This morning was again very hard surfing with very variable wave quality in a local beach. I guess "shifty" fits the description to the extent that a ridable wave popped here and there where we were not, requiring a lot of paddling left and right, and when I arrived there, then it started to happening exactly where I was.
My 6'6 is still in the board bag with the rail still wrapped in the pipe insulation and so the last few session I have been using the narrower 7'0 board, but I have really been having a lot of problem gaining the initial speed to surf faster than the closing shoulder. It still got to do with my skill and strength, and I cannot excuse that one, because at one point my buddy and I were taking off on the exact same wave and he gets the wave and I don't.
Nevertheless, I am really happy these days that I just don't hardly pearl any more and I do take off (if not standing up) on basically any steepness waves I go for. So I really need just to practice more on getting up on the board and get a hold of the control of it as soon as possible. And that's what my buddy does really well. I see him get up on the board right on the tip of the wave and then in no time his rail is set on the wall and takes long long rides, regardless of what kind of waves that come at him.
Along the line of getting up on the board, I have adjusted my habit of where to put my hands on the board and that's now way behind my shoulders and flat handed on the deck. That has been a tremendous help in steeper take off situations, and plus grabbing a lot of water in my paddling hands in the direction of the break to make the board already set to take off in an angle.