Author Topic: Really Old Guy Starting Out Needs Advice: 8' or 9' Softboard or used 9'6" Longboard  (Read 409 times)

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Offline Rickles

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First post. I didn't see this specific info. anywhere, so I thought I'd ask. I've also started reading through the Etiquette threads; seems like mostly common sense, and I don't want to get in anyone's way when I get started next summer.

When I say "Really Old Guy" I'm talking late 60's.  :)   People tell me I'm not too old to learn to surf (bless their hearts) and I'm in fairly good shape. I'm 5' 10" and weigh 180-185 lbs. I've read some threads that recommend starting with a used poly. board, which makes sense, while some at the local shops have suggested a softboard, also makes sense. I'm thinking 9'6", 23ish" wide, and 3ish" thick for a polyurethane. For the softboard, one shop suggested an 8'0" would be long enough for me while another shop said to go with a 9'2". I'm leaning toward a softboard for the first season (or part of it) and then buying new. Brian Wynn's 'factory' (for lack of a better term) is in my hometown, and I've heard great things about him, although I'm not planning custom made, just one of his off the rack. I'm also awful fond of the Hobie name among others.

I'd love to hear some advice on which board and what length for me and, of course, any advice in general. I would surf Ocean City or Sea Isle City. Thanks, folks.

Offline jeffbhall

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You're inspiring @Rickles


I think you'll be happy you went with the biggest, softest board you can get your hands on.


If you approach the rest of your surfing with as much thoughtfulness and research as you did on your first thread, you will be just fine.

Offline waterboy

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go with the 9'6.  you need all the board you can get to be forgiving for your ability right now.   bigger boards are more stable and easier to surf.  you will get more waves = you will learn faster.   

and btw.  a 9'6 is always good to have in the quiver. 
Jesus is coming, look busy.

Offline Rickles

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Thanks for the advice. I decided a softboard was a good idea; I bought a 9'0" yesterday. Next a full wetsuit, since I really hate being cold, softracks for the HHR, a Stay Covered leash, and so on. Of course it will be June before I get to use any of this stuff.   :(   Not to get too far ahead of myself, but I like the Hobie (remember I'm partial to the Hobie brand) 9'4" Performance Nose Rider for when (if) I'm ready for a legit board. Any thoughts on that one?


Offline navara

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Thanks for the advice. I decided a softboard was a good idea; I bought a 9'0" yesterday. Next a full wetsuit, since I really hate being cold, softracks for the HHR, a Stay Covered leash, and so on. Of course it will be June before I get to use any of this stuff.   :(   Not to get too far ahead of myself, but I like the Hobie (remember I'm partial to the Hobie brand) 9'4" Performance Nose Rider for when (if) I'm ready for a legit board. Any thoughts on that one?
About a week ago id say you would be good to go with a 3.2 wetsuit but today kind of ruined that i think.
Anyway June is far off. And wearing a wetsuit is a huge sap on energy and strength.  Start thinking of conditioning since you have the time. Maybe start swimming laps at the local pool to build endurance and form and look into strength training like surf strength coach on youtube or any similar fundamental strength training.
Speaking of fundamentals are you goofy or regular? 

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« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 11:24:54 PM by navara »

Offline Rickles

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Thanks. That's good advice. I would prefer the freedom of a spring suit (as opposed to "full"), but not sure it would be warm enough for the 65*ish water temps in June. What do most of you folks wear that time of year?


I'm glad I stumbled onto this forum; so many helpful people.

Offline Mayday

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What size suit did you get (and make). Maybe someone here has an old 4/3 you can use to get you in the water for the next few weeks. Or realize now winter surfing is part of being a NY surfer and get a 5/4 boots and gloves and get out there.


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Offline Rickles

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Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Just thinking about it. Ha Ha. I ordered an L and an XL O'Neill Superfreak 3/2 Full suit from their site (local shop didn't have O'Neill full in stock). I'll check the fit and can return one for a full refund. I'm too new to know much about the various brands, so I figured I would stick with one I know for now. As far as a spring suit, do you guys recommend long or short sleeve? My upper body and arms feel the cold, in general, more than my legs, but if L/S is too restrictive, maybe S/S is the way to go. Geez, I have soooooooooo much to learn.   :)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 09:41:57 PM by Rickles »

Offline NNW lite

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Long sleeve for sure. It will get you in the water by June and keep you in the water for at least some of October. If all goes well you'll be asking about booties next year, good luck.

Offline Rickles

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Thanks NNW... Just to be clear you think a L/S Spring suit is the way to go? Is a L/S still pretty useful during the summer for long times in the water?

Offline NNW lite

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Anytime Rickles, if long summer sessions is your goal a short sleeve probably makes more sense but you won't be comfortable until the end of June vs early June is a L/S. July and August are warm enough to trunk it though which is why I've never owned a short sleeve.

Offline waterboy

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Thanks for the advice. I decided a softboard was a good idea; I bought a 9'0" yesterday. Next a full wetsuit, since I really hate being cold, softracks for the HHR, a Stay Covered leash, and so on. Of course it will be June before I get to use any of this stuff.   :(   Not to get too far ahead of myself, but I like the Hobie (remember I'm partial to the Hobie brand) 9'4" Performance Nose Rider for when (if) I'm ready for a legit board. Any thoughts on that one?


I have a Hobie spitfire because i figured id move on from my Hobie peter pan slug but truth is i miss the peter pan.  apparantly was built for east coast surf, and i used to ride it in everything big small.
Jesus is coming, look busy.

Offline Rickles

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Thanks NNW... I went to Heritage (Ocean City) and also got some good advice. Turns out an XLS fits me best and I ended up buying an O'Neill Hammer S/S Springsuit and an O'Neill Psycho 1 3/2 full suit. Called O'Neill and they happily canceled the order I placed with them. I also asked the best way to store them for the winter, since I don't have room to lay them out flat. They said it's perfectly fine to just hang them in the closet with the wide-ish hanger each came with. They said it won't hurt the shoulders at all as long as they are dry. No need to cover them, just hang 'em. I'm planning to make a hanging rack with PVC pipe from Home Depot to hang the suit on outside while I wash the salt, sand, etc. after using them.

Thanks also, waterboy. I've heard good things about that Hobie Peter Pan Slug, and that had also been on my list. Maybe I'll take a second look at that one. I've heard Hobie has been making it for a long, long time so it must be pretty good. It sounds like it's a good all-arounder.


Can anyone else comment on this one or any Hobie model? What about the Uncle Buck?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 12:47:45 PM by Rickles »