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  1. #1
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    So I know less than nothing about surfing, and I think I am going to buy a board.

    These boards that keep popping up on WM are tempting me. There's been a couple in the $3-400 range, and rentals where I am are like $80-100/day...that math makes sense pretty quickly.

    I work on long island in the summers, pretty close to montauk. I know it's best to learn on a longboard, but if i were to grab one of those 6'8"-7' Surftech MAC TLT2 that keep showing up, would I be shooting myself in the foot? I can get out 3-4x a week, I'm not worried about putting in time. Or would my learning curve be a bit harder, but I'd be able to use the board a bit more through the intermediate stage?

    Thoughts?
    If you are driving to Jay Peak this evening, please drive carefully you bad ass. -- Jay's website

  2. #2
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    Your learning curve will probably be longer with that sort of board.

    I learned in college, in Santa Barbara. With a college schedule, and living on the beach, I got out quite a bit. I alternated between a 7'2" with a pointed nose/shortboard shape, and a 7'8" with rounded nose, funboard shape.

    I should have stayed with the 7'8" I think the shape was important too, it is just much easier to learn on a funboard/longboard than a big shortboard. I would learn on something 7'6"-8'6" with a funboard/longboard shape. You could go bigger, I just did not go that way, so I can't comment.

    Learning to surf is all about slowing things down. I wide board, with a rounded nose, will plane easily, and get you into waves early. For the learning stage, that is what you want, easy entry into waves, nice and gradual. Don't change to a shortboard too early, I did and it slowed me down. Get the basics down with something that is easy to use.

    Some people do learn with 6'8" boards, but I would not recommend it. Most people who try to learn on something small end up frustrated. Wait until you can catch waves, stand up, angle, and feel comfortable before moving down in size.

    To me, the ideal learning board is an 8'0 funboard. Some might disagree, but I don't see the necessity in going over 9 feet, unless you want to be a longboarder.

    I know you want to get a smaller board, figuring you will eventually want one, but resist the urge. Most people I know who successfully learned on small boards started very young. I saw numerous people try to learn in college. Most gave up. The people who tried to learn on shortboards were particularly susceptible. The learning process is something you really can't rush. Just get a big funboard, and go smaller when you can actually stand up and angle.

    I should add that a learning funboard is a board you can keep. In places where the surf tends to be small, it is great to have a big 8 foot funboard. Those boards can turn thigh high days into good times. About 2 years into my surfing career, junior year, I bought a 7 foot funboard shape used. It ended up being a great board for Santa Barbara. SB is blocked from a lot of the south swell action in the summer, so you get lots of small days. I still had a shortboard, but I ended up getting in a whole lot more surfing that summer because of the funboard. On days when a 6'4" bogs, an 8'0" will glide.
    Last edited by Long duc dong; 06-30-2011 at 11:30 AM.
    "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.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  3. #3
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    I think the one exception in that range is the Mac Fish 7'2". It has low rocker, huge volume, and is very forgiving. Not a bad board, if you can already stand up on a demo. Probably a longer learning curve than an 8', but this isn't a performance shortboard. It's a short funshape.
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  4. #4
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    I call bullshit. I learned on a 6'4', and was up and riding waves by the end of my first summer. I then took 10 months off and started again the following June. I was going down the line before August. Again, unable to surf all winter, but was top turning the next summer and hitting the lip before school started again. Of course I started when I was 13 and I am super awesome.

    Big boards can help, but I think they hinder some folks. If you are already comfortable in waves (body and/or raft surfing), don't mind endless fails, can get to the beach regularly and plan to surf a place with a little punch - you can learn on a short board. Otherwise, you may prefer the ease of a more buoyant board. But I should mention that they can create bad habits.

