Anonymous asked in SportsSurfing · 1 decade ago

Starter questions about my plan of attack?

I lived in Hawaii for two years as a little kid and boogie boarded/long boarded/surfed/fished/went to the beach almost everyday. I miss the ocean and beaches, surfing and fishing, so I've decided to learn to surf again. I'm going to find out which size surfboard would be best for me and get a used surfboard from Craigslist for $100 or something. I haven't swam frequently since I was 14 and am now 19. I've since become tall and lanky, so I'm thinking of taking a beginner swimming class at my local community college while going to the ocean time to time to just... swim in it? While I do this I'll find the surfboard, and hopefully by then I'll be comfortable swimming/being in the ocean again. I'll be doing all of this by myself, including learning how to surf. I may ask some friends if they want to go swimming in the ocean or something while I build some endurance, but I've already told them about surfing and none of them want to learn to surf.

So... my question is do any of you see blatant flaws in my plan? I know it's dangerous to surf alone, but I plan to stay pretty close to the coast, and hopefully by that time I would have found other people who are interested in surfing. I can't afford classes, and my surfing family lives in Hawaii while I live in California.

4 Answers

  • John F
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are a couple of flaws. First of all, you say you boogie boarded, surfed etc. as a little kid. How long ago? If you are thinking about swimming lessons, you are way ahead of yourself thinking about surfing and buying a board.Surfing is a lot harder than it looks form the beach. Most of the time spent surfing is spent paddling. You paddle out through the break to get to the line-up, then you paddle to catch a wave. The least amount of time is spent standing up, riding waves.

    Before you even think about surfing, there are some things you should understand. Surfing is an ocean sport, that should only be practiced by persons who are already competent ocean swimmers. Swimming in a pool is neat, but it's not ocean swimming, with undertows, rip tides and sometimes BIG waves. I have seen lots of great pool swimmers get rescued. So, my first tip on how to surf is to be at home in the ocean.There are way too many dangerous people in the water now. They are a danger to themselves and other surfers, don't join their ranks.

    Lessons are the best way to start. Lessons can come from a professional instructor, or surfing family members or experienced surfing friends. You have to learn surf etiquette (so the experienced surfers in the line up don't want to drown you), how to paddle and take off on a wave, and how to ride a wave. The last thing experienced surfers want is for inexperienced people to just grab a board, rush into the surf and get in our way. Lessons shorten the learning curve significantly. And they help keep ignorant, un-prepared kooks out of the water and out of the way of more experienced surfers.

    Beginners should take advantage of renting boards and wetsuits while taking lessons. If it turns out you don't like surfing, you haven't wasted a whole lot of money on gear that you are not going to use. When you are ready to buy, don't waste your time on line, go to a good local surf shop to discuss your size (weight is import, height isn't), skill level and local wave conditions. After 44 years of surfing, I still get my surfboard buying advice from good local shops in the places where i surf. A surf shop is also the best place to find information on instructors.

    If you can afford a $100.00 board, you can afford a lesson or two. Group lessons can be a cheap as $30.00 a session, with a board and wetsuit thrown in.

    Almost ALL instructors will start you off on a longboard. It is just too difficult for most people to learn how to surf on a short board. Most get quickly discouraged, and just quit. Now, over the years, I have seen some young surfers start out on short boards and master them in time. There are no RULES on what kind of board you learn on, but it's just common sense to learn on a long board.

    When you are ready to buy your own board, please avoid popouts in general, and especially popouts made in third world country sweat shops by People who have probably never seen the ocean.

    Herre is why to avoid ALL popouts:

    Anybody who would give you SPECIFIC advice as to what size or type board to buy on-line is foolish. Anybody who would take that advice is more foolish.

    And, I know there are lots of nice kids who want to share information with you on line. But don't take the advice from youngsters, who may know even less than you do about surfing, a surfboard is a big investment. I hope you are mature enough to read through the BS that lots of people throw at you on line. You don't know anywhere near enough about surfboards to by one from an on-line web site without getting disappointed. Don't waste your time on line, go straight to the source, a good local shop. All decent shops has a good slection of used boards for sale, or they sell used boards on consignment.

    I have been surfing since 1966, and it has provided a lifetime of fun for me. If you take the time to learn the right way, it will be a lifetime of fun for you too.Good Luck

    2 days ago

  • 1 decade ago

    In your position? Just hang out at the ocean as often as possible, body surf some beach breaks, just get comfortable again like you said start swimming parallel to the shore every day not too far out to get stronger. Then find some people who do surf and go out with them if you can, if you live in Cali it shouldnt be that hard to find friends who surf. And dont worry about being out alone, Cali is notorious for having crowds of surfers which imo is often times more dangerous than going out by yourself. There are plenty of easy beach breaks and you can go out on smaller days to just learn with no real risk of drowning. Just have fun out there, and if you cant afford lessons then dont be afraid to learn on your own, but if you do be sure that you go out on days at a beach that is well within your comfort zone until you start to feel more comfortable. And just stay away from the surfing crowds so that you dont piss people off. Try to go early in the morning on week days if you can.Or out in conditions that no one else really wants to surf. All practice is good practice.

  • 1 decade ago

    HE's Right^^^^^^^^ you need to get familiar with the ocean learn the tides and the bad spots of your area of surfing. Once you got that down practice paddling on your board on days that its flat and just work your way up to days with big waves. Good luck bro have fun and be safe

  • 5 years ago

    The are no alternatives to an apprenticeship. There are thousands of tricks to this trade and you know exactly NONE! You will become a scratcher. Someone who will seriously injure, infect or scar someone permanently for the rest of their lives. In other words, you will become a despicable human being.

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