Re: How many tries did it take you to ride your first wave ?
To be totally honest, i do not recall how many hours of time in the water i spent, though I do recall the 1st time I made it out to the lineup. In fact the wife and i were just talking about it this weekend when we drove up the coast and came across the break where it happened for me. I had spent almost 6 months trying to make it to the outside, I would try and try till my arms felt like they were on fire and then I would face my bitter disappointment and head back into the whitewash to practice popping up and working on balance and turning. Then something happened, that i was not ready for. I dug in and gave it all i had, expecting to look up at that last set rolling in and pushing me back to that point where I always knew it was pointless to push on. Nothing.. no set, no wave breaking in front of me, I was so stoked i actually let out a hoot. I made it to the outside.
Now came the easy part, so I thought. (still makes me chuckle when I think about that.) The swell was solid head high, I lined myself up just to the right of where the wave was breaking and waited for the next set. It was glassy, (for Oregon standards) and looking back, was actually very favorable conditions. I paddled hard, felt the glide and popped to my feet. Being the 1st time i had ever actually dropped down the face of a wave, verses being pushed by whitewater, I discovered and interesting tidbit of knowledge. Put more weight on back foot, instead of the front foot. Yep you guessed it. My nose dug in hard, I pearled and got my 1st experience being worked by a wave. I paddled back out and repeated said move 3 more times, before that tidbit of knowledge sunk in. On the 4th attempt I managed to make the drop and do a turn. Granted the ride was far from being very long, though it was one of my most memorable ones.
Suggestion for you. It is not about how fast you can complete the journey, it is the road you take and weather or not you can find enjoyment on that road getting to your destination.
Some of the most fun times I have ever had surfing were on days when most people in their right minds would not even suit up let alone paddle out. Scoring a clean face ride on a soupy blown out day, can sometimes be more rewarding then going out on a picture perfect day and scoring ride after ride.