Graeme Smith could only muster 19 on the opening day of the county season as Surrey struggled to 182-5 before bad light brought a prematurely close to proceedings in their Division Two clash with Glamorgan.
After being asked to bat first at the Kia Oval, Surrey found themselves in early trouble when Jim Allenby struck twice and Graham Wagg accounted for Smith to leave the hosts on 34-3.
A 122-run partnership between Zafar Ansari, batting at No 4, and wicketkeeper Steven Davies defied Glamorgan for large parts of the afternoon and both men survived dropped catches to reach 50.
Davies fell for 67 when edging Michael Hogan through to wicketkeeper Mark Wallace, playing in his 200th consecutive championship match, and Hogan then made Gary Wilson his second victim when the Irishman shouldered arms and was trapped lbw.
Ansari reached the close unbeaten on 50 from 183 balls and will resume day two alongside Jason Roy, who is unbeaten on 10.
In the only other Division Two fixture this week, Hampshire slumped to 37-3 in the 8.5 overs possible against Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl.
Michael Carberry made a poor start to the summer with a six-ball duck, as did James Vince - both men removed without scoring by Chris Russell (2-17).
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams (32no) looked in great touch in his 33 balls faced but rain ruined the opening day and both sides will hope conditions improve throughout the week.