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Old 06-12-2005, 10:46 PM   #1
m_asim
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Question Surfers on BARF

This fall, I am planning on learning to surf after the summer crowds go away in Winter. I want to know how good a swimmer do you have to be before venturing out in the water?
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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Re: Surfers on BARF

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Originally posted by m_asim
This fall, I am planning on learning to surf after the summer crowds go away in Winter. I want to know how good a swimmer do you have to be before venturing out in the water?
Swimming is not important in surfing, just learn how to hold your breath long enough to walk underwater back to the shore.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:22 AM   #3
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I think there are more lurkers than surfers on BARF...
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:24 AM   #4
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I have tried my hand a surfing a few times. I'm not any kind of expert, but have gotten up once or twice (long board) and been able to ride a wave.

Salt water is pretty bouyant, so staying afloat is not a HUGE deal. But you are going to need some basic swimming skills.

If you are going to venture out for a surf session, I def. recommend finding someone who is willing to show you the ropes. My first time paddling out was horrible b/c I was alone and knew nothing. My second time out was great because an experienced surfer-bud was by my side and willing to explain things to me. It makes a world of difference if you have someone there to help you in the beginning.

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Old 06-13-2005, 06:01 AM   #5
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im not exactly a big wave surfer but i used to surf alot. you dont have to be an olympic surfer, but you gotta have some endurance to get out there. one big tip that will help you, learn how to duck dive properly
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Old 06-13-2005, 08:59 AM   #6
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You must have endurance for sure braddah. And make sure you are stretched out cuz getting one cramp in the water sucks. Learn on a long board and you can catch ripples. Good way to practice balance. Get a good wetsuit cuz the waters around here is friggin' cold.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:03 AM   #7
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Get a really big board (long, wide, and thick), a wetsuit, and drive to Linda Mar in Pacifica on a high tide.

The fall is the best surf season around here.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:05 AM   #8
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ok, don't wait til winter, learn now. you won't be able to surf in the winter, trust me. you'll figure out why. at least thats true for anything north of Santa Barbara.

as far as swimming goes, personally, i don't see why anyone would put themselves in the ocean if they have trouble with being in the water. bottom line is, the better swimmer you are, the safer and more confident you will be, thus allowing you to work on your surfing skills.... which is just like motorcycling in the sense that, its all about having fun.

surfing is hard work. its probably the hardest sport you'll ever learn because it requires so much work just to get to a point where you can really start to learn new tricks. but as you know, everybody is different. if you've never surfed before, take a lesson or have a friend teach you. but most of all just go out and have fun. maybe try and get some lap time in at a pool somewhere. that can only help you get in shape for the occaissional hell you're going to experience paddling out.

good luck man

if you're in or around SF, i'm sure we could arrange something for you. there are a few really good spots fairly close to here that are great for learning.

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Old 06-13-2005, 10:29 AM   #9
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have a fear of sharks so i doubt i'll ever try out surfing.
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:42 AM   #10
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How strong or weak of a swimmer are you?

It wouldn't hurt to go to your local Y or community pool center and enroll in some Masters classes to get your swim technique
fundamentally sound.

Good Luck! It should be fun. Get a wetsuit.

Oh and never turn your back on the ocean.
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Old 06-13-2005, 11:32 AM   #11
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Ebb tides and duck diving...two things to know about surfing.

You've got to be a good swimmer as a surfer cause getting past the break isn't the easiest in big surf.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:57 PM   #12
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Thanks guys. I am a beginning-intermediate kinda swimmer i.e. Don't venture near the pool if its not summer. I met a guy at the local pool who is a little better swimmer than me but still goes swimming.

However, being a safety-nazi, I wanted to make sure I am good enough swimmer before I take the plunge.

BLKG1K speaking of sharks, I think I am in more mortal danger while riding me bike on the California roads. I hurt my back on Wednesday from slouching in my cubicle chair. Got me thinking that if you are going to get injured, you will get injured. Might as well enjoy our time on this planet.

I knew one surfer guy in San Diego, who used to stay in water even when he spotted sharks around in Baja Mexico. Of course that does not preclude me from crying mama and running to the shore if I see a fin
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:10 PM   #13
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When I first moved from Hawai'i to Northern Cali I tried to continue surfing but couldn't hang.

Reason #1 - Brah that water is COLD!!
Reason #2 - Kelp freaks me out. Especially when it rubs against your leg and it feels like something swam by.
Reason #3 - Brah that water is COLD!!
Reason #4 - something about surfing along the Great White shark's favorite food ....sea lions....thinking about that and having kelp rub up against your leg! Brah, never knew I could run on water.
Reason #5 - that water is VERY cold.

So now I'm snowboarding and very happy cuz I can still shred water (frozen that is) but would like to get back and try surfing again in Nor Cal. Wonder if the water is still cold??
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rambeezi
When I first moved from Hawai'i to Northern Cali I tried to continue surfing but couldn't hang.

Reason #1 - Brah that water is COLD!!
Reason #2 - Kelp freaks me out. Especially when it rubs against your leg and it feels like something swam by.
Reason #3 - Brah that water is COLD!!
Reason #4 - something about surfing along the Great White shark's favorite food ....sea lions....thinking about that and having kelp rub up against your leg! Brah, never knew I could run on water.
Reason #5 - that water is VERY cold.

So now I'm snowboarding and very happy cuz I can still shred water (frozen that is) but would like to get back and try surfing again in Nor Cal. Wonder if the water is still cold??
I grew up surfing Santa Cruz and I never did get used to the crap in the water. I never knew what it was and it always freaked me out. Not enough to leave but enough to make me piss myself

Yup the waters cold. In fact, the water is 10 degrees colder in the summer than in the winter. But it's still cold in the winter. Get a wetsuit and you can deal with it for a couple hours tops. Depends on your threshhold for that kinda stuff...

Yup learn to ride on a long board (long and blunt compared to the short boards). They're easier to learn on if the waves are small or crappy. I was never quite comfortable on a short board (because of my weight) and I ended up sticking with long boards.

It can be a very expensive sport:
- nice board - $500-1000
- wetsuit - $300-600
- accessories (booties, bonnet, etc) - $200-300

I recommend taking the UC Santa Cruz surfing class. I think they have boards and you can rent wetsuits (if I'm not mistaken). Make sure you like it before you invest in the gear. It's the MSF for surfing...
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:33 PM   #15
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aloha m_asim IMO you can never be a good enough swimmer before venturing out into open oceans but if you are indeed a beginner swimmer then more ocean and pool time laps sans waves would be smart. you can't depend on having a board to be able to come in neither. sometimes it's not about swimming at all but being able to hold your breathe and relax while being held under. learn to read the tide charts and about rip currents and undertow. take those classes as suggested and talk to the lifeguard & other surfers. good luck and have fun in that cold water
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