Forget surfer prejudice...

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
User avatar
Veedurb
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:18 pm
Location: South Devon
Contact:

Forget surfer prejudice...

Post by Veedurb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:56 am

This is in NO WAY aiming to start an arguement or fights, merely to point out some of the reasons why I believe kayakers have a somewhat tarnished reputation. As I watched I felt strangely embarassed and upon talking to the lifeguard after my afternoon session I got the feeling they were rather miffed at what had happened earlier in the day. I was told that the lifeguards were informed that safety cover was in place and experienced/less experienced paddlers were buddied up. Fair enough.

Perranporth Sunday, good conditions, mildly busy. Enter SUCC (whoever they are). Let the mayhem begin...

Image
Image
(Thats the rip tide just there, I count SIX swimmers in it)

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Wasted shoulder there, don't take off in the mush outside of the surfers...

Image
We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
Paignton Canoe Club
Torbay Surfing

Goldspoon
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:02 pm

Post by Goldspoon » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:30 pm

Hmmm...

I am seeing pictures of people getting out there and having some character building fun and adventures. Are you saying these boaters were in serious trouble?

Just trying to identify what you were embarrassed about?

Even if they did have a bit of an epic... it's not a crime (we only discover how far we can go by exceeding that place now and again).

We do have to be very careful that we do not stand on the beach thinking... oh some have fallen out... ring the RNLI... do they not have their own rescue boat... silly people should stay on the beach and read books...

Having said that I agree that rips can be darn scary things...

Wasted shoulder...? Perhaps he mistimed it? Damn the guy... he should not be out there if he cannot do it perfectly!

Slightly tongue in cheek all of the above. The serious point is that we should allow people to have their little epics now and again... cutting out some dangers is possible but how far do we go...?

User avatar
Veedurb
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:18 pm
Location: South Devon
Contact:

Post by Veedurb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:56 pm

Goldspoon wrote:The serious point is that we should allow people to have their little epics now and again... cutting out some dangers is possible but how far do we go...?
Fair comment and I agree with that. But in that situation where there appeared to be no group organisation, who is responsible when it goes pear shaped?
Goldspoon wrote:Are you saying these boaters were in serious trouble?
No, but the potential for them to be was never too far away (as is the nature of the sport) and as a result of this situation other people were exposed to risk when having to assist.

Look at it like this. A mass of boaters descend on the beach, get out and paddle with no apparent organisational structure, multiple swimmers and loose kit going everywhere. How does that reflect on the sport and the so called prejudice against our kind? As for the clean shoulder, there's no way of mis-timing it if all that happens is you go in a straight line and try to get air. Fair enough, but try to keep away from the mainline breaks for this kind of thing!
We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
Paignton Canoe Club
Torbay Surfing

User avatar
robt
Posts: 545
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 3:25 pm
Location: Abergavenny
Contact:

Post by robt » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:31 pm

I also fail to see what you are moaning about. People have to learn, and often that will happen in large groups. In such cases, sub-division of some kind is necessary, and this is what seems to be happening in this case.
Veedurb wrote:A mass of boaters descend on the beach, get out and paddle with no apparent organisational structure, multiple swimmers and loose kit going everywhere.
I thought you said they were 'buddied up'. A sensible option in surf. Your first image shows clearly that they are sticking to this system and it is working...? Multiple swimmers happen because it is a large group. The ratio of swimmers--non-swimmers doesn't look that alarming to me.
As for the clean shoulder, there's no way of mis-timing it if all that happens is you go in a straight line and try to get air. Fair enough, but try to keep away from the mainline breaks for this kind of thing!
Sure thing. If I can't do it, I won't even try it. How helpful.
Forget surfer prejudice...
Yes, indeed. Welcome to kayaker prejudice.

User avatar
Veedurb
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:18 pm
Location: South Devon
Contact:

Re: Forget surfer prejudice...

Post by Veedurb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:44 pm

Veedurb wrote:This is in NO WAY aiming to start an arguement or fights, merely to point out some of the reasons why I believe kayakers have a somewhat tarnished reputation.
robt wrote:I also fail to see what you are moaning about
I'm not moaning AND I'm not argueing.
We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
Paignton Canoe Club
Torbay Surfing

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13855
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:08 pm

It's about why some boardies perceive us all as twats.

Yes people need to learn and all the things that were going on are fairly normal. However, do we think it is responsible to bring all of this to a popular break? In the south you don't have much choice, but kayaks can get waves boards cant so why not find somewhere useable for kayaks but quiet because it's no use for boards? OK I realise that there will be weekend warriors without a clue trying to use waves that are rubbish for them, but I would be surprised if every beach was packed.

