I've been surfing on a fish 6'3 for about 2 years (I'm 6feet) and I can catch waves around the 2ft size and duck dive small waves. However as soon as it gets big (3-4ft) I'm hopeless. My duck dive is not good enough and I often get caught in big waves and get smashed. Also my pop up is too slow and I end up at the top of the wave and get smashed. Finally my balance is not that good, when I try to pop up quickly I often loose balance and fall forward or backward.
Any tips on how to improve my surfing skills? I'm also thinking of buying a new board, what should I get? shortboard or another fish?
I really want to take it to the next step but it's hard when it gets big and good surfers catch all the waves I feel like I'm not making any progress. Any tips are welcome