I recently introduced myself on the welcome thread, in short I'm a Finnish guy living in NZ, recently finished with university and now looking to learn to surf. I try to read through the forums and guides before asking stupid questions, but there's bound to be a few so I'll try and keep them in a single thread.
I'll try to summarize my current situation and will ask a couple of questions as to what would be the best way to go about learning after that.
I'm 27 years old, 180cm/5' 10" tall, about 77kg/170 lbs (and I like long walks on the beach...wait, wrong forum). I'm quite fit but a beginner in water sports, lately I've been doing mostly gym, some social team sports and a bit of running on the side.
I used to swim a couple k's a day as a teenager so I can swim but my swimming technique does suck big time. I've done a fair amount of sports regularly for a long time so taking up a reasonably hard daily routine to improve the kind of fitness I need for surfing is fine.
Question 1: what's the best way to start for a complete newbie?
I thought I'd go take some surfing lessons, but I was wondering if I'd get more out of them if I did a few weeks of suitable workout routine (swimming in the pool and in the ocean, suitable gym excercises and some playing around in the sea with a bodyboard to get a feel of the waves as I'm a complete newbie when it comes to understanding the mechanics of water)? If you think preparing like this would be useful, what kind of workout would you prioritize?
Would I be better off just going for a surf lesson asap and take it from there? In general I'm a bit of a step-by-step learner rather than a complete 'throw me in the deep end'-type so I was hoping I could do some preparing myself and then get more out of the lessons themselves. Either way goes of course!
Question 2: what kind of board should I be going for?
I’ve read about the different kinds of boards and also read through the beginner board topic and according to that I should be aiming for something like the following:
A 7’6”-8’ (229 cm – 244 cm) long, closer to 3 inch (7.6 cm) thick and close to 21 inches (53 cm) wide board.
Eventually I’d like to learn to surf with a thruster, but I assume a longboard or a mini-mal would be the smart choice and best for fast learning. However, I haven’t really got an idea of what kind of surf the surroundings of Auckland have and if I should be looking for something different because of local surf(longer board, shorter board, something different). Also if someone could drop names of good and helpful local shapers and surf clubs/schools it would be great.
I thought I’d try and find a second-hand board as my first board, basically learn on something crappy and once I get the ropes, move into something that’s closer to what I want. A good plan? I would not want to spend a fortune on something I want to replace really soon and that I’m likely to dent while doing something incredibly stupid.
I have no intention or wish to look cool while learning, I just want to learn fast and once ready, move to the shortboard side of things. I understand this will probably take a while as I have no previous experience of similar sports.
Thanks in advance for your replies! I realise many of the things I have asked have probably been covered in various threads before so feel free to hit me over the head with a link where necessary.
Wishing you great surf,