PaddleWise Discussion on Surf Technique Questions




Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 21:12:17 -0800
From: "Gerald Foodman" 
Subject: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question

You are surfing a sea kayak straight down a wave with a bit of stern rudder
here and there to maintain direction.  The wave begins to break.  Is it
possible to continue straight ahead with stern rudder?  I always have to
switch to a high brace and broach.

Jerry


Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 08:50:19 -0500 From: "Richard Culpeper" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question If you are heading straight down a breaking wave, you'll have to avoid pitch-poling (your nose digging down into the trough and your tail pointing to the sky, somersaulting your boat forward). Rather than going for a full broach, try feathering your stern rudder into a stern low brace. This will slow your boat's descent down the face of the wave and give you a chance to settle closer to the trough without first having been pitchpoled. Richard Culpeper www.geocities.com/~culpeper
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 09:56:01 -0500 From: "Sisler, Clyde" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question I've never been on a wave large enough to pitch pole (and desparately hope I never am) but doesn't shifting or leaning your weight towards the stern alliviate the problem a little? Doesn't a steep wave have to be somewhere near the length of the boat (or at least more than half it's length) to be pitch pole threat?
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 12:00:22 -0600 From: John Somers Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question Clyde, leaning back is indeed a way to prevent the bow from pearling, but try it and see how you feel about your readiness to brace from that position. And if you're trying to pull up the bow of a long sea kayak you will have to lean pretty far back, depending on the steepness of the wave and the buoyancy of the boat's bow. When you do this while surfing a wave it becomes extremely easy to capsize. The boat can broach and turn over in a hurry. Been there, done it! About your second question, pitchpoling can happen too if the bow hits something underwater, for example the sandy bottom in relatively shallow water, or submerged objects like rocks. So it can happen in waves that seem relatively small. John Somers
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:37:36 -0500 From: "Richard Culpeper" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question - ---------- > From: Sisler, Clyde > > I've never been on a wave large enough to pitch pole (and desparately hope I > never am) but doesn't shifting or leaning your weight towards the stern > alliviate the problem a little? Yes, it certainly does. I should have mentioned this. > Doesn't a steep wave have to be somewhere near the length of the boat (or at > least more than half it's length) to be pitch pole threat? I don't know. That's a really interesting question. I'm not good at telling how big a wave is. In general, I'm more concerned about the steepness of the wave than its height. But I don't know how to tell how steep a wave is either. I just know when I see a wave if it is too steep for me to front surf without having to worry about pitchpoling or digging in my bow. (BTW, digging the bow down into the water in the trough can lead to pitchpoling even on waves that are not that big.) Cheers, Richard Culpeper www.geocities.com/~culpeper
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 14:07:22 -0800 From: skerries@hotmail.com Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question Here on the Wet Coast, we call that moment when the bow begins to bury itself "submarining" because it looks like the view from a sub's conning tower as she dives while underway; a moving wall of water creeps relentlessly along the deck toward your cockpit. If a desperate backward lean and backpaddling do not cause the bow to pop free, the only thing that will save you from pitchpoling is if the wave collapses as it hits shallows. Cheers, Philip T. N4916' W12308' "The opinions expressed in this posting are not necessarily those of my employer, or indeed, of any sentient being."
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 23:53:18 -0600 From: "Robert C. Cline" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Surf Technique Question >> Doesn't a steep wave have to be somewhere near the length of the boat (or >at >> least more than half it's length) to be pitch pole threat? Good question. I've got an 18ft. Falcon. It has pitchpoled in far less than 9 ft. waves...even with me leaning back. Things got a rough when the bow hit the sand. Me thinks it better to broach...and ride the wave in sideways than risk a pitchpol. Robert