frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

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frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby moomountain » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:20 pm

Hi guys first time post hope you can help.

Started surfing last year and love it! (girlfriend not so much)

Spent last summer learning developing on an 8'2"epoxy minimal. Fine surfing the whitewater then started surfing small unbroken waves, everything going well. Then a crack in the board got bigger and bigger and even tho fixed a few times board eventually snapped(board was 2nd hand a bit crap), hence needed a new board.

I know as a beginner its best to just get any board as it's going to take abuse and not spend alot of money but a hand shaped minimal was available at a ridiculous price and ended up buying:
fibreglass minimal 7'6" x 21 x 2 5/8 (beautiful board & figured slight drop in length would give room for improvement.)

Now having used it this summer i'm having a problem and can't put my finger on it. Basically when i've popped up i travel about 10 ft and board starts sinking! don't know if;

- too heavy for board, not enough float, i'm 5'10 & 85/90kg? (tho sits ok in water when paddling & sitting on it)
- bad technique? (tho i'm not having prob catching waves, too late popping up maybe?)
- feet position? (not wide enough, some people tell me i want my back foot over fin, some say i want to be centred on a minimal).

Strange thing is i was out the other week sat on the board out at sea chilling out and without noticing the swell really picked up, next thing a large wave approached(large for me anyway 4-5ft), i thought what the hell go for it. I could'nt believe it i nailed it completely, it was prob best wave i've ridden ever it was amazing. Which got me thinking the board only works on bigger waves but is that not going against the idea of minimal ie. able to use when surf is small.

So sorry for waffling on but it's driving me absolutely nuts. Can someone please tell me wtf is going on, you would'nt believe how much i would appreciate it.
moomountain
 
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Re: frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby Bearded Gimp » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:35 am

A big floaty board will support you better when there's not much push to a wave. Conversely, a board with less volume will start sinking if all you're doing is standing there. This might be if the waves are really tiny or if you've gone too far away from where the power is in the wave (aka the curl, the pocket etc). In certain conditions, mostly poor quality windswell with onshore winds (blowing from the sea to the land), you'll find that waves peak up quite nicely but don't have any real shoulder to them, leaving you with nowhere to go.

With your level of experience (or lack of it) bad technique and foot position are probably going to come into play. So yes, if you wait until you're in the trough of the wave before getting to your feet, then you'll be going too slowly - where your bigger board might have let you get away with this, the comparatively smaller 7'6 might not.

And yes, your feet are probably all over the place from one wave to the next. But look, this is surfing, it isn't easy. Go in lots, catch as many waves as you can and experiment. Forget about the rights and the wrongs (other than proper surf etiquette - make sure you know that) and just play around with different things. Find out for yourself the effect of moving your back foot forwards or backwards, angled v straight take-offs etc etc. As long as you're catching loads of waves it really doesn't matter if you mess a few up every session. Set yourself a minimum waves per session (more than 20) and don't get out until you catch them. If you're keen you could do some surf specific on-land training, but if you're in the water loads you shouldn't really need to.
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Re: frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby Chris F » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:18 am

You are definitely not too big for the board.

I think foot position is the main problem if you are getting left behind. if you feel you are losing the wave don't be afraid to shuffle your feet forward and get into a trim across the wave.

Watch something like 100% surf techniques DVD for some good tips.
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Re: frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby moomountain » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:28 pm

hi guys thank for quick reply. I'm glad it's looking more towards technique than board, did'nt fancy buying a new board( saying that posted elsewhere someone seemed to think my board was more like a performance board but pretty sure it is a mini mal).

I've experimented with foot placemant forward and back but just seems to be the whole board kinda sinking, i think speed is the problem and maybe popping up too slow/late. Figured you paddle at angle to shore then plane across wave but feeling i might be wrong.Is it better to go at an angle or straight then turn? Annoying thing is once i'm up on the board it's not foreign to me ,snowboarded for 12 years and feels completely comfortable with the balance and feel etc. just not going anywhere fast.
will check out the dvd.
moomountain
 
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Re: frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby Chris F » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:35 am

moomountain wrote:snowboarded for 12 years and feels completely comfortable with the balance and feel etc.


Accounts for very little I'm afraid.
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Re: frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby Jim Birtwisle » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:13 pm

If you are sinking on every wave then you're either to far away from the faster, more powerful part of the wave (as mentioned above), or perhaps you'r board has a leak? Has it got any dings that might be filling with water? Even so it should still float enough for you to stay on a wave. Don't stress about feet, on a mal it's best to shuffle back and forth to keep your speed up. Bend your back knee in toward the board and lean forward with your feet apart so you're not pressing all your weight into one area of the board. Keep trying, and as the above says, get out in as many waves as you can and try whatever feels best. If it doesn't work try something else. The board is definitely fine in terms of its dimensions.
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Re: frustrated surfer! wrong board or wrong technique?

Postby Philshoz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:42 pm

Out of interest, where are you surfing normally?

Average size etc.............
http://philshorrock.blogspot.fr/
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