Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Snowboard-Surf Transfer
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  • #571478
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    So a couple of questions for anyone who snowboards and surfs. I am new to surfing. I have been on a snowboard for more than half of my life, and much of that in the pretty aggressive terrain of Jackson. Is there much of a transfer? If so, what elements?
    Also, since graduating I have been a seasonal worker and am probably going to take much of this next winter off. I’d like to spend Nov-Dec learning to surf. Anyone have suggestions if $$$ are not really a factor?
    Off-topic I know, but I figured I’d probably find some useful advice here.

    #616048
    silversurfer
    7 Posts

    Riding is pretty much the same, but more like in an avy, since the medium is in motion. Catching waves and getting to your feet are most difficult cross-overs for skaters & snowboarders, so skating helps, too. Ocean & equipment knowledge is like mtn knowledge – vast – just takes time & experience. Paddling will get you, too – imagine waist deep pow. Getting barrelled rules, and you can’t do it on a skate or snow. Start on a longboard or fun shape – thick & wide w/ lotsa float & stability. Move to shorter boards once you get paddling arms & catching waves. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica are best warm water, n. hemi Nov-Dec. If you learn in more powerful waves, you’ll be able to surf anywhere. N shore HI is a lot like Jackson – extreme w/ lifers & egos. Bali/Indo is highly recommended. Good luck & aloha!

    #616049
    Hyakbc
    53 Posts

    Pull up a hammock somewhere warm, like Central America or Hawaii, after two months you’ll have it figured. The stuff to learn right off the bat is popping up and paddling strength and reading waves. I guess it’s like riding pow except the wave has ENERGY. Avoid places where the people in the water are mean mugging. Uh let’s see, what else, oh, if you see a shark, paddle your ass off for the beach.

    #616050
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Thanks folks, exactly the kind of info I was looking for!
    Any suggestions on where a great place to start would be? I posted this on a climber’s forum and a lot of folks said Baja- more specific? Also, Costa Rica? How about a suggestion as to an online resource that can help you researching boards, locations, etc?

    #616046
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Great post and great replies! As a kid I started boarding because I was a surf soul trapped in a land locked body. As an adult I’ve just never got around to moving to the sea.

    SilverSurfer, love the signature :thumpsup:

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #616047
    TEX
    2486 Posts

    how to paddle, where to sit to catch a wave , and how to stand is the big difference. Most people start out sitting at the wrong spot of the board……too much nose out of the water. Then you have to learn to paddle effeciently (sic?) lean to kep your ankles touching together as you paddle. Most newbies paddle with their feet hanging off the board, your feet should tril directly behind the board with your ankles touching.

    Then when the wave comes, make your choice about going for that wave or not early on. Untill you really know how to catch a wave you will need to match your paddeling speed with the wave speed as it comes in so this means committing early.

    The key I think to surfing is just that . Commit to catching the wave, commit to standing up. If you hesitate even for a split second you will be

    “over the falls”

    But , its just water. It aint like cliffing out.

    As said before get a longboard to start, practice paddeling and sitting on the board ( for that you dont even need an ocean , any lake or pond will do)

    There are plenty of how to learn to surf DVD’s on the web, I would buy one and start when it came in the mail.

    The main difference between the sports? attitude.
    most snowboarders are a pretty welcoming group.

    Surfing has changed. Where I live most people in the water are ruthless snakes who will whine about everything. To me surfing is no longer the Aloha sport. but then again that could be just some crusty old bastard’s thoughts but it aint like it used to be.

    Have fun , and if you come to San Diego look me up. We can go out on the boat and paddle in for waves

    #616051
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    @TEX wrote:

    how to paddle, where to sit to catch a wave , and how to stand is the big difference. Most people start out sitting at the wrong spot of the board……too much nose out of the water. Then you have to learn to paddle effeciently (sic?) lean to kep your ankles touching together as you paddle. Most newbies paddle with their feet hanging off the board, your feet should tril directly behind the board with your ankles touching.

    Then when the wave comes, make your choice about going for that wave or not early on. Untill you really know how to catch a wave you will need to match your paddeling speed with the wave speed as it comes in so this means committing early.

    The key I think to surfing is just that . Commit to catching the wave, commit to standing up. If you hesitate even for a split second you will be

    “over the falls”

    But , its just water. It aint like cliffing out.

    As said before get a longboard to start, practice paddeling and sitting on the board ( for that you dont even need an ocean , any lake or pond will do)

    There are plenty of how to learn to surf DVD’s on the web, I would buy one and start when it came in the mail.

    The main difference between the sports? attitude.
    most snowboarders are a pretty welcoming group.

    Surfing has changed. Where I live most people in the water are ruthless snakes who will whine about everything. To me surfing is no longer the Aloha sport. but then again that could be just some crusty old bastard’s thoughts but it aint like it used to be.

    Have fun , and if you come to San Diego look me up. We can go out on the boat and paddle in for waves

    Yep. This is pretty much what I was gonna say. You’ll know what to do when you finally catch a wave…it’s catching the wave that’s the hard part.

