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Learn to Surf/Paddlesurf?

Discussion started by Susan Simmons 3 years ago
I'm thinking about learning to surf, but I got interested because I bought a SUP and love it. My question is should my first lesson be traditional surfing or paddlesurfing, as paddlesurfing is my goal? I've never surfed, so I want to take the right lessons. Thanks to all who can help me out.
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Justin Van Dyck
Justin Van Dyck
I found both surf and SUP experience to be helpful. Check out http://www.xstanduppaddleboard.com/paddle-board-lessons for lessons.
12 months ago
Neil 'Moonwalker' Armstrong
Neil 'Moonwalker' Armstrong
Definitely do a regular surf lesson. It will help you understand the ocean and give you another perspective. It'll be easier to be in the surf zone with just a surfboard - rather than having to deal with a SUP and paddle as well.
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
Hey, Rob

I think you meant to address me, not Erin, as she sounds like she has a clue as to what she's doing in the surf. I'm the one who has been asking away. Thanks for all the great info!
3 years ago
Rob Casey
Rob Casey
erin,
for next time, a few thoughts. if you want to learn sup surfing, do that instead of spending time learning 'traditional' board surfing as they are different in terms of catching the wave itself.

per going out, pick an uncrowded or empty spot, small waves (up to you waist) and use a leash. best to take a lesson and if not google up surf etiquette and learn the basics in case there are people around - simply, give waves, don't be a wave hog, and don't drop in on someone already on the wave.

learn the pivot turn on flat water, as well as cross bow and/or sweep turns. this will save you time once in the surf in turning around both at the beach and in the waves. per the pivot (180) turn, keep you paddle in the water at all times! once you take it out, you swim. keep the paddle active which acts as a brace or tripod. even when you move back towards center, paddle forward as you go. practice... check out my book for more basic surfing tips. cheers
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
Erin,

I actually stayed in Carlsbad the first half of vacation and visited the lagoon, but it was foggy all week and never lifted, plus red tide, so we went to SD. I'm in the high desret near Joshua Tree National Park. It's a drive, but Mission Bay is definitely worth it. The next time we go there I'll let you know in advance.
3 years ago
Erin Blunt Robbins
Erin Blunt Robbins
Susan, I'm glad you had a fun time in San Diego. This is where I live! I go to the Carlsbad lagoon all the time! If you're still around, I'm going out this evening! Let me know! ;-)
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
Well, I went on vacation, but I wasn't able to learn to paddlesurf, as there was a red tide (I am NOT getting in that water)! My time in San Diego was limited, but I did get to paddleboard Mission Bay. Next time I want to go around the island. It was awesome! Now I have a new favorite place. Thanks to everybody on this thread that gave me great advice (all of you did) and I will continue to practise my 180's. See ya around here!
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
Erin,
I have tried to step back, but I just haven't been able to sink the tail yet. Last week I was going to try Jason's advice, but I couldn't even shift my feet. They just felt glued to the deck! And if i picked one up...well you can guess! And i just wasn't in the mood to get wet that day. I've recently read somewhere that it's good to "walk" the board, to find out where you can go and where you can't relating to responsiveness of the board.

I get the feeling I'm over-thinking this and maybe i should just do it? (Like Nike says LOL) I'm going to the beach in a week and a half. There are some lagoons there, which is probably where I'll stay, except for Mission Bay, which is supposed to be fairly flat. So if I do try anything, it'll be 1 foot mush where the surfers don't go.

Thanks everybody!
3 years ago
Erin Blunt Robbins
Erin Blunt Robbins
Jason, you've explained it well. It's fun to do and really helps to turn quickly. Susan, have you had a chance to give it a try?
3 years ago
Jason Norwood
Jason Norwood
step back on that tail, so the nose pops up a bit and then forward stroke inside to wide outside for a fast turn.

if you are right foot forward then paddle hard on the right side. work on your strong side with your good foot forward. on your weak side you will most likely keep a parallel stance, but use your inside outside stroke.

keep on practicing and having fun.

try to spin a 360 once you complete a 180 :)
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
Jason, do you mean for me to get on the tail, do I stroke at the same time, before or after I take a step back on the tail?
3 years ago
Erin Blunt Robbins
Erin Blunt Robbins
Jason, You ROCK! Thanks for sharing such great info with everyone. I'm sure many people have had the same questions! It's awesome that you have taken the time to share these great tips and starting points!
Erin - SUP Connect
3 years ago
Jason Norwood
Jason Norwood
the more you can get on the tail, the more your board will pivot. maybe even shuffle back a bit, BUT an inside to wide outside paddle stroke will really make the difference. make sure you really PUSH with your top hand for an effective stroke. sounds like you'll be ready for a lesson in no time + you can try a smaller board for surfing. i ride a 10' and would have hell trying to spin a 11'4 at your size ;-)
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
@ Jason: I tried that 180 today, but I'm having trouble getting my foot back far enough to sink the board. I don't know if it's my weight, if the board's too long or if I'm just too short. My board is 11'2" and I'm abour 5'4" and 135 lbs. Do I need to stomp on the board or should it just go under with applied weight on the tail?
3 years ago
Susan Simmons
Susan Simmons
Thanks, Jason. You hit the two areas I figured I needed to understand, but nobody else gave that info on standup zone. Thanks for taking the time to advise me. I think I do need to learn to read the waves and apply surf etiquette, too. Some people thought I should learn to body surf first, then surf, then paddlesurf. A real mix of info, but I appreciate it all because it gets me thinking critically. I think some people were terrified that I'd show up in their line up, so I assured them that I wouldn't any time soon! Keep the stoke!
3 years ago
Jason Norwood
Jason Norwood
first of all, you want to be a proficient flatwater paddler and be able to spin a 180 deg turn quickly by stepping back on the tail of your board with a surf stance. second, practice paddling your sup straight out into lil waves without falling off your board. dropping to your knees to save yourself is much better than falling off... knee paddle a couple of strokes to straighten out and hop back up. after you can do those couple of skills, take a SUP surf lesson and you'll be grinning ear to ear as you glide along effortlessly. aloha
3 years ago

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