Catching A Wave, Dropping In
It's best to sit and watch some waves pass by to get an idea of where they actually will break and which way they peel off. This will tell you which direction to paddle toward to catch your wave. It is common for Texas waves to peak up and then roll through or flatten due to changes in the sand bars and the types/directions of swells. There will frequently be two swell directions at our breaks. It takes time and lot's of experience to get this dialed in - every surfer has had to pay their dues learning.
Look for a wave that looks like it will start to break just a little in front of you. Lean back on the tail of your board and move your legs in a circular motion to spin around in the direction you want to go(You can practice this while sitting and waiting for waves if you need). Lay on your board towards the back a bit with the nose about 2-4 inches off the water. Take fast deep strokes and as you feel your board pick up momentum like you are going down a hill spring to your feet keeping an eye on the nose to keep it above the water. If you shift your weight to your back foot it raises the nose, shifting to your front foot will lower the nose and accelerate. Fine tuning your technique and timing will help you drop in at the optimal time and get the best ride. If you miss a wave see how far in it goes before breaking and then wait for another wave that is steeper or maybe move in a little if none seem to break where you ended up. Practice, paddle strength and experience are the key factors in catching more waves.
Here are some helpful tips:
If you're getting frustrated trying to get a ride you may want to move in and catch the white water for a bit
If the nose keeps sticking into the water on take off (pearling) try paddling at a slight angle to the wave for longer boards or scooting back an inch or so on the board.
As you start gliding shift your weight toward your back foot, rotate your front shoulder and lean in the direction you want to turn. When you've turned almost all the way shift some weight back over your front foot to avoid stalling out. If your weight is too far on the tail, the board will sink in the back and it will slow down, losing necessary momentum to stay in the wave. Timing and practice again are the key.