Worst surfer ever needs help

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Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby AmandaPanda » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:00 am

I am not joking, or in any way exaggerating, I am probably the worst surfer but I really enjoy it so don't want to give it up. I have had about 13 private coaching sessions and still cannot stand up when out there. I can do it on the beach, I have tried numerous methods which are all fine on the beach, but out there, something mentally is blocking me. I am timid in the water, so once my confidence gets a bit rattled, I recoil. I am short, between 5ft and 5ft1 and I have big boobs (sorry) so I don't have a lot of clearance to get my left leg through, so I have to sort of lift my hand off my board and put it back down again when bringing my leg through, I do this fine on the beach, but seem to be reluctant to do it out there. If I just pop up, I end up too far back on my board, so I have to really bring my right knee through then my left foot and twist around to get up.

I know so many people would probably say 'surfing clearly isn't for you, just go do yoga or something' and I can sense a few instructors I have been to actually think that, in fact I am sure all of my coaches do.....................I am not expecting to surf the big waves out back, or be surfing along on a 5ft 8 pointy nosed board, but I do enjoy being out there as much as the ocean scares the hell out of me, once I get comfy in there I could stay out there all day.

Part of me says it will just be repeating and keeping on going and one day it will just happen, without pressure. I have a coaching session tomorrow morning and I know my coach will get frustrated again and tell me it is all in my head, then I will hire a board a couple of times this week and surf next to the group classes at the surf school to practice and repeat (that was great for me as I didn't feel the pressure of the disappointed coach who didn't get me up again). I am okay about catching waves, can do that fine, it is the getting up that just isn't happening. I actually had a coach muttering all sorts of nasty under his breath up at Currumbin yesterday when I joined his beginners class, I was still the slow special one when everyone else was on their first lesson. I am definitely not naturally gifted, it is a lot of hard work and a lot of disappointment for moreso others than me, as I just enjoy myself even if I only have the front foot up and the back knee down. I don't want to quit but at some point everyone at the surf schools on the Gold Coast will get fed up of me and not want to teach me, or mutter nasty under their breath about how useless I am etc. So if anyone has any tips that don't involve (give up surfing' that would be great :-)

Thanks heaps
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby roberdy » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:05 am

Do push ups, get used to popping up, mark some X's on the floor of your lounge room and practice getting to your feet, as you build muscle memory you will think about it less and it will come more naturally until you just do it.

I used to do a kind of two stage pop up where my back foot finds it's place before my front foot comes through, worked for a few years until I figured out how to do it properly and smoothly as the wave steepens in front of me.

Keep at it, you'll get it and ignore the idiot instructors on the GC, most of the casual instructors are only there to teach first timers who they know will be stoked just to flap about in the white water cause it is their first time ever, they are not prepared for someone who might need some real help and is very committed. I have taken a couple of groups to Currumbin and although they are great with first timers and absolute beginners, I don't think they have the paitence for slower learners or people with challenges like big boobs!

Don't give up if you really want to surf, nothing worth doing is easy.
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby Paul C » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:24 am

This sounds familiar Amanda. I didn't start surfing until I was 55 and I had the same problem for a few months with standing up. Like you I really enjoyed it being in the water so I just kept persevering. I started with a surf school and went with them 3 times and then I decided to buy my own board & wetsuit and keep trying on my own instead of paying a surf scool every time although they were great and still helped me a bit afterwards for free if they saw me in the water.
I found my first board a bit light & wobbly so after a couple of months I bought one that was heavier which made it a bit more stable in the water. I still couldn't stand on that one straight away but with perseverance eventually one day I actually stood up and rode the white water and it was a great feeling and after that I could stand easily just about every time. It's a bit like trying to ride a two wheel bike as a child, you have to keep at it and one day you just do it.
I am still surfing today 9 years later, I don't expect to be anything special at my age, I just do what I can and enjoy it.
Have you thought about a longboard? It may be a bit easier in the water although they can be big and heavy to carry across the beach.
Keep it up Amanda, don't give in and definately don't feel inferior of other surfers, they all had to start and some people just take longer than others.
You will stand eventually, let us know when you do. ;-)
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby majordom » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:25 pm

try flatwater paddlesurfing to get your balance then try it in very small waves
and take it from there
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby Leven » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Don't worry about your boobs or your front foot.

