Surfing small waves

June 27, 2007

I think I finally got it today – how to surf properly.

I got to the put-in at 4.30pm (leaving work an hour early) and had two hours on my own before the first surfers turned up. The surf was small 1-2 feet, but I realised perfect for my level. I surfed a small break over a sand spit about 150m out which allowed about 100m runs before the wave petered out. This was part of the reason for ‘getting it’ I think as at the end of every wave I wasn’t beached! It was great fun.

The key I think is to paddle like billyo to get on the wave and stay in front of the pile so you don’t broach. Once you are up to speed it’s an amazing feeling and I was able to look around for the first time, skiming along the green part of the wave with the pile behind and in control.

Well mostly in control. I got trashed three times and failed to roll – partly because of the surf but mostly I think my paddle which is now loose and spinning around in my hands. Need to get some loctite anerobic glue (used for thread locking should work on my steel shaft) although as I looked around for it I found the sumo stuff – maybe that’s the one for me!

sumo glue

As I was paddling around getting on waves, punching through etc I was thinking what an idiot to be surfing with this broken paddle but it was also good practice in a way – being so aware of paddle blade position.

When the surfers turned up it was instructive watching how they did it and I realised that surfing is much cooler and more interesting than surf kayaking. These guys are just so self sufficient – no masses of saftey equipment for them – just a board and shortie wetsuit…

The water was amazingly warm in the wet suit (though chilly without) and the weather was weird – 20km inland it was sunny and hot (26C) but getting the train home suddenly it got cold and foggy (unusual for here) with about 15kmph winds.

I finished up at 7:30 as the light was starting to fade. Tired and happy.

Again no pictures.


2 Responses to “Surfing small waves”

  1. Wenley Says:


    Congratulations! It took me two and half years to get to ride the soup of 4 foot-waves.
    I got the knack out of the torque, a stroke that Gordon Brown suggests to avoid broaching, and that I was not sure that I understood.
    Basically, you place a stern rudder in the pile and then push the blade in the foam away from you. The resistance is strong enough to allow you to steer the kayak with the feet and stomach muscles.
    It made all the difference to me.

  2. Hey Wenley
    Thanks. Just after you said that about that torque stroke I watched the trailer for pacific horizons (I know you’ve seen it) which has some surfing dudes doing exactly what I think you are decsribing.

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