Riding on the big board was relatively easy for me. Progressing to a smaller board was the hardest part. It took quite a long time to feel stable on the 45-liter board, especially when going from kneeling to standing up. Doing many downwinders definitely helped me with this, because I could try over and over again for about an hour without having to walk back upwind.
I also had no background in doing downwinders and riding the ocean swells. When getting on a bump, I struggled to keep the nose of my board down and half the time I would fly out of the water from too much lift. It was a big breakthrough when I learned how to ride these bumps more effectively and has since been a lot more fun to do downwinders.