WR18 behavior in waves

Posted by Dennis Rioux on Jul 28, 2004

I have had my WR18 out a good half dozen times now. Tonight was pretty windy by my standards -- don't have a number, but flags were straight out from poles and there were white caps scattered about on the water. I would estimate waves and swells in the 1' to 2' range with some humdingers from power boat wakes. I go out with a friend and he tells me the kayak looks well trimmed fore and aft. Is it normal kayak behavior for the bow to submerge a bit when going over the top of one wave and into the next when going into the wind? I figure the waves crests were 8' to 10' apart if you think that is important. Most of the time this allowed water to wash up to, say, the deck tip scarf joint area. There were a couple that made it all the way back to my rigging in front of the cockpit. Just sheets of water -- I was not buried inside a wave or anything worrisome like that. I found that if I "powered through" that first wave it seemed like the bow would not dig into the second as much. Could have been my imagination.

The reason I ask is because my friend has a plastic 16 footer that tended to bob around a lot but did not bury the bow like mine (that and I am a newby and don't know what to expect). On the way back it was a hoot -- I think I surfed a couple of big swells. There were a couple times when the bow went under in these conditions too. Is this called broaching? I looked in my copy of Hutchinson's book but couldn't find anything after a quick look. I'd really appreciate any comments you more experienced paddlers care to share. Thanks.