1. Paddle hard.
2. Hands flat on the board by your rib cage, NOT by your shoulders.
3. Spring your HIPS up off the board.
4. Land your BACK foot on the board.
5. Your front foot will just follow through naturally as there's nowhere else for it to go.


Seriously don't worry about landing your front foot, just concentrate on your back. It's not so much of an explosive push up, but a lifting of the hips and swinging your legs underneath you.
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby BoredatWork925 » Wed May 10, 2017 3:00 pm

Firstly, as encouragement I'd say don't worry at all about how good or bad you are. Life's not a competition and it's just important to enjoy yourself. I used to have a pretty severe phobia of water and worked really hard at it so I could learn to windsurf. It took me years and I lost nearly 10kg in weight purely through the anxiety! However, I made it in the end and the feeling of achievement was immense, and although I'm rubbish at it because my lack of confidence holds me back, I still enjoy it to this day and that's all that matters. I realise that's just an analogy because fear isn't your problem, but what I'm trying to say is that lack of ability or anything else (flexibility, weight, age, nerves etc) needn't hold you back - just enjoy yourself at your own pace. :-)

Secondly, I'd also recommend flat water stand up paddleboarding (SUP) as a way to improve your surfing. Unlike surfing, you'll be stood up continuously for hours, and it's therefore a wonderful way to build your balance and confidence on a board. You can even practise your paddling (surfing style lying down with your hands of course!) and popping up technique. By lengthening the ride and removing the waves, white water etc, you'll be able to isolate and continuously work on individual elements, such as the balance, or paddling technique. Flat water SUP even has a use for the surfing stance to do something called a 'pivot turn', which is an awesome way of learning balance and improving confidence. SUP boards can be expensive, but you can hire them cheaply.

I hope that helps. Happy surfing!
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby BoredatWork925 » Wed May 10, 2017 3:28 pm

Firstly, as encouragement I'd say don't worry at all about how good or bad you are. Life's not a competition and it's just important to enjoy yourself. I used to have a pretty severe phobia of water and worked really hard at it so I could learn to windsurf. It took me years and I lost nearly 10kg in weight purely through the anxiety! However, I made it in the end and the feeling of achievement was immense, and although I'm rubbish at it because my lack of confidence holds me back, I still enjoy it to this day and that's all that matters. I realise that's just an analogy because fear isn't your problem, but what I'm trying to say is that lack of ability or anything else (flexibility, weight, age, nerves etc) needn't hold you back - just enjoy yourself at your own pace. :-)

Secondly, I'd also recommend flat water stand up paddleboarding (SUP) as a way to improve your surfing. Unlike surfing, you'll be stood up continuously for hours, and it's therefore a wonderful way to build your balance and confidence on a board. You can even practise your paddling (surfing style lying down with your hands of course!) and popping up technique. By lengthening the ride and removing the waves, white water etc, you'll be able to isolate and continuously work on individual elements, such as the balance, or paddling technique. Flat water SUP even has a use for the surfing stance to do something called a 'pivot turn', which is an awesome way of learning balance and improving confidence. SUP boards can be expensive, but you can hire them cheaply.

I hope that helps. Happy surfing!
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Re: Worst surfer ever needs help

Postby otterr » Mon May 15, 2017 3:52 pm

and when you can do that comfortably on the floor, prop your board up with some cushions or on the bed or whatever and then practice on that. then keep going until your feet land perfectly and you don't have to look down to check. maybe even make a video to review it. I'd say a weekend doing this would be 10x better than all the coaching sessions you've been doing

good luck!
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