I've been lurking in the shadows for a couple of weeks, but decided it's time to join the fun and introduce myself, so here goes. I warn you it's a long story so feel welcome to just skip to the end and say hi.
I started surfing about 5 years ago by renting one of those horrible abrasive boards on a week long beach trip. Stripped of every inch of exposed skin (still got the scars to prove it! haha), but I was hooked so the next day I switched it out for a BIC.
Never bothered to take any lessons so I taught myself -- how not do it! But I was having fun so every year I'd rent a board and go for it. Two years ago I bought my first board; a 7'2 Surfbetty that was a lot easier to handle than the bulky BICs I used to rent.
I finally got my first lesson on a trip to Hawaii and learned very quickly that if you want to surf you need to learn to paddle first ... all my years of just walking my board out over a sandy bottom were over. I'm ashamed to admit that my instructor had to literally toe me out by the end of the lesson because my arms had become too heavy to lift. And let's conveniently not mention how I got my butt kicked for not being able to pop straight to my feet!
Six months later I was finally able to practice my new skills and found that some of it did stick so I went out and bought a 6'4" fish. I've only been able to use it for a few days yet but so far I LOVE this board. 1) it's pretty (hey, I'm a girl, this stuff matters), 2) it's easier to carry and 3) it brings me one step closer to my dreams of shredding it on a short board.
This past week I went to OC where I took another lesson and I was able to pop straight to my feet and ride it every time! Yes I was getting pushed into the waves, but still. Now if only I could learn how to paddle ...