Early Bird Gets the Worm
The early bird gets the worm is an English expression which emphasizes the importance of starting something early to maximize the potential outcome, and first appeared in a 1605 book of proverbs by William Camden.
William's 400-plus-year-old advice still applies to a sport he likely couldn't have fathomed—surfing.
Catch waves early, and you'll maximize the potential outcome of your ride.
When you catch waves early, many more options become available to you than when you are catching waves late—trying to get to your feet under the lip of the wave that is crashing down on top of you.
Dig deep, paddle like you mean it, choose equipment that stacks the deck in your favor, and catch every wave you paddle for early in its formation.