Surfing is such a psychological shit-fight a lot of the time. You need the physical capabilities, sure. But once you have that, you also need the gumption to paddle into the middle of a pack, take off on waves, and call people off your waves.
I took the rented board out again this morning. This was the first time I’ve taken it out in decent surf. It’s super fun in small surf, but I found in bigger surf, although it’s fine to duck-dive and paddle, I’m landing my feet in front of the tail-pad when I pop-up. Argh! Then, because my feet are in the wrong position, I have trouble turning it. I couldn’t do anything other than ride along the face of the wave; I’d bottom-turn so slowly I’d end up in the trough, no cut-backs, no top turns… I just kept telling myself I’m getting used to the board.
I had a look on a few forums and I think I need to lie a little further back on the board, and put my hands a bit further back when I pop-up. I think ultimately, that board is a little long for me, and maybe a 6’0 would be perfect, but the whole point of me trying it out is that I want to find a board to ride when the surf is small and mushy, so, I dunno.
Anyway, when I first got out in the water there were only a few guys out and none of them could surf. There was a beautiful, beautiful local guy out who was giving two of them lessons, but he was so incredibly generous with the waves that he was calling us all onto the waves. It was so great. A woman paddled out and was hesitating around the shoulder not catching anything for about 40 mins. You could see she wanted one but was too nervous to get deeper into the take-off zone. The local guy (whose name was Anger -hard G) called her into the take-off zone and made her catch a wave, and she could totally surf. It’s all so psychological. It makes so much difference when there’s a generous crowd out there. I felt a bit bad ’cause he sent his customers in but I’d said to him earlier “I don’t want you to go” and he stayed out and caught more waves with me.