When I am not surfing with local friends, I often go to the Jetty myself. It is still a safer and a bit gentler choice for me especially today. The sets were coming in up to shoulder level maximum with the average of hip to chest level. I decided to take the 7'0 and headed directly to the breakwater, and did a bunch more of take-off practice. I cannot get much in terms of the ride length, but the wave bumps up right at the corner and catching them are really a lot of fun.
One thing is that it happens at really shallow water of probably hip level depth.
Don't we hate it when you turn the board around to catch the wave, the back of the board grinds the ocean floor and miss a wave. So on these type of situation, I just lay on the board and not sit on it.
This morning, I got to get a lot more feel on the very initial part of take offs where the wave jacks up and then immediately drops down, but at that point I am basically knocked from the back pushed forward. It seems to happen in this 1-2-3 timing. (1) Paddling part to catch the wave. (2) Wave bumps up and that exact moment I start to get up. The wave actually helps me get up on the board, like someone pulling you up. (3) Then the moment of weightlessness where I drop down into the wave. This is where I would use my knees to try landing softly on the board while I decide to try whether to go tail or neutral on the weights.
Lately my approach has been on extracting every bit of energy from the wave from the take off to pull-outs. Looking that way, I can see where I am still lacking in the technique and for not-so-athletic myself; the only way get at it is to keep at it surely and steadily. I still have as much of a curiosity as to where it will take me to next, and also how "far" advanced I would get as the first day I hit the water. And that's probably the top reason I keep at it, in that sense this has been more of a creative endeavor than just building a lot of muscles around my body.