Basic Surf Safety
From Tom Holtey:
Tips on helmets, kneestraps,
leash & seatback use
rock gardens & seacaves.
Helmets are just plain
common sense. No matter how great a paddler you are, don't
go surfing or playing around rough shore lines without protective
headgear. Helmets are available at most kayak shops. Make
sure it fits properly and is comfortable or you will avoid
wearing it when you need it the most.
Saftey in Surf is very
#1 Wear a helmet and Life Vest!!! Every time!
#2 Uses knee straps
#3 Use a paddle leash
The helmet will protect
you from you own eqipment in most cases. The life vest will
also protect your ribs as well as float you.
*When riding the surf you are going
to wipe out and capsize regularly. When you do, follow these
Hold on tightly with your legs to the knee straps.
*Tuck your head and body to your legs, kind of like a crash
*Keep both hands on the paddle shaft and aline the shaft
along the left side of your kayak with one blade to the
bow and the other to the stern.
Now you are ready to
tumble in the surf. You have protected your face and belly,
and you are now in a pre eskimo roll position. Even if you
do not know how to roll, the wave may roll you up right
while in this posture, and a quick brace will put you back
If this fails, from
a violent wave or you run out of air, keep holding on to
the paddle leash to maintain control of your kayak. If the
wave pulls realy hard, hold with one or both hands near
one blade of the paddle to streamline your self.
TIPS: Attach the paddle
leash to the bow handle of the kayak. A good back rest can
act like a knee strap for your butt to further hold you
in place. It really helps to scout out your surf zone carefully
to find rip currents, rocks, reefs and sand bars. I have
surfed alot solo, but a buddy sure is nice to have.
"Helmet? I Don't Need
No Stinking Helmet!"
As told by Greg C. of Ocean City Maryland
From a good discussion on the Forum about Surfing
Alone. This story was related by an unregistered visitor and we
can't resist drawing attention to his entertaining yet educating
Use a paddle leash in surf & wind (NOT in whitewater) to maintain control of your kayak.
Surf Kayak Fins/Skegs
The addition of skegs/fins add performance, increases the ability of the kayak to hold position while trimming along the wave face and aids in tracking.
We carry fins for both the Cobra Revision & W.S. / Dagger Kaos
These water sport helmets can be used for all paddling disciplines that can involve risk, such as white water rafting, river boogie, rock gardens and sea caves.
Like these contoured ergonomic design, padded knee straps. Suitable for all rough water and flat
"I really enjoy STP kayaking on my tandem Malibu with my
wife. When down in Ocean City, MD we often will take it out on
the bay and enjoy a cople hours of fun paddling.
I had this grand idea: Why not take the kayak out into the ocean?
Solo of course! After all, I am a strong swimmer, experienced bodyboarding
and body surfer, and have surfed occasionally, how hard can it be?
Thigh straps? Who needs them!...certainly not me!
least I conceeded to the life vest.
being shooed away by the lifeguard (no boat launching from the shore)
I waited until he was gone, and the beach nearly empty, before beginning
I had a great time blasting through the surf beyond the 4 to 5 ft
waves, it was exhilirating! Then I rode up and down the coast for
about a half hour enjoying the waves.
came my decision to surf some of these waves in. All I can really
say is, it started---but did not end well. I suppose sitting in
the middle seat of a Malibu, with no seat rest or thigh straps,
isn't going to give you a high level of control...and it didn't.
enjoying about 2.1 seconds of the ride, the wave flipped the kayak
over and deposited it heavily on my unguarded head. Ouch!
you figured I learned my lesson. Nope.
to repeat this process two more times until I was beaten nearly
senseless. I am still a little woozy.
of course, referrred to the section in Tom's
book regarding this subject upon my return home. Hey, why read
it before I went?
word to the wise: As in any endeavor, learn as much as you can before
undertaking the task, and build up to what you want to accomplish.
I myself will be better prepared next summer. :-)