    Step 1: Watch alot of surfing…I’d say screw the “how-to” and watch flicks like september sessions to see how a good surfer gets in position then paddles into waves. Watch at the beach to see how people paddle out, kinda like avy awareness, becoming a true waterman takes years of experience and the uninitiated often paddle right into the teeth of a nasty shore break when there’s a channel 100 yards to their right/left.

    Step 2: Paddle paddle paddle. If you can’t do this, you’ll not be surfing much when you get to some tropical locale where the break is 1/2 mile out to sea.

    Step 3: Get with some surfers…you’ve already got an offer in SD, so now I’m giving you a Santa Barbara invite, if you’re ever in these parts I’ll get you out.

    Aloha—literally, I’m leaving in 2 days for the north shore of Kauai…and there’s a swell hitting this weekend I was just informed!

    #616052
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Thanks for the very kind offers jbay and tex. I work in Tuolumne Meadows all summer and am done in mid Sept. I’ll probably be climbing in Yosemite through Oct and am planning my surfing venture during Nov/Dec. How are your areas this time of year?
    Thanks again everyone for the awesome info.

    #616053
    fullers2oh
    525 Posts

    you got some good advice – especially from jbay and tex. someone mentioned bali but for the time you are looking to take off that is not the best season for waves over there. you should look at places that are exposed to the north pacific as that will be your primary source for swells that time of year. someone else mentioned baja. i would highly reccomend it for the swell direction that time of year and generally more friendly atmosphere in the water. however it is cold water. im sure you have heard tons of bad things about baja/mexico. im not going to say they are not true, but if you behave and stay away from the big cities then for the most part you are ok. the one drawback with baja is you kind of have to know where to go.

    as for translating your snowboarding skills into the water – well you can forget about that. you have a lot to learn before those skills come into play. i will stress the paddling and say surfing is awfuly frustrating if you cant move around in the water with ease. you can exercise all day but i think the best way to develop surfing muscles is to be out in the water paddling around. so before you can take those snowboarding skills and use them on a surfboard you have to be able to know:

    1. conditions – swell conditons (ground or windswell), winds (offshore, no wind, sideshore, onshore), and tides (low, med, or high) all spots work differently depending on conditions and often times this will make or break a surf session
    2. basic paddling – how to get out past the breaking waves, duck diving or turtle rolling, and paddling basics when trying to catch a wave
    3. timing – as in when/how to paddle into a wave and stand up. at this point is when the snowboarding crossover skills come into play.

    as a beginner i suggest starting out on a longboard. they are easier to paddle, stand up, and catch waves with. they are not easy to move around but dont worry about that now.

    i too am along the cali coast (la area) and if you ever need more info just shoot me a PM. that time of year (nov-dec) is usually very good for cali so i hope you get some waves!

    #616054
    julesrules
    87 Posts

    I started surfing and snowboarding about the same time – and I have to say snowboarding is about 10x easier. About the only thing that transfers is balance on a board. Start swimming – LOTS – best cross-training/preparation you can do.

    For surf travel, you can try the travel section on http://www.surfline.com or http://www.wannasurf.com. I was in Costa Rica last April and surfed in the Nosara area. Avoided the surf camps as they are 1) mostly geared towards beginners and 2) pretty expensive. But what I did was to take a private lesson every day (to help me on doing turns) and that was well worth it (and only about $30/hour). Just walk up to any of the camp instructors and ask if they’ll do a lesson on the side.

    If you’re in California, I would recommend heading south to surf Nov/Dec. November can be very good here in SF (Ocean Beach) but the waves are for more advanced surfers. Not a fun place to learn as a beginner. Have fun!

    #616055
    TEX
    2486 Posts

    winter is the best time down here in San Diego. We dont get a lot of big south swells (summer time) but around late sept the north pacific starts to heat up and it starts getting good ( except this winter, its been kinda shitty for size)
    Basically when you see the low pressure systems start marching down the west coast the swell will be 1-2 days ahead of the rain. With the low pressure you get wind and that sucks. But down here in way souther california we usually dont get the weather. Just the waves :bananas: :bananas: :bananas:
    So yeah october.november and December can be

    magical

    Give me a pm shout when you are heading down. I have a nice 9 foot longboard you can try out and I will take you out and teach you what I know. Im sure fullers2oh will come down and I think between the two of us we can point you in the right direction. In the mean time

    swim and swim and swim swim and when you are tired of that

    go for a swim

    #616056
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    ^^^ Yeah – all good advice. Especially regarding meeting up with Ray & Dave. But hopefully you’re getting the idea that it’s about ocean knowledge and keeping your surf muscles in shape. You pretty much get skunked for your first year at it at least.

    As far as riding goes, check out what surfers do & that’s the stuff that you can practice on your snowboard. Surfing is much more like a powder day, especially if the powder is kinda moving. Find a steep wall or feature and pump across it like a surfer, pushing off the bottom and then transitioning and pushing off the top with the opposite rail. Then arc some big turns off the bottom and top and that’s in the neighborhood of surfing.

    Stop by norcal if you get a chance, also.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #616057
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Thanks again for the advice. I’m really psyched. And tex (and others), I’ll be up in Tuolumne working for the summer by the end of May. I’m mostly in climbing mode by then but want to do some great descents in June as well. Let me know if anyone is interested.

    Hope you guys are getting some snow. Been a string of great powder days up here in MT.

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