Jim

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4418
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall

Post by StoneWeasel » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:10 pm

I have been stirring up too much trouble of late so I am walking off quietly away from this post.

Denzil

Goldspoon
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:02 pm

Post by Goldspoon » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:32 pm

I think the subject deserves debate and I do not think the original poster is wrong, in any way, to present such a debate and his initial point of view - after some further debate he may change that view... or others may move to his point of view. Let's take care we do not scare anybody off from presenting a point of view on this forum. To say Veedurb was moaning is, I believe, completely unfair.

Surely we can all have debates that are forceful but that allow all points to be heard without insults flying around (if some surfers came to surf this forum what would they think of us and our sport?).

Back on topic...

I agree that with a bigger group it would be ideal to have some kind of command structure (maybe they did). But then again if the buddy system was one good paddler with one not so good then that couple can be designated as a "group" (no different then to myself paddling with somebody I am teaching one to one).

I also agree that once a group reaches a certain size and it ceases to be a "peer group" then things are a little different. If I paddle with three peers we are not going to designate a leader etc. But if I arrange for twenty of my club members, of mixed ability, to go out together then one can argue for some rules and strategy. In fact if somebody at a club organised such an event and my novice paddler son/daughter/wife was led into a false sense of security and drowned then I would want to hunt somebody down maybe.

Let's look at the positive though. They did buddy up. It appears to have worked okay. They all appear to have b/aids and helmets.

It would be interesting to know if they themselves felt all was in order or not...

User avatar
Sheffield Jo
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Southampton
Contact:

Post by Sheffield Jo » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:34 pm

I think it's very rude to assume a lack of organization and structure without actually talking to the group?

Prior to getting on the surf, we had spoken to the life guards who asked us to stay in that particular area of the beach away from where the surfers were.

We were buddied up, and all people given an extensive safety brief before getting on the water.

Yes, a few people swam at the same time but there were enough experienced people to help them out and get them all in to the beach safely. We lost no kit.
Everyone involved, including a number of people new to the sport, had a safe and really fun weekend.

Logistics of bring a club to any beach were are difficult, but having looked and asked around it was agreed that this was the most suitable for all involved. We were staying to a closer beach but was told it was not 'kayak-friendly' so respected the wishes of surfers not to go there. The boarders who were with us seemed to be able to find another area of the miles of coast line happily?
As for your comment on 'a waste of a shoulder' I honestly wonder why this is some sort of crime?

When the life guards spoke to the group, after checking we were OK they said they were happy with the situation.
Southampton Uni Canoe Club

User avatar
Will.S.
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:54 pm

Post by Will.S. » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:55 pm

I don't see the problem in these photos.

Wasted shoulder? How can you be so sure the wave didnt close down on him? Playboats aren't the best at holding the shoulder!

Nice of you to make the effort to speak to them and ensure it was all ok when you had the chance!

User avatar
Nugz
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: Norfolk
Contact:

Re: Forget surfer prejudice...

Post by Nugz » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:23 pm

Veedurb wrote:As I watched I felt strangely embarassed and upon talking to the lifeguard after my afternoon session I got the feeling they were rather miffed at what had happened earlier in the day.
Sorry you felt embarrassed. Perhaps we should stop thirty or so new paddlers having fun so you don't have to feel that way.

Would you rather beginner paddlers went out in smaller surf where they would get right in the way of surfers a lot more?

All boats, kit and people made it back in safely. The lifeguard didn't have to pull anyone out, to my knowledge, and was asked to check out beyond the breaks incase anything was missed.

The beginners learnt so much in that day, for most, their first time on surf. I think the learning curve will be very beneficial to their paddling.

Once everyone was back in and made sure they were with their buddies a few games were played to warm everyone up.

The group went from being lots of paddlers not sure or their ability and who some faces were to paddler that new their limits and who everyone else in the group was.

helenr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:28 pm

Post by helenr » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:24 pm

I agree with the point that safety is becoming an ever increasing concern, and there will always be a debate regarding the apparent safety/lack of safety with any trip concerned. However, without being there, it is impossible for one to comment on a series of photos taken from such a distance.

As one of those involved with the rescuing of the swimmers, I can assure you that everything that could have been done to to help was done. As Sheffield Jo points out, everyone was given a buddy, they were all given an indepth safety talk before hand, including the potential dangers of a rip tide, and so on. There were also at all times numerous competent paddlers out there keeping an eye on the freshers and ready to rescue at any time. Everyones equipment was fitted properly and all boats had at least one air bag in. The lifeguards were consulted prior to getting on the water, and as Jo said, they restricted us to this area, so as to avoid the surfers, which we complied with, happily.

