Hi guys, first post, dont know if this is the right forum.
I started learning to surf many years ago, and havent been surfing for years though. In the last months I had the chance to go surfing more often.
I had a couple of surf camps on Canary Islands, with 7'10'' NSP and a BIC longboard (this was back in 2005). Then, after a long gap, I started again in Brazil with shortboards (6'8'', 6'4'') and then on my own I spent 10 days longboarding in an easy spot (Praia da Pipa, near Natal in Brazil), and really enjoyed it, as I was able to stay on wave's face til the end and til my legs burned (this was 2009).
I would define myself a post-beginner, but now, using my 7'4'' minimal results are very bad.
I surfed with it during the last months and results were miserable while all the others were having greatest fun with their shortboards. Then I heard something I had thought but didn't want to admit: the minimal isn't a long nor a shortboard, it doesnt glide and start like a long because you have to paddle like crazy to move it, you cant duck dive and have to struggle like mad to get to lineup. My main problem at the beginning has been that I couldn't catch waves, as it seems I didnt paddle enough or earlier enough. I found it very very slow to start. So heavy. It seemed the minimal didnt move much or was very heavy and slow. Dimensions are 7'4'' x 20 1/4 x 2 1/2, three fins.
Now I can catch waves more easily, but cant stay high on the wave. It seems I am unable to steer away from the "shore direction" and get across wave's face. While I paddle catching the wave I try to angle my board as much as I can: if the shore is at 12oclock, then my nose is at 2 or something like that (usually right waves here). The problem I am facing is that once I pop up and I turn (right) my torso and push with heel (I am a goofy, on a right wave) in order to get up on wave's face, the board simply continues to go towards the shore, or it really slows down. IT's like I cant dig the rail. The other day I dropped a friend on a shortboards, and I saw him going superfast behind me on top of the wave, while I was sadly going -not straight, but at an angle- towards the shore.
I also remember that when I was at Lanzarote (with longboard) in order to stay on the wave without losing it (as it happens now) I used to grab my external rail with my hands, making somehow easier for my internal rail to dig into the wave and goes on the face. Should I try to do this as well?
thanks in advance!