Yesterday, I wrote mostly about the single toy school of thoughts, but I now feel that I did not elaborate much on multiple toys school of thoughts.
I know a surfer who is very good and has many different surf boards.
According to him, he thinks that trying different boards teaches you a lot more about surfing and surf boards.
I can clearly see his point too.
For example, I am starting to understand the fore-aft weight shift aspect of surfing. On a long board, I can walk towards the front of the board to get the type of speed and glide. When the board starts to stall while the tail is jacking up, it is amazing that by just a few steps towards the front of the board, I can gain or regain so much better speed.
Now when I am back on a short board, I take the same approach, but the only difference is there is no need to walk the deck. I just send more weight forward and the board will do just about the same thing.
On a short board, when I am setting up for a turn, for me, it is more intuitive to set the weight to the back and sort of pivot the board around, then set the bottom or rail or whatever terms you know. Once you learn that the turn setup starts to become more refined. If you are seeing me doing that from the shore, though you may not see the subtle weight shifts. But then I've realized that it is one of the ways to also turn a long board on a dime; just go or walk close to the tail and pivot the whole thing around. That's what I often need to swing the board into the initial trim down the line right (or during) around take-off. Short boarding taught me do that a bit better.
Back to music, as much as I don't like to do this, studying classical piece can be very demanding, but after you do it, say master one of the Chopin's Nocturns. I can apply some of the classical finger moves on Jazz licks. After going through that, it is an awakening discovery experience that there are some chops that it would have been difficult to realize without going through it.
I do agree that sticking and focusing with one aspect of it for a while is an important thing. Every time I switch a board, I do feel like I have lost the touch for a while.
The whole point of this is that there seems to be no one right or wrong way of approaching this, and I think you as an individual need to decide. The whole point of it is to have fun, and for me struggling with learning to how to short board in of itself is a challenge and that equates with my notion of ultimate fun, because I tend to value discoveries along the road than being at the destination.
Also it goes with my career. Because I am more of a "jack of all trades" type, I work more effectively in a small startup situation. As the company grows, though, we need to hire "specialist" people, including those whose job has "always" been an HR, a CEO, or a programmer, or at least they built their career to be specialized. That inevitably happens, and when that happens, it is time for me to fade away, and go start another company! Well, I take it back. I am specialized in being a "jack of all trades!"
I have, however, seen or heard about many surfers who have continuously blamed their equipment for their own surfing problems, keep buying one equipment after another, and not progressing technically. I think that deserves a whole different set of discussion.