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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Any surfers?

I live in the Midwest and there are surf shops on the east side of Lake Michigan and I'm considering giving it a shot. From what I've been able to gather, when the wind is whipping up there can be some decent waves and there's a decent surf population in Western Michigan.

I'm wondering if anything that my body has figured out about snowboarding would transfer to surfing and make it easier to learn? I've thought about taking a lesson in the past when in California or Florida but I'm scared to get eaten by a shark.
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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 07:03 PM
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Go for it! Can't really say I'm a surfer living in CO, but I surf every chance I get. Take a lesson to start off so they can help teach you how to get up, but once you have that down, it's pretty much like riding heavy, wet powder. Same thing with wakeboarding. Once you get up, the feeling is pretty natural. Though, I think surfing is more natural feeling as it takes some getting used to getting pulled by a boat and managing the rope while wakeboarding.

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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 08:22 PM
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Yep, it's kinda similar to ridin powder, but expect it to be one of the hardest things to learn!!!!! learning to read the waves, then positioning yaself in order to catch the wave then stand up in the right spot is the most critical part!!!!!

The key to surfing is to stick with it, and go as many times as you possibly can, and no matter what the conditions!!!!! (Unless it's too big for your ability)

The right size/type of board for your age/weight/physical fitness, will help pick it up a lot quicker!!!!!
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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 02:28 AM
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edited: its gonna be awesome

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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 04:28 AM
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(I surfed almost every day for 9 years and considered myself above-average in skill.)

As others have said, it's a lot like riding powder, and turning a snowboard is similar to turning a surfboard, except that you don't have to initiate the turn with your front foot, you can just lean, thanks to the skegs. It's probably more complicated than that, but that is one big difference I noticed between the two.

But the thing that's going to screw you over the worst initially is weak paddling. Whenever I go back to surfing after a hiatus, this is the thing that makes it the most difficult. Being able to paddle hard for a long time is crucial because, without it, you cannot get yourself into the right takeoff spot for the wave, and you cannot get the right amount of speed to prevent yourself from getting sucked up into the lip before you try to stand up.

With these two problems taken care of, learning to stand up and ride will be much easier. For this reason it may be wise to go out very often initially, even when the waves are bad, just for the sake of strengthening your paddling. Swimming should help, but I am not sure how much.

People also often recommend starting with a very big board, and this does make it easier initially, but if you plan on riding a shortboard eventually, I would just go ahead and start on a shortboard. It will be more difficult, but I think it will be best in the long run. Might as well get that adjustment over with sooner.

TL;DR: rubber arms will make it all seem a lot worse at first; get past that, and things will get much better for you!

P.S./Edit: A bigger board is easier to paddle, so the "rubber arm" problem will be less acute initially, but even so, I would recommend pushing through on a shortboard. I took a 2 month surf trip a few years ago after not having surfed for years. I don't think it took me much longer than a week (maybe two) of surfing every day to get my paddling to an acceptable level again. That said, I am not saying it's WRONG to start on a longer board; it's just my opinion. I have never taught anybody how to surf.

Last edited by frankzinger; 04-27-2014 at 04:57 AM.
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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 10:00 AM
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surfing is easy, paddling is work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankzinger View Post
(I surfed almost every day for 9 years and considered myself above-average in skill.)

As others have said, it's a lot like riding powder, and turning a snowboard is similar to turning a surfboard, except that you don't have to initiate the turn with your front foot, you can just lean, thanks to the skegs. It's probably more complicated than that, but that is one big difference I noticed between the two.

But the thing that's going to screw you over the worst initially is weak paddling. Whenever I go back to surfing after a hiatus, this is the thing that makes it the most difficult. Being able to paddle hard for a long time is crucial because, without it, you cannot get yourself into the right takeoff spot for the wave, and you cannot get the right amount of speed to prevent yourself from getting sucked up into the lip before you try to stand up.

With these two problems taken care of, learning to stand up and ride will be much easier. For this reason it may be wise to go out very often initially, even when the waves are bad, just for the sake of strengthening your paddling. Swimming should help, but I am not sure how much.

People also often recommend starting with a very big board, and this does make it easier initially, but if you plan on riding a shortboard eventually, I would just go ahead and start on a shortboard. It will be more difficult, but I think it will be best in the long run. Might as well get that adjustment over with sooner.

TL;DR: rubber arms will make it all seem a lot worse at first; get past that, and things will get much better for you!

P.S./Edit: A bigger board is easier to paddle, so the "rubber arm" problem will be less acute initially, but even so, I would recommend pushing through on a shortboard. I took a 2 month surf trip a few years ago after not having surfed for years. I don't think it took me much longer than a week (maybe two) of surfing every day to get my paddling to an acceptable level again. That said, I am not saying it's WRONG to start on a longer board; it's just my opinion. I have never taught anybody how to surf.
yep. surfing is 99% paddling. and paddling you have to learn and refine. most people spend their first few hundred hours flailing their arms and getting tired, not actually moving - even in super forgiving conditions.

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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 10:21 AM
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It didn't seem that hard watching Point Break.

I guess the hours of watching him paddle around and miss all the decent waves are maybe on the directors extended cut?

Then again, I'm no Johnny Utah
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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 01:14 PM
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I should learn... Its probably a sin that i don't know how considering during the summer i live on the damn beach. Like seriously my house is 2 miles from it...

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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-28-2014, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f00bar View Post
It didn't seem that hard watching Point Break.

I guess the hours of watching him paddle around and miss all the decent waves are maybe on the directors extended cut?

Then again, I'm no Johnny Utah
Haha, but he started on a tanker, so it must've been easier.

I must've seen that movie not long after I had started surfing, and I remember being quite impressed by the surfing in it. Matt Archbold, mostly. Not a bad general action movie, either

Oh my, I see they're doing a remake! Point Break (2015) - IMDb Not so sure what to think about that... EDIT: No, I think I am sure. It's pretty stupid.

Last edited by frankzinger; 04-28-2014 at 05:08 AM.
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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-28-2014, 06:13 AM
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Worst surf flick ever made is In Gods Hands!!!!!

Even though Dorian is one of my picks as a legend!!!!!
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