level and a board I would not out grow. Again I spoke to a number of other experenced surfers and surf shop owners and was told that the nugget would fit the bill. I've been in the water about 6 times for about an hour and a half each time and still struggling to stand up. Is all about persistence and more time in the water. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

denhugh's picture
denhugh's picture
denhugh commented Friday, 5 Feb 2010 at 10:18am

Sorry can't comment on the boards. Mate I'm fairly new to surfn and just keep goin out. Took to it at an older age also. Just stick with it and soon you'll be standing, doin bottom turns, trimmn etc. I mostly go out with experienced surfers who give me heaps of tips like when to take off, where to paddle to to get the good banks etc.. All the best with the board mate. I'm a bit taller and heavier than you so I started with a 7'4" mini mal from Dukes on the GC. I ride smaller boards now but the mini mal was great to learn on and still ride it in smaller surf. Don't know much about the gongs waves so local knowledge is best. cheers bro

Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff.

michaeld's picture
michaeld's picture
michaeld commented Friday, 5 Feb 2010 at 10:59am

Make sure you're committed if you're going to be spending hard earned cash on a board/s, nothing more depressing than having a mate that starts surfing only to stow away his board in the shed and let it gather dust.

macdaddy's picture
macdaddy's picture
macdaddy commented Friday, 5 Feb 2010 at 10:56pm

trick is get up as soon as u know you are up to speed with wave then push up onto your feet the longer u wait you'l have less balance the top of wave and first momentum gives you drive forward like a motor bike as soon as the wave starts to catch up its like standing on your bike and not moving.also never sit too far on board so you nose dive when trying to get up try feel for a center where your nose sits out off the water the water but back end not digging in. Always practice just goin to shore first when u get 50 percent of your standing happening then rember back foot sits way back and front foot centerish depending on board size and lean to side u wanna turn slightly and use your weight on back of board digging in to make your turns good luck ask ne thing you want glad to try help

rob's picture
rob's picture
rob commented Friday, 5 Feb 2010 at 11:16pm

Thanks for the replies, at the moment Im practicing at beach breaks and keeping away from the experienced riders so I’m catching a few crumbs and a lot of marshy stuff. Ill put your tips into practice and keep on practicing thanks a lot for your time

sherbert1992's picture
sherbert1992's picture
sherbert1992 commented Saturday, 6 Feb 2010 at 1:32am

I've been surfing for two years (but only just got my license to take it more seriously). I thought I'd be fine on a 6'6 board and it wasn't the right choice for me. When beginning to learn to surf, the bigger the board, the better. It will help you stand a lot more. I'm now using a 7'6 fibre glass and it's great! It's the pointed nose and not mal, so it also helps me to start getting the feel of turning the board. Good luck! The money spent on the board is well worth it! Surfing's one of the best things I've taken up!

sandspit's picture
sandspit's picture
sandspit commented Saturday, 6 Feb 2010 at 11:22am

The bigger boards are good to learn on and get your paddling strength but they are harder to duckdive so you might grow out of it quickly. I learnt the hard way starting off with a regular shorty and getting nailed for weeks. Dunno whats the best approach tho, being older probably the longer board might be a good choice.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 7 Feb 2010 at 1:13am

I was gonna write you off Rob, call you a impatient teenager.

But then I saw your age! You're an impatient middle-ager!

It's no suprise that you're not getting to your feet after just six go outs. Certainly having a longer board would help (as others have said,) but I wouldn't be worried that you're doing something wrong just yet. Surfing is harder than it looks and it takes time.

Keep getting out there, keep getting bashed about and looking like a fool. We've all done it.

blackout's picture
blackout's picture
blackout commented Sunday, 7 Feb 2010 at 3:18am

The bigger boards are good to learn on and get your paddling strength but they are harder to duckdive so you might grow out of it quickly. I learnt the hard way starting off with a regular shorty and getting nailed for weeks. Dunno whats the best approach tho, being older probably the longer board might be a good choice.

By: "sandspit"

I did this approach as well and was getting frustrated that my mate who I started with who got a mini-mal was 'getting it' faster than me, but it's really how persistant you are, now I am a much stronger surfer than he is and get more waves.

rob's picture
rob's picture
rob commented Sunday, 7 Feb 2010 at 7:04am

Thanks Stunet

Yes an impatient middle-ager but all the vids, youtube and watching experienced surfers at the local beach make it look so easy and graceful. I just thought I might have been dragging the chain on the learning curve. Anyway if you see a im-patient middle -ager with a big grin on his face flappen around near the white wash looking like his haven a good time don't laugh to hard it could be me.

reeflingo's picture
reeflingo's picture
reeflingo commented Sunday, 7 Feb 2010 at 9:46am

Yep key is to keep on trying. Like anything in life, the more you practice at it, the better you get. Even just watching a surf dvd and observing how pros have their stance is in my mind equivallent to a surf lesson.

tamsy's picture
tamsy's picture
tamsy commented Sunday, 7 Feb 2010 at 11:22am

Keep trying, keep getting smashed, keep trying and dont give up. Patience and perseverence.

dont bag me cos u surf better than me, after 20 years of surfing im as good as ill ever be!

lakries's picture
lakries's picture
lakries commented Sunday, 7 Feb 2010 at 1:39pm

Hi Rob,

I suggest you'll grow into the board with experience and determination, but it's not a board I would have picked first up. The 7'6" mini mal would have been better.

The initial thrill of surfing is being able to stand up. Once you can do that you can get into the fancy turns and stuff.

A board better suited to you would be a longer more forgiving board, such as the 8'7" 'Blue'. While the Blues good for small waves, it's drawback is that it turns like a brick. But it's easy to stand up on and get the feel of the wave which is really where you need to be at the moment.