Yes, it was hard work rescuing the swimmers and their boats in such conditions, but through working together as a team, no equipment was lost, no one was hurt, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, as could be seen from the million other photos that could have been taken if not from such a biased perspective.

Regarding the call out of the lifeguard, can anyone say that was not the right thing to do? There would have been a whole lot more complaints if we failed to call out a lifeguard and something did go wrong.

Thanks for bringing up this debate, but in future, try not to jump to the wrong conditions and condem those who worked so hard organising such an amazing trip and for preventing anything going wrong, successfully.

Goldspoon
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:02 pm

Post by Goldspoon » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:39 pm

That is big surf for people on their first time in surf... that's not a judgement issue... just an observation. Brave first timers that's what I say! :-)

pearcy
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:48 am

Post by pearcy » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:43 pm

Ditto Goldspoon's comment but adding.......

That is a risky location for people on their first time in surf... that's not a judgement... just an observation. Brave group leader that's what I say!

Andy

User avatar
Veedurb
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:18 pm
Location: South Devon
Contact:

Post by Veedurb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:51 pm

Now before this spirals out of control, which is exactly what I didn't want this to do, I will apologise to SUCC, this was not intended as a critising of how you run your operations. Maybe I took it the wrong way after speaking to the lifeguard or he didn't put his opinion across properly. This was a post of how easily the already fragile image of kayaks and surf can be damaged.

To the average onlooker, especially in the increasing 'pink and fluffy' society we live in, this situation could have quite easily appeared to be more serious than it actually was (hence apparent lack of organisation). Having had experience of initiating a Coastguard rescue myself (for staying out surfing whilst it went dark) I know all to well how easily the public can misconstrue people's actions.

So maybe I should have asked it there a way that we can reduce the chance of this happening in that environment for example, laying boats out in a neat fashion on the beach to give the look of a well organised group?

I am glad the day went well and everyone involved enjoyed themselves, as for the wasted shoulder comment, well that's just me being a grumpy kayak surfer who hates to see them go to waste and yes, I know surfers are prime candidates for letting them do so too and I shout at myself if I do it...
Last edited by Veedurb on Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
Paignton Canoe Club
Torbay Surfing

User avatar
Nugz
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: Norfolk
Contact:

Post by Nugz » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:58 pm

One though I had when towing in swimmers was... would it be a good idea to have some people out in creek/faster boats than playboats to help rescue people.

I don't know how these paddle in surf.

Any one have any experience of this?

User avatar
Tom_Laws
Posts: 8122
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:37 am
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Post by Tom_Laws » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:04 pm

Will.S. wrote:Wasted shoulder?
There will be more.

krp
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:10 pm

Post by krp » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:15 pm

I'm a SUCC "old" who was down for the weekend, though didn't actually boat with the group.

I think the original poster paints an unduly harsh picture of events...

Perranporth is a pretty massive beach, especially at low tide. Your photos show a fairly crowded sea, but that's because the club were trying to keep within the area the lifeguards had asked them to use. I'm sure they'd have moved even further away from other water users if asked - indeed that's what they've done by default in previous years (back when there wasn't lifeguard cover in October). Oh, and the club normally have a few people wading in the shallows to help out any swimmers - that may have upped your body count.

Yes, this seems to have put them in a rip for some of the session, but that's where they were asked to paddle. I went out on a bodyboard (heh, twice the reason to hate me) on Sunday in the lifeguard flagged area and there was a strong longshore rip - it seemed stronger than just outside the flagged area. I wouldn't have chosen that stretch were it not for the flags. I guess this is because the lifeguards want to patrol a fixed section of beach but the currents change with the tide? (It'd be impractical to keep moving it?)

As for Perranporth being a popular break... I met up with a couple of other olds who live just down the road and are much more at home on board than in boat these days. The only reason they came to Perranporth was for the social side - otherwise they'd have gone to pretty much any other beach. I gleaned that Perranporth is infamous for dumping and changing currents, especially at low tide (which was early afternoon over the weekend). I took a look at St. Agnes on Saturday afternoon, and whilst it was smaller the waves were sweet and clean. In other words, the club went to a larger beach with lesser surf precisely to avoid conflict with boardies, given the good forecast. They'd asked around for advice beforehand.

I saw some impressive rides from boardies (and you Veedurb, I think - yellow surf kayak, mid Sