Surfing advice?

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7/18/2018 7:58 AM

Taking the family on vacation last year we bought a 7'something foamie. It was a blast, but I had trouble with getting spit over the front, "pearling" i think they call it. Im very comfortable with the "pop" to stand, but then the wave just grabs the back of the board shoves it up and the nose plows in. Also, Im a strong pool swimmer (good lap times, flip turns etc) but I would get pulled backwards into the wave as I was trying to get some momentum going. Frustrating. I felt like with a shorter board maybe it wouldnt want to dig the nose is as often?

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7/18/2018 9:21 AM

couple of possible reasons if you're pearling

1) you are too far up on the board when paddling. On a 7' or so board, depending on your height, your feet should be right around the tail of the board or even slightly hanging off the end when you are on your belly paddling.

2) the wave itself is causing you to pearl which is very common for beginners. If you have the pop-up handled then you are ahead of the game. You mentioned you're a good swimmer so you should be a strong paddler. My guess is you are judging the wave wrong and trying to paddle in too late when the wave is steep and starting to break. Those soft tops are very thick and paddle well - allowing you to get into the wave early. Thats the whole advantage of bigger boards allowing you to get into the wave early with plenty of time to stand up.

My advice is to watch how the other more experienced surfers are doing it. Sit on the beach for 20 or so minutes before paddling out and study when people are standing up and how early they are paddling into the wave.

where are you surfing? sometimes the type of wave is the most important part. A slow, gently rolling wave like at a point or a long, gently sloping beach break are best. Beach breaks with steep drop offs that get deep are not good - waves jack up and are generally steeper and not good for beginners.

hope that helps, good luck!

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7/18/2018 9:24 AM

if you have an Instagram...check out @kookslams and @kook_of_the_day and whatever you see on there, DON'T do grin

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7/18/2018 9:47 AM

You need to point down the line not straight or perpendicular. So like 45 degrees to the face. Never just straight at beach. And positioning is key. Timing it so you are just about to stand and the last push to your feet is timed with the initial drop in so that your hands actually push slight forward at that exact moment the wave catches you to kind of rocket launch you into the drop in, if you will. This will help you stand earlier and before the face is too steep.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

7/18/2018 11:06 AM

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7/18/2018 11:54 AM

MelonFan123 wrote:

couple of possible reasons if you're pearling

1) you are too far up on the board when paddling. On a 7' or so board, ...more

Thanks for the help, we vacation in the gulf near Destin FL. The day I was getting frustrated the waves seem to build up quick and just crash over, not much forward movement before they were done. I was probably in a poor spot. I did try to set off at an angle which helps a little but still I’d dig in the nose half the time, the only rides that worked were waves which crashed already and were just messy foam. These were small waves maybe 4 feet at best? But the current was impressive, at least to me, as even on the big foam board I couldn’t get any real forward movement going just always being drawn back into the wave like a tennis ball or something . Conversely when the water is still, I can cruise along nicely, even pop up and stand there a while, it’s almost like a sup board it’s so huge and buoyant.

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7/18/2018 7:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2018 10:08 AM

MelonFan123 wrote:

couple of possible reasons if you're pearling

1) you are too far up on the board when paddling. On a 7' or so board, ...more

Mx746 wrote:

Thanks for the help, we vacation in the gulf near Destin FL. The day I was getting frustrated the waves seem to build up quick ...more

Yea Destin only gets waves during extreme cold fronts, hard southerly or west winds or tropical storms so the waves are more wind chop than actual ground swells and rare. A little harder to surf on the west coast of Florida because the waves suck up on the sand bar. I surf Captiva the rare time there is waves but we call it Pipetiva because it's a fast wave and sucks up so hard. I live on the west coast of Florida too but grew up on the east coast and have surfed my whole life.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

7/19/2018 10:17 AM

Here is some few decade old bad shots of me there when it was an actual small ground swell. Photo
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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

7/19/2018 10:52 AM

Ebs posted this in another thread....

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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

7/19/2018 12:54 PM

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7/20/2018 8:28 AM

FLmxer wrote:

Here is some few decade old bad shots of me there when it was an actual small ground swell. Photo
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thats what Im shooting for, Ill have to plan a trip to find a good location and just practice for a few days. The waves in the pic look that same as what I remember from our trip, but it seemed to me like the tide pulling back out was faster than my ability to paddle forwards. Frustrating.

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7/20/2018 3:58 PM

Look for a point break to learn on, not a beach break. Beach breaks close out to quickly and won't give you enough time to get to your feet unless you already know how to surf. A river mouth with a sandbar will also work. They will allow you to get up and cruise down the line on your soft top. If your only choice is a beach break try to surf on the higher tides. Higher tides usually make for mushier conditions, but it depends on the break. Surfing is very difficult so don't get discouraged. I surf all over the world and I'm still learning new things.

You might want to make a trip to Texas for a surf trip. The NLand pool is really easy for beginners, and the BSR pool also has a section for beginners. You will get plenty of waves at both locations.

5-10 years from now there will be amazing wave pools everywhere, so learn to surf now and you will be ripping in the pools they're building.

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7/20/2018 6:47 PM

I used to catch a ride with older friends to cocoa beach when I was just learning and we would sleep in the car behind Ron John's. The waves there are different and easy to learn on. Even after the wave breaks there is a few feet of face still in front of the whitewater so you can take your time getting up and still get a good ride because there is usually 2 or 3 reforms because of the bottom configuration with multiple sand bars. Like 3 waves in one. A wave breaks in half as deep as it is tall.
Soon as we got better we started to go to Sebastian inlet every weekend for more advanced waves. The waves used to barrel so good there and many pros were regulars there like Kelly Slater who dropped in on me many times. He is from Cocoa though. The beach changed but 1st peak used to get perfect backwash off the jetty and if you caught it right it would flare the pocket out and so fun. We used to leave the party Friday at 3am and sleep on beach in board bags and surf till Monday. Good times.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

7/20/2018 7:11 PM

Check out Firstpeakproject on instagram
Sebastian is a beautiful place and I spent a huge amount of my young life there. Surfing, diving, fishing, clamming and camping also many times with my parents who loved it there too.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

7/20/2018 7:38 PM

There is not another feeling like being swept up on your first 5 footer, jumping to your feet, and dropping in. Huntington Beach in the 60's was amazing. I didn't know what I had then. By the time the late 70's rolled around it was gone. It was Kamakazi bullshit unless you went South to Brookhurst or North to the Cliffs or Bolsa Chica. I had a 9'6" Jacobs that I could carry down the first time. After 1 or 2 hrs in the water I had to drag it. Too many dings. When I got home I would lean against the wall and it would drain for 4 hours. Good times.

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7/20/2018 8:26 PM

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Ed Johnson

7/21/2018 10:56 AM

If my schedule takes me anywhere near one of those pools, Im definitely going to give it a try. Lots of great advice in here, much appreciated.

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8/18/2018 1:55 PM

timing is everything, it takes practice. Not sure about the waves you are talking about, if they are too to bottom quick breaking, you are probably way late getting into it.
Paddling is critical, if you surf once or twice a year, it isn’t enough to get timing down. If you have a pool, tie your leash to a ladder, get on your board and paddle. It will teach you how to adjust the nose of the board when you need to raise it or lower it while paddling. Most people don’t have the balance down when learning.

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"Cheezus"