  5. #5
    Hugh Conway Guest
    it's bullshit to watch people flailing on boards that are way to short and low in volume for their skill so they rarely stand and generally don't enjoy themselves - which is, well, 99.999% of the people who try to learn on a shortboard. You can watch them every day in santa cruz

    those aren't "great boards" and they don't really look like great prices. Try craigslist. Here's some shitty boards:
    http://longisland.craigslist.org/spo/2424202490.html
    http://longisland.craigslist.org/spo/2457477816.html
    http://longisland.craigslist.org/spo/2469682403.html

  6. #6
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    2nd on a fish. I found the fun shape kinda slow on waves. however a fish will pop up quickly and then provide speed down the line. Decent learning board but more suited as you improve.

    you did not say where your local break is. that matters also.

    my 5 cents worth
    Last edited by F#*k You Cat; 06-30-2011 at 11:17 AM.
    POWDER SKIER
    COLD RAIN and SNOW

  7. #7
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    long island, new york. hopefully he is on the south coast.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    I call bullshit. I learned on a 6'4', and was up and riding waves by the end of my first summer. I then took 10 months off and started again the following June. I was going down the line before August. Again, unable to surf all winter, but was top turning the next summer and hitting the lip before school started again. Of course I started when I was 13 and I am super awesome..
    One of my buddies feels the same way, and he started at age 9. I think starting at a young age makes a big difference. As I said before, going to UCSB you find tons of people learning at college age. I don't think I saw anyone starting at college age, successfully learn on a performance shortboard.

    I should add, that the buddy I am talking about learned to surf in Huntington, then moved to Hawaii(big Island) in high school. He absolutely rips, and our nonsurfing friends listen to him over me, as they should. Many of our buddies, either late in their UCSB career, or in Newport, have tried to learn to surf. This guy is deadset on the idea that learning on a big board is wrong. He has gotten people to buy 6'4"/19.5/2.5 boards, as learning boards. Every single person who has listened to this guy has given up. Learning on the sort of board, as an 18-24 year old, just seems to be too hard. I know my buddy thinks he is being helpful, and he is telling them what they want to hear(they all want to shortboard), but it just does not seem to work. He always insists that these guys just don't have the drive, and he might be right, but I just don't see people past their mid-teens being successful on small boards. I'm not saying it is not possible, I just have not seen it work.

    Truth be told, I think I understand more about learning at an advanced age than my buddy does. He is a much better surfer than I am, I will probably not ever get past mediocre bottom turns and navigating awkwardly off the lip, but I don't think he really gets just how difficult it is to learn when you are a bit older.
    "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.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  9. #9
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    Has anyone ever learned to surf at college age or later and become a ripper on a shortboard?
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  10. #10
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Has anyone ever learned to surf at college age or later and become a ripper
    no........

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Has anyone ever learned to surf at college age or later and become a ripper on a shortboard?
    No one I have met. Or heard of.

    Most of us who learn at age 18 never lose the stiffness. We never become loose and fluid.

    You can certainly learn to surf, and be able do so passably. But ripping? I don't think so.

    I don't mean to discourage the OP. Even a mediocre surfer like myself still has a great time. It is definitely worth it.
    "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.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Has anyone ever learned to surf at college age or later and become a ripper on a shortboard?
    Quote Originally Posted by Long duc dong View Post
    No one I have met. Or heard of.

    Most of us who learn at age 18 never lose the stiffness. We never become loose and fluid.

    You can certainly learn to surf, and be able do so passably. But ripping? I don't think so.

    I don't mean to discourage the OP. Even a mediocre surfer like myself still has a great time. It is definitely worth it.
    Seems more like an age thing than a board thing. Is anyone suggesting that if you begin on a longboard, past a certain age, you will more likely rip? I doubt 'ripperhood' is based upon what type of equipment you learned on, and more base on natural skills and developing muscle memory early. I think the age thing is a generalization. Perhaps we all reach a certain age, past which something like surfing becomes more challenging to learn, and we can never learn to become an expert. But as stated, you don't need to be a ripper to enjoy surfing. You just need to enjoy being in the water, and having a challenge every time you paddle out.

    A big board will allow you to get the sense of glide easier. And that is huge, really. And it will allow you to learn to turn and use that glide. So, perhaps, you start learning quicker. And it is less frustrating. But if your break is mostly short, steep shore pound (like where the OP lives), then a big long board can kind of suck. And I do not mean to suggest it is a quick, easy learning curve. You just paddle, try to stand, get pounded. But once you figure out how not to get pounded, you are good to go. Of course, if he plans to learn in the coves and nooks out on the point, then a long board would be much better.

