Surfing 1

 

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This web is about me, Torben, who at the age of 59 started to learn surfing...       
Learning to surf was something I wanted to learn, since I visited Hawaii some 25 years back.

I feel that I have had huge benefits from this activity so far, in the way of improving  physically and in general well being, and like to pass on the message.

Now it is 2014 and I am 65. With 780 surf days logged so far.

Before  you read on please read the Disclaimer

No way, you are thinking. All the people are so young in that sport. Which is true, because what is most widely known is short boarding. The original surf board was a lot longer. 12 feet was not uncommon. Boards more that 9 feet are called long boards and all ages can learn to ride such a board providing you are fit and have a good health.

Today you can get soft boards of good quality. They have a soft top and rail and a hard bottom. It  is a lot safer than a hard epoxy or polyester board. If you are more than 50 it is well worth the investment. You will be a slow learner and it will take a while before you outgrow that board.

After 4 years of surfing I purchased a soft top board. I should have done it long before.

I started at the age of 58. I am not a specialist yet. Actually I will never become a specialist surfer.

If not it does not matter that much. I am having a
good time learning. I go camping at nice places and meet great people.

When I am visiting a surf spot, I am in the water some 3 hours a day, and after a while you start to feel the difference.

The way I did it. Preparation: 4 month of swimming twice a week and Pilate gymnastic 3 times a week. Classes of I hour.

I then read 2 books. Learn to surf by James MacLaren and Longboarder's start up by Doug Werner.
 

Long board surfer on a small wave. Click to zoomThe next thing I purchased was a 8 feet 4 Inch board. That was the biggest board I could get.

I was looking for a 10 feet, but it was just to complicated to get that size.

First I just started paddling around on flat water, trying to get the feel and balance.

I then took a private teacher for some hours, mainly to give me a brief on the safety aspects. I would have liked more tuition, but I was in Denmark and there was no proper swell.

I used recognised surf spots to start with. You soon learn to spot the other learners there. Then I stayed close to them and from then on it was watch and practise. That worked well in Denmark. There is no problem with crowds.  The reason for the lack of crowd is that the swell is not consistent.

In France, where I went later, some places were crowded. In North Aquitane I found the best places for my ability. Amely Plage has everything a learner needs. However stay away from mid July till towards end of August.

Later I realized that most surf spots you read about in books and on the internet, are far to complicated for a learner.

Especially if you start at a high age it is very time consuming to learn. After 1 and half month practise every day I was able to surf on my knees.

After 2 years I felt like being in the doldrums. Not sure if I was doing it right or wrong. Over the following year I took 8 weekly courses. Some with groups, some with private lessons. Especially the private lessons lead me back on track.  

In August 2010 I quit my job and moved to Portugal. There I stayed for a year. During that stay I almost quit surfing.  I was having problems with the pop up.

Eventually I started to create my own surf style. Adapted to the les flexibility and less strength of my body. Also I got a bigger board with more volume.

This was a important turnaround.


2013 July. I am starting with surfclasses again. This is helping a lot.

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