Wednesday, December 23, 2009

kayak surfing

No doubt, surfing a kayak is one of the high points of sea kayaking. The thrill of catching that mass of water, staying on course and then gracefully exiting the wave before it tumbles you is fantastic and addictive.Of course it all depends on the anatomy of the waves, how big, how long they ride before they break and do they dump at the end. All the science of waves can be found in the many kayaking books on sale, I`m sure everyone knows their local surf beaches or reefs and has their favourite spot. Just as important as good surf is the type of kayak you choose. You can surf a sea kayak, we do it all the time and it is a lot of fun, but there is a limit to what you can do with a 5 plus meter kayak in the surf.There are the smaller play boats and the small sit on top surf kayaks too.

And then there are the long surf skis, these are long narrow kayaks, rounded bottoms, sit on top with rudders built for speed and able to catch the swell long before anything else At first glance they seem unwieldy, but they come in different widths making them user friendly for beginners
And today I got to try one out.
Eyal Abro

an ex South African from Michmoret invited me to go for a trial with him We met after my usual Wed morning with the Optimists[ and today the sea was great for surfing] and headed out from the Michmoret sailing school.

The waves were pounding the harbour entrance and I admit there were a few moments when I thought that this is madness, but we managed to time our exit well and in a few moments we were past the breakers and out at sea. We headed south to Bet Yannai beach and played in the surf for about an hour. This is a different experience for me, firstly you are on a sit on top kayak with only your feet on the pedals held in by a Velcro strap, there is a rudder too , new for me, and the whole thing is a bit tippy as well. I had no problem with balance but when I caught a great wave all the way in I tried to exit too late, broached and got thrown from the boat, managed to hold onto my paddle and had to swim all the way to the beach to retrieve my kayak. In my sea kayak this would never happen as when broaching all you need to do is brace and then you can side surf all the way.

I don't know if this is possible with a surf ski, maybe someone with more experience can tell me. All in all it was a great day and the waves were perfect.
By the way girls, Eyal is still single...........

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