It sounds like I-Salute-U gave some great advice. I encounter very similiar problems and I think its due to the fact that I'm still slow on my pop-up abilities as well as overpaddling at times and being too far inside for where the wave is breaking. Usually its because I've set up further inside to catch smaller waves, then when a bigger set comes in that is going to break a little further out, I go for it anyway and am too far inside and "crash and burn" It probably more of just gaining experience and training your eye better....knowing visually where you need to be on the wave and how much paddling you need do to get yourself into a successful spot to catch it easily. Knowing depending on where you are set up, which waves to take and which ones won't work for your spot in the lineup. Also the time you choose to start your paddle, and how much paddle energy to put yourself into just the right spot to catch the wave. All of those are factors. Just keep getting tons of experience, that is probably the best answer. Also having a more experience buddy out there with you to help "coach" you as to when to take off really helps. I've had my best rides when I had a buddy-coach tell which wave to take, which ones not to take and at just the right time I should start my approach. They just have a better trained eye than I do.