Date: 2018-10-08 03:57
I guess it depends what you want to do with it. If you want to mainly just amuse yourself or play with other instrumental beginners in a group setting, then I would say start now. Get a few lessons and then work on it by yourself as time permits until you have a bit more free time. The later you learn the oboe, the harder it will probably be to develop endurance due to back pressure.
If you want to be able to play in an orchestra of intermediate level amateurs, take in mind it will take you a number of years to probably be at a tolerable level, especially if you haven't played a wind instrument before.
If you want to mainly play baroque oboe solos, perhaps with an accompanist for fun, I would say start on it now and just do it at your own pace.
Recorder is significantly less taxing and easy to pick up. However, its sound is so different that even though you can perhaps learn it well quickly, it won't give you the sound world you're looking for. I am actually learning recorder now, and I could basically pick it up and play. However, the air and embouchure are so different that I'm not sure how much it can transfer to the oboe. Personally, because I play baroque oboe, I loved how the fingering was similar, but it won't be really too applicable to the modern oboe. The fingering will probably be the last of your worries. But if you do want to start with a recorder, choose the tenor. Then you can play all the baroque oboe pieces. Altos are in F and so everything will be shifted.
I am also trying to learn the chalumeau (early clarinet) and I think that could be worthwhile picking up if your eventual goal is to transfer to the oboe. It will give you some experience with air resistance.
Pretty much I think if you want the double reed experience but with fewer reed problems, go for a bassoon!
Either way, if you're going to purchase an instrument, do go for something that's at the intermediate level at least. I think half of the problems are due to terrible starter instruments.