surf launching/landings

Posted by LeeG on Jul 30, 2004

Steve, I strongly recommend a video on surf launching/landings and a class. Long boats are not surf boats so attempting a straight in surf landing isn't the goal compared to landing safely. A broach and side surfing is the "default setting" for a long boat when in front of a wave that breaks on you. If "surfing" is the activity do it where the end of the run doesn't result in a dump at the beach,,do it where you can turn around and start over again. For coming to the beach it's a lot nicer to not have the kayak on top of your head (wear a helmet!)so timing the last wave so you're on the BACK of the wave to the beach will allow you to settle down onto the beach with a push from the next white stuff before exiting. This is very vague for a lesson plan but nothing like moving pictures with stop/rewind.

Launching is tricky like getting in floating kayak is tricky or learning a sculling draw stroke is tricky,,it's just that the energy is greater and the consequences more abrupt. The classic surf launch is putting your bow down far enough for the biggest wave to wash up. Stretch in the kayak by rolling all the way over to the right and left side with your torso weight on your elbows,skirt on,you can pivot the bow left and right when it's on it's side and your torso weight is on your forearm/sand. If this is too athletic then you are a bit more at the mercy of the waves knocking you sideways, basically it gives you the skill of knocking your bow back to facing the waves when a big wave washes up enough to knock you sideways but not far enough to float you. Once the sets lull to small waves you walk the kayak down like a gorilla jerking forward knuckles in the sand, when a wave is big enough to float the bow it's a jerky combination of paddling/jerking the stern off the beach and out you go. Having a helper is great but it's dicey half the time as they throw you into waves from the stern when you don't want or hold your bow getting in the way or flipping the kayak as the wave passes underneath.

You're definately in the territory of needing to know how to roll with a relatively narrow kayak like the WR18 in waves.

In Response to: WR18 on Lake Superior by Steve in Ottawa on Jul 30, 2004

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