With prevailing NW winds in the ocean and also locally at the beach, we were shut out of the north county spots this morning, and in HMB, there was not much waves either. So I headed much further south to escape from the chops and the winds. I know there is a reliable spot when this happens, and sure enough, it was going about overhead and actually rather hollow. I took out my shortest board which is a 5'6 Rockhold model, and headed out.
Already there were some good people catching waves, but the waves were breaking harder than I thought, and it has been quite challenging to catch waves. Usually when a situation like this happens, I would panic and that makes the situation even worse, but I usually cannot control the panic part... that just comes, and so when it comes, I just need to control it.
The main problem I have is that I just don't have a lot of confidence yet, and that causes a bad loop causing me to mess up on take offs or not catch the waves when I can catch otherwise, that makes me feel even less confident. It is actually worse when I don't have someone with me that I can look up to sharing the wave. If there is a better buddy that shows up, he (or she of course) would show me that there really is nothing to it. If I see my buddy take off just next to me that really make me feel more encouraged to do the same on the next set.
Several times in the past, I was taken to situations with more advanced surfers that I would never set a foot in if it was just by myself. Much bigger waves, much further out in the ocean or a spot that I have never been to. I was so scared but in the end I came back all intact and even caught some of the waves they were catching. After doing so many of those, eventually realize that "Hey, this is exactly like the time before with my buddy. I can handle this." And so I go out and have really fun.
And that's the kind of things that I wanted to tell you. It is often important to find a mentor surfer. I think that give you a lot more confidence.
And don't use me as your mentor. You've heard about the expression "A blind leading a blind."