Re: Restarting after 15 years- is it me, the board, or the w
Glad you're back in the wet and have the stoke!
1. So is it me, is it the board, or is it just the difference in wave conditions from day-to-day?
Long boards make it way easier to catch small to medium waves. I think the waves you have encountered with the long board are different than when you rented boards and they are different than when you surfed in San Diego. I suspect you have been out recently on days when the waves are going vertical relatively quickly. Pearling usually indicates you are taking off too late. It also happens when the waves stand up real fast (because you can't actually take off early enough). This problem really shows itself when using long board on small waves due to the long length of the board compared to the waves height. So now, take off sooner.
2. Long boards are vastly more stable and easier to catch waves with than shorter boards. So, it's you. A long board isn't magic. You still have to read the waves and currents and, above all, take off early enough and fast enough. Are you paddling as hard as you can and at the correct time? I think you just need more time in the water.
3. The surfshop owner asked me if the waves "have any push" and I have heard that phrase again in the line-up. Is "push" a real thing with waves and if so, could that be part of the problem?
Push to me is the energy the wave has. The more it has, the faster the ride will be. Also the more it has, the smaller the board you can use. If there is not enough wave push (the way I use the term), then I can't use my shorter board very well. There has to be a noticeable amount of energy or push for my shorter board to be stable and able to catch the wave.
I learned to surf at age 47, so I know you are going to get it going because you are simply returning to surfing. You should get a buddy to watch what you are doing and tell you what you need to do better. It's very easy for someone who knows how to surf to help like this. If you don't know anybody, ask some of the old guys at the break to do this for you. Old guys rule