I think a really interesting question to ask yourself if what kind of surfer you are, or what kind you want to be. When I started surfing I didn't have a definite idea of what I wanted to do with it, I just knew it changed my life.
Now, I totally get that not everyone who learns to surf is going to feel like they just changed their lives, and thats fine! But I think with anything you do, you should have a clear understanding of how you want to go about doing it.
I am a different type of surfer than some of my friends that I paddle out with. I love going out on big wave days, and don't mind testing my skill in 'angrier' waters. In fact I have a goal to catch a 20ft wave this year, so going after bigger and more challenging waves is a major objective of mine. This means buying different boards, probably taking some surfing trips (I'm thinking Hawaii), and truly dedicating time to this. I don't play around in the white water unless I'm using it to pull me to shore, and I also go out on days when it might be a bit dangerous.
- I'm still trying to get used to those big wave days when all the onlookers tell me how dangerous it is, and if I'm sure I want to go out there. I'm curious - why are you asking ME that? What about ME is making you think I can't handle it? My normal assumption is that it's because I am a lady and there aren't a lot of women who paddle out on those days. But honestly, just stop - if you are one of those people please just quit. I'm not blind, I can see the waves. I understand the risk I am taking.
But I digress.
Just because this is how I surf, doesn't mean it's how you are going to surf. Do you want to be a longboarder, or a shortboarder? Big waves or trick waves? White water, or lineup? Figure out what kind of surfer you want to be, and then go do it.
Some days I wake up on a Saturday morning, exhausted from the work week, wanting to just be lazy all day, but I know I would regret not getting my time in the ocean. Flying down the face of a wave is what feels like home to me. So figure out what you love about it, what you want to do with it, and go for it!
The only important thing you need to do, is get out there.