Kayak Surfing on the Oregon Coast

Didn't bring the camera to the beach, but it will be my goal next time to get some pics.

I wanted to start off saying that you certainly can surf sea kayaks, but in this video you will notice that the waves are pushing this kayaker and "window shading" the hell out of him. That is not safe and surfers fear being in the way and ultimatly this leaves a bad taste for kayakers near board surfers.

Another day spent at the coast with the red Valley Surf Kayak. Actually had a pretty good day figuring out how to drive the boat on surf. I have discovered two problems that I dont know if I am going to be able to fix. The first problem is that I am to "Fat" for the boat or perhaps to big/tall. The back of the boat is about an inch or two under water and it feels very unstable in the water. This is making the boat not take off very easily and is hard to control if I dont have my paddle in the water. The second problem that I am having is that my hips are not snug into the side of the boat. This is important in surf for a few reasons that I have figured out.

We have a few forces that effect our boat. Speed, angle, arc, and spin momentum. The effect that is important when surfing is "Arcing" through the wave. What we must all learn to start is that no boat goes in a perfect straight line. We need to get our boats moving left and right. To experience this you must first get the kayak surfing on an unbroken surface. Then start to rock the boat back and forth just slightly using your butt and hips, but do this ina controled way. The boat will start to turn left and right with out using the paddle. The faster the rocker the faster the surfing action happens. Simply going straight down a wave face will not always let the boat surf correctly. In this video we can see several different types of turning.

The water is cavatating the bottom of the boat and it simply is not coming alive. What this means is that the water is sticking more to the boat and pulling on the hull while not releasing the kayak. Rock the boat geting it to turn and thus boat glides. This is important so that you dont over use the paddle. Yes, the paddle can help but using the paddle to much can make you a busy paddler. Be busy at looking left and right to see the wave breaking, but you dont always needs to be paddling. Stop for a moment and feel the water rushing under the boat.
You can surf using a rudder stroke followed by a brace, but keep the boat flatter with just a slight edge or "Charc".

This idea is taken from Bill Mattos book Kayak Surfing. Here is a pic of bill surfing. www.billmattos.com

You will notice a few things. First torso rotation. The body is facing the work on the paddle. The kayak is being held flat. The body is balanced over the boat but adding weight to the right side of the boat or the rail.

We call giving your boat edge "charc". You dont want to over "Charc" the boat or the fins will slide out of the green water and the front of the boat will shoot up the wave face and you will be sideways. To bring the stern of the boat back up the wave try doing a stroke on the green water or down wave side to make a correction.

I did want to add that white water boats dont surf on the ocean very well. They make you think they do, but you simply cant carve turns.

If you are around board surfers they will slowly lose respect for white water kayakers thinking that they are surfing. What do you think?

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