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Thread: New to Surfing questions
09-01-2008, 03:44 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2008
- bend(the fresh nw)
New to Surfing questions
I haven't surfed before but want to make a trip out to Hawaii in the new few months, to learn. I would be trying to surf as much as possible to get my moneys worth.
I am not really a strong swimmer, but have been swimming laps at the local club everyday for the past month.
1st ?- how many meters would should I be swimming a day to get my body ready. ( i have been swimming 500 meters, and I feel a little worn out).
2nd ?- will the waves be to wild for a beginner like myself in the next few months to even attempt to learn ?
09-01-2008, 12:10 PM #2
Swim as much as possible.
As to the waves, it depends where you go. If you have never surfed before go to a place like waikiki, something very mellow and gentle. Do not go anywhere with any exposure to serious swell. There may or may not be swell in the water, but stay away from anything with a reef or a rocky bottom.
If you are in a serious tourist area with surf lessons available that would be a good place to start."Have you ever seen a monk get wildly fucked by a bunch of teenage girls?" "No" "Then forget the monastery."
"You ever hear of a little show called branded? Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes. Not exactly a lightweight." Walter Sobcheck.
09-01-2008, 03:22 PM #3
Hawaii in the next few months - like in November? As summer turns to fall/winter, the surf can really jump up in the Islands. Twenty foot plus surf is not uncommon by December. So it can get big - and fast. I watched a swell jump from 4' to 20' in two hours on Kauai's north shore.
Pay for lessons. They will know where to go to avoid big surf and reefs.
As for training, 500 meters a session is good. Slowly increase if you can. Being able to swim 1500 meters is a good place to be. Not all freestyle, but combine it with breast, side, back and even a kick board.
Paddling a surfboard around is much less work than swimming - but knowing you will not tire out is good. Many spots in Hawaii are a 1/4 mile from shore. So you will go that distance just to get started.
IMO, Hawaii is not such a great place to learn to surf. First it is super expensive. Second, the surf requires a commitment.
I took a trip to Costa Rica years ago and thought it was a perfect place to learn. Mal Pais in particular, but Tamarindo is fine if you prefer more civilization. Warm water, mello crowds, and the surf has enough push to get you going, but not enough to overpower. And they are both beach breaks.
09-02-2008, 07:12 AM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2008
- bend(the fresh nw)
thanks long /ott
will look into mal pais, where did you stay at when you were there?
09-02-2008, 12:36 PM #5
I went about 8-10 years ago
We camped under palms next to the beach. Each day, awake, surf, coffee, breakfast, surf, lunch, beer, siesta, surf, dinner, beer, sleep. Running hot water/shower - $1/day. Soda/cafe right there. At Playa de Carmen. Laws in Costa Rica at the time is camping was legal for free anywhere within a 100 feet of mean high tide line. We paid for the water use.
Surf out front, or a mile up at Santa Teresa beach. When it gets bigger, points and reefs galore out around Cabo Blanco. We saw a good set up one day but were w/o boards. Bummer.
Surf on beaches never got below waist high or too blown. Topped out a few feet overhead and every morning was glassy. 110lbs Canadian newbie lady was having fun time learning except on the biggest day.
Hotel/restaurant 100 yrds inland. Good dinners and saw the rooms - reasonable. Frank's Place. I think a lot more has been built since then. http://www.malpais.net/
Surf Camp was about a mile south. http://www.malpaissurfcamp.com/gettingthere.htm
Heard good things but more expensive than our set up. Mar Azul restaurant was around here on the water. Good eats
We drove from San Jose with a rent a car. You can also fly to Tambor and taxi in.
Montezuma is about 45 minutes away on the inside of the gulf. No real surf, but white sand, blue water, black cliffs, waterfalls, palms etc. Cool little Euro tourist town. More food options (we went to a French Restaurant one night) and night life. One of the bars had movies a few nights a week. It was nice to have the car.
09-02-2008, 03:57 PM #6
the snorkel program might be a better bet
http://www.hanaumabaysnorkel.com/?gc...FQwuHgodGXVaQwBacon tastes good. Pork chops taste goood.
09-06-2008, 02:21 PM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
Hawaii is definitely expensive. No doubt. I don't know how much the south shore changes in the winter, but I was on Oahu in June and I actually thought Waikiki was a pretty good place to learn to surf. I'm a solid lower-intermediate Basically, I've surfed before, can stand up, paddle in, turn, etc., but am far from anything remotely resembling a good surfer. It is fun, though.
Anyway, the thing I liked about Waikiki when I was there was that 1) the waves were actually relatively consistent and well-formed, and 2) since they break about 4 times as they roll into Waikiki, you can paddle out to where you feel comfortable w/ the size of the wave, surf there, and, if you start to get the hang of it, paddle out to the next break. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Hope that helps.
09-09-2008, 01:00 PM #8
I second the comment about small swell and sandy bottom. I tried surfing for the first time in Hawaii a couple years ago. It was aweomse, I'm glad I did it. I recently gave it another try on the Washington coast. I will surf again. In Hawaii I hired a lesson the first day. Then I rented a board for the week. Problem was the lesson was only an hour and a half and focussed on having a good time rather than teaching me anything about currents, swell and what not. I probably wasn't the average customer because I truly wanted to learn. On my 4th day there was a big swell. My brother and I decided that we could surf closer to shore where the waves were reforming smaller rather than going out to the big break. What we didn't realize is that bigger swell meant bigger current. We couldn't paddle back to the safe spot to get in an out and had to come ashore up the beach where it was waves crashing on dry reef. In the process of coming ashore I got washed across the reef and lava rocks and ended up with a compression fracture in my back. It was the result of me being completely stupid. I chock it up as an important lesson learned and I'm thankful that I walked away from it.
With all that said, go somewhere easy that is known to have sandy bottoms and no major current. Find a friend that will teach you and look out for you or hire a good lesson(s). Don't worry about the cost. The first day it might be a small swell but just as was mentioned before, things can change quickly. There's no substitute for local knowledge. I compare surfing to backcountry skiing. In the morning it might be awesome stable snow but by afternoon things may have changed and avalanches can be going off everywhere. If you don't know what you're doing you might get lucky a bunch of times but one unlucky spell can be serious.
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