Re: surf launching/landin

Posted by ThomasD on Aug 1, 2004

Hey now

I've also been learning to surf my touring kayak this summer. It's been great fun. A pearling endo flip and windowshade were both part of my last session. I learned a couple valuable lessons.

1. Stay the heck away from dumping shore break. As someone said earlier in this thread, find a place to play where you can surf an outer break in deep water and not get dashed up to the beach on each run. We'd been surfing the outer bar early, but the tide was rising and that break sort of dissapeared. I went in closer to catch one off the first sandbar. It jacked up steep and I tried to take off. First the bow pearled (I was angled heavily on the wave, almost to broach position), then the wave just collapsed over, carrying me with it since I was leaning forward trying to take off. Flipped me, snapped my GP at the shoulder, rolled me over a couple times like a barrel, then sucked me out of the boat with my snapdragon neoprene spray skirt, which is not easy to remove at the dock. The first bar break was dumping, which I did not notice from seaward, and I did not "scout" the break before charging right in and trying to get a ride. If I had looked before I leaped, I would have found shallow water all the way from the bar to the beach, dumpers, and would have picked another spot for my rides.

2. So my bud and I packed up, went and borrowed another paddle from another friend (a nice Werner carbon fiber Corryvreckan) and paddled out the inlet to check out the break on the backside of some shoals. It was running about 4' and very smooth, glassy. Deep water. We caught some awesome rides, some I would guess 1/8 mile long, riding the waves all the way across the shoals back to the inlet bouys. It was KILLER! I began to get very comfortable and cavalier about it again, and soon I tried to take off as a big one was jacking up behind me. Well, I did not get up to speed fast enough (even with the big blade werner), the wave fairly sucked me backwards, lifted my stern, I'm laying back on the deck trying to keep the stern in the water all the while I'm watching the bow bury farther and farther, oh sh!t the bows under water up to my skirt--oh crap I'm vertical--where do I plant the blade to do this pirouette thing I've read about--too late I'm going over. I tucked forward, flipped end over end. The good thing is, we were in deep water and I landed on back of the wave as it passed. It was terrifying when I was vertical, but very soft as I landed. I was pleased that my roll worked with the Werner paddle, as all I have used was the greenland paddle prior to that. I'm still pretty fresh on rolling, only have it on one side, and only the "standard Inuit sweep roll" sort of thing, but it has never failed me, never had to wet exit in conditions. You definitely want to get the roll down before you play in the surf.

Anyway, it was a great day I'll not soon forget. Touring boats aren't made to surf, but it is darn fun surfing them! I got schooled by the sea! Thankfully she was in a gentle mood.

In Response to: Re: surf launching/landin by LeeG on Jul 31, 2004