dtc wrote:Let us know how you do. Frustrating but fun is how most people describe their first 10-20+ sessions...
No worries dtc, the worry was a good one.
Since we are only surfing whitewash as of now, the main concern was all of the non-surfers. Kids everywhere at the beach (Bolsa Chica) that we went to on Saturday. We figured their parents will always think it is our fault if their kid gets hit so that was a constant concern. We got out later than we wanted (shooting to arrive at 9am...arrived at 12pm)
Round 1: I went out and tried to paddle out. Found I could be very stable on the board when paddling but need to work on my technique as I didn't feel like I was going anywhere. In hindsight, I tried to get out much further than I needed. Got bashed around a bit by the waves when I was up to my neck. Used all I had in the tank just fighting the waves and didn't even attempt to stand up. Walked back to my GF sitting on the beach in shame.
Round 2: She wanted to give it a go, but is very concerned about the number of people around. I went out with her to help her handle the barge and get her set up. As expected, she floats with ease, but handling the massive board in waves seems to be an issue. After some intended "good natured" instruction from me we weren't on the same page and she wanted to head back to the beach. Probably more mad at me than at the waves. Ooops.
We sat around a bit more watching others. Some guys on shortboards catching real waves and I wasn't sure if today would be our day. Then we saw a guy/girl combo each with their own board. She had a longboard and was at our level. He paddled out to the big waves with the rest of the shortboarders, leaving her behind. She had the presumably correct approach, only going out to where the water was waist deep and paddling into the whitewash, standing up briefly and then falling.
Round 3: After we both watched her for a while, the GF said I should go and just try to do that. So I did. And it was much more fun. I still never stood up officially, but know that is the type of practice I/we should be doing right now. I'd hold the board next to my side, wait for a whitewash I was going to try to catch, and then hop on and paddle hard. First attempt I dove the nose into the water. Took that as I was too far forward on the board, so I shifted back and tried again. Found my sweetspot and then was at least able to "boogie board" on my board a few times. Then decided it was time to start popping up and although I've been practicing a "direct to feet" popup on land, I couldn't get there without stopping on my back knee first. Either I didn't have the balance or the waves didn't travel long enough at this point for me to have time to get all the way up. I tried this for a while but it was getting cold and even a bit rainy (this weekend was grey and cold by SoCal standards in our area) so I figured she would be wanting to leave. I packed it in after a few more tries and a few more times getting no further than front foot/back knee.
We started very frustrated (as I went into it expecting to be but hopeful we wouldn't) but at least I ended optimistically. We made plans to go out again Sunday morning to Torrance/Hagerty's where we had our lesson a few weeks ago and hoped there would be less people. Never made it out though. Although we didn't get out, I am still very enthusiastic about getting out as much as possible (hopefully tomorrow after work) and so is she, so I'm glad I didn't lose her yet.
It will definitely take a few more tries to determine if this board is just way to big for her, but I think thats the pending result. Either way we are still going after it next possible chance.
Thanks for the advice and the read.