Twelve months [or less] you'll probably have grown out of it, but at least you'll have avoided the frustration of falling off all the time.

They're readily available in most hire shops, so I suggest you contact one or two to see if they have them available and try one out.

Cheers

Les K

goatfollower's picture
goatfollower's picture
goatfollower commented Monday, 8 Feb 2010 at 4:37am

Rob, why don't you go on a surfing trip for a while? Surf lots of different waves and wave styles, just surf every hour for a week, you will pick it up quickly if you experiment with different wave types.

mozquito's picture
mozquito's picture
mozquito commented Thursday, 11 Feb 2010 at 4:54am

I found you learned a lot faster and got better faster the better the wave (within reason - I wouldd't head out at pipe to soon, so to speak). Trying to learn on an almost straight hander beachie is bloody frustrating, but part of the initiation... when you find yourself on a nice little reef, breaking in the same spot, gentle sloping takeoff, nice even paced wall... it will come together a lot faster

Mozquito

clif's picture
clif's picture
clif commented Thursday, 11 Feb 2010 at 5:33am

Go to Bali. Surf Medewi. You will improve ten-fold in a week. Enjoy. You might even score a root in Kuta to add extra confidence.

"Don't try. That's very important: not to try." Charles Bukowski

wiseman-designs's picture
wiseman-designs's picture
wiseman-designs commented Friday, 12 Feb 2010 at 4:50am

There is all some good advice here from everyone here. I stopped surfing at about 7 years old and took it up again at 29. I got myself a 7'6 x 21 1/2 x 2 3/4 big round nose, fat rails etc which was great to get back into it and once I got better enabled me to progess reasonably quickly. The foam volume sounds about the same in the recommended board as a longer 7'6 but I believe you will be less frustrated on a longer board.
You have to perservere and the more time you can spend out there the better. Every time you go out, you will learn something new, or work something else out and one day it will all click. What I took most time to work out was timing and how hard you should paddle for a wave. Timing your paddle with the oncoming wave is crucial and I found personally the harder you paddle early on, the earlier you get onto the wave and can get to your feet. If you don't put in enough effort you get picked up by the wave too late and the steeper it is, the harder it gets. 7'6 are hard to duck dive but I think the 6'8 at almost 3 inches thick will be the same.

sunny's picture
sunny's picture
sunny commented Friday, 12 Feb 2010 at 11:28am

Hey Rob, after teaching a few mates over the years to surf I have found the crawl befor you walk theroy works well.
Learn the body surf first to gain ocean knowlage and water smarts.
Then get a lid and start to learn about waves and build up some paddling fitness.
Make sure when you have got your surf fitness down then jump on a DOG of a board which is old, dinged and wont mind a bit of battering and hit waves which are clean and fat...everyday.
Its called the grommet progression and is humbling, hard and humiliating. Shame you are to old to be tied inside a wheely bin and sent over the sand dunes! Grommet!
Enjoy the ride Rob its a lot better than golf.

Life is good when ur tubed :-)

spoon's picture
spoon's picture
spoon commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2010 at 7:36pm

I would certainly look at a bigger board like 7'6" to even 8'2". Also if you are riding beachies and have moved on from the whitewater try a mid to full tide so you give yourself some time to get up.

dolphinkaz's picture
dolphinkaz's picture
dolphinkaz commented Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 at 5:39am

Hey Rob
I've only been surfing for about a year now - nice to see some input on these pages from fellow nubies.
My husband and kids bought me a 7'2" Easyrider foamie for my 44th birthday 14 months ago. It got me into taking lessons at Wanda Beach (Cronulla) and I was hooked straight up.
The foamie did't last long - I outgrew it pretty quick. A local shaper made me a beautiful 6'9 1/2" fibreglass board which I have been surfing on since September. It's a great board. I'm still not real good at the duck dive, but it eskimo rolls really easily - not like the big heavy boards.
I would still like to get a 7'3" for when it's REALLY small (can't go back to the foamie though!).
Good luck with your board and your surfing - I hope to see lots of posts from you keeping us all informed of your progress.
Cheers
Kaz

tripper's picture
tripper's picture
tripper commented Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 at 7:10am

I've been surfin for 3 years now..
All it took was 3 weeks before i was cuttin across the wave... 3 weeks... morning, noon and night...

I guess being on the dole at the time had something to do with it.

I had a 6'8'' StepDeck... a lovely invention for learning on.. It's like a 4 foot board stuck on a 6'8 board... lots of boyancy... bit of a bugger duck divin though.

My best advice dude...
Take a soujourn from whatever your doing in your life, and surf surf surf...

Also, if you can... try and get to where your not just catchin whitewash.
I reckon the hardest thing about surfing is that there's no constant "wave face".
You gotto wait, stuff it, try again, wait, stuff it wait wait wait..
With, say, Snowboarding you have a big hill and gravity (the power source) and it's easier to learn as you've got kilometres of "falling space" to figure it out, and lift back up to try it again.

With surfing you have these 10 second windows, if your lucky, where its either make or break. Get's bloody frustratin sometimes. But just keep at it mate. Keep at it.. tell your family you're going on a spritual journey, and never leave the water.

Anyway i'm rambling... its a bad habit of mine.

Good Luck!

Trippin, Sippin, Surfin

gjn_au's picture
gjn_au's picture
gjn_au commented Friday, 19 Feb 2010 at 1:46am

Visit East Corrimal beach or Corrimal beach lots of differents surfing spots along the beach providing many waves and whitewash to practice on. The 7S 7'3" superfish XL may be a suitable board. You can go to SKIPP and borrow them for a day to try out.