Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ben Lawry`s surfing lesson

I can surf my kayak , well at least thats what I thought before Bens lesson. Ben divides surfers into 4 types, now I cant remember the exact words but the gist is this. The first type is the surfer who has no knowledge and not a clue how to surf, then the second type gets a bit better and can get caught in the wave the third has some sort of control and the fourth is in total control of his kayak all the time.
 Just what is this control that he talks about, well  there comes a time when surfing when you just have to let the wave take you  till it peters out, but if you control your surfing you shouldnt get into this situation. No to mention the physics and dynamics of waves etc etc, lets just concentrate on catching that wave and screaming down the face  having the thrill of the ride. So according to Ben, once your stern gets locked in the wave you are out of control, its better and desirable to control your position by breaking and forward paddling  so that you stay on the crest of the wave with your stern in the air, you can then move your kayak left or right  as you like and you dont get caught in the wave. Ben demonstrates this by wagging his tail and if you watch him in  the video you can see what he wants you to do.  If you do get caught your stern begins to travel faster than the bow and you either broach or take a nosedive. 
So its all about timing and positioning yourself on the wave crest. Seakayaks are prety long and much more difficult to control on the waves than the shorter surfkayaks.The  session in the surf was a lot of fun and one great exercise was to get out there in the surf without a paddle, use our hands and surf back to shore. this helped us learn to control the boat with our bodies and not become dependent on the paddle for support.

Playing  in the surf without paddles, sounds impossible but actually is a lot of fun

Did he catch the wave or is the wave catching him?

Looks like a good one here

Low brace low brace , thats the safe way to go

This one is going to go well.

Since then we have had absolutely flat water with not a wave in sight and so we couldnt practice at all. I have been searching the web for kayak surfing and have not seen anyone doing what Ben taught us. Did I get it right or did I misunderstand?
Heres a short video demo of Ben wagging his tail in the surf, try it , its quite tricky to stay on the crest, too fast and you get caught by the wave too slow and you miss the wave.  What do you think?

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