    I did not mean to suggest I learned on a performance short board. It was a cork. You remember the 80s. It was wide and had huge soft rails. And I think that is key. Everyone talks about length, but never really mentions round forgiving rails. When I bought a Kechle my third summer surfing, I thought it sucked the first time I took it out. It kept on slipping out from underneath my feet. And mind you I was coming off the top on my chubby board.

    Buoyancy, Easy Glide, Soft Rails

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    Seems more like an age thing than a board thing. Is anyone suggesting that if you begin on a longboard, past a certain age, you will more likely rip?
    I do think it is much of an age thing. I don't think learning on a longboard makes one more likely to rip. I do think that at an advanced age, learning on a longboard makes one more likely to actually learn, more likely to stick with it. Like I said, of the people I knew who learned in college, I don't know anyone who was successful on a little shortboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    Perhaps we all reach a certain age, past which something like surfing becomes more challenging to learn, and we can never learn to become an expert. But as stated, you don't need to be a ripper to enjoy surfing. You just need to enjoy being in the water, and having a challenge every time you paddle out.
    I think this is true. Past a certain age it gets tough to have something deeply ingrained in muscle memory, which is what it takes to be really good at something.
    "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.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  14. #14
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    Any thoughts on this being related to a lack of available, formal instruction? I can't think of any other sport that does nothing to advance intermediates to the next level.
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  15. #15
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Any thoughts on this being related to a lack of available, formal instruction? I can't think of any other sport that does nothing to advance intermediates to the next level.
    think it's more the difficulty for most* of getting sessions with a large number of rides in good conditions. I know many very good skiers with minimal formal instruction after intermediate; no reason surfing should be different. There's now some semi-decent instructional material available and a ton of youtube videos for watching style if you want to.

    *as always TGR is the exception and every session is overhead with nobody out and perfect conditions for half a day

  16. #16
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    Like most have said go with something high volume. Personally I'd say go with a true longboard, but seems like I'm in the minority here on that one. No matter if you eventually end up ripping on a shortboard, fish, whatever, you can always use a longboard in the quiver.
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    *as always TGR is the exception and every session is overhead with nobody out and perfect conditions for half a day

    Speaking of, was ripping during an epic head high, offshore 80 degree water temp sesh the other day with my perfect 10 girlfriends (plural yo) on the beach filming and realized that I need some advice for keeping my footlong cock in one place in my wetsuit
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

  18. #18
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    Why the fuck were you wearing a wetsuit in 80 degree water?
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  19. #19
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Why the fuck were you wearing a wetsuit in 80 degree water?
    you ever tried to fit a 12" cock in board shorts? thing falls out and smacks you with a nice sharp turn.

  20. #20
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    ^^^^and when surfing a reef in 2 feet of water, it helps keep your skin in one piece. But you know the story is total shit, cuz he didn't mention his booties too.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal_Mt_Dreamin View Post
    Like most have said go with something high volume. Personally I'd say go with a true longboard, but seems like I'm in the minority here on that one. No matter if you eventually end up ripping on a shortboard, fish, whatever, you can always use a longboard in the quiver.
    Actually, I feel if you are going to add volume by length, go for a full longboard. I do have a 7'6" egg which is fun, but the longboard was the call for today. Nothing else would have worked.

  22. #22
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    ^^PP looked like a lake by camera. OB had a nice punch to it, however small, right before low tide.

    I prefer to surf with a 2" cock. Makes things easier all around.
    "Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"

  23. #23
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    I learned on a 6'6" after age 18 but no I not rip.

    I'm 5'10 215lbs and ride a 5'10 but I put all the volume in thickness and width. My ideal board has a lot of volume in the front 2/3 of the board for max paddle yet nimble snappiness in the tail for when I do find the perfect lip to bash.

  24. #24
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    I think anyone who wants to learn as a full sized adult should go to costco, get a 9' softboard, use it for a week or 2 or a month or 2 or 6 months, or however long it takes you to "master" it. Then sell it for about $10 less than you bought it for and figure out what you want to do next, whether it be really learn to longboard, or learn to ride a short, or whatever. Maybe some of you can tell me what would be wrong with that plan? Seems like a good way to avoid the pitfalls that a lot of people run into

  25. #25
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    ^ That's not a bad plan at all, and if your friends are like mine you can always use a softboard to make super shit summer days fun with some drinking/surf joust idiocracy
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

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