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How to Negotiate Surf


Negotiating surf in your Kayak
HEADING OUT
It can be a good idea to take a few minutes to watch the surf and start paddling out as the last wave of a set breaks. Start paddling as the wave breaks well in front of you. You will paddle up and over the white wash. When you see another wave coming paddle hard for maximum speed, this will help get you up and over the wave or to have enough momentum to get through the white wash. If you stop then you will most likely get pushed backwards and out of control.
COMING IN
Stop well beyond the surf break and lay any rods down and put everything away, take the paddle leash off as you don’t want to get tangled in it if you bail or when you want to get off quickly once in shallow water. 
Wait for the last wave of the set, as it passes paddle flat out behind it to shore. If another wave catches up and you are going to need to surf it then keep paddling hard but on a slight angle to the shore. The reason for this is that kayaks almost always go sideways, if you start with a slight angle then you will be prepared - not caught by surprize with the kayak suddenly going left or right.
Once surfing, you can control the kayak to some degree by using the paddle to help steer it. At some stage you will feel the kayak going sideways, you need to brace with your paddle by putting the flat paddle blade into the wave face which will act like an outrigger providing more stability. At the same time you are doing this, lean into the wave. 
Avoid catching a wave as it peaking or about to break as the kayak will get on such a steep angle that it will nose dive.
Safety
Once the kayak goes side on, that’s it. You won’t stop it unless you bail. So stop before you come in and check for people swimming. 
 

Negotiating surf in your Kayak

Heading out:

It can be a good idea to take a few minutes to watch the surf and start paddling out as the last wave of a set breaks. Start paddling as the wave breaks well in front of you. You will paddle up and over the white wash. When you see another wave coming paddle hard for maximum speed, this will help get you up and over the wave or to have enough momentum to get through the white wash. If you stop then you will most likely get pushed backwards and out of control.

Coming in:

Stop well beyond the surf break and lay any rods down and put everything away, take the paddle leash off as you don’t want to get tangled in it if you bail or when you want to get off quickly once in shallow water. 

Wait for the last wave of the set, as it passes paddle flat out behind it to shore. If another wave catches up and you are going to need to surf it then keep paddling hard but on a slight angle to the shore. The reason for this is that kayaks almost always go sideways, if you start with a slight angle then you will be prepared - not caught by surprise with the kayak suddenly going left or right.

Once surfing, you can control the kayak to some degree by using the paddle to help steer it. At some stage you will feel the kayak going sideways, you need to brace with your paddle by putting the flat paddle blade into the wave face which will act like an outrigger providing more stability. At the same time you are doing this, lean into the wave (this is the most important part!) 

Avoid catching a wave as it peaking or about to break as the kayak will get on such a steep angle that it will nose dive.

Safety:

Once the kayak goes side on, that’s it. You won’t stop it unless you bail. So stop before you come in and check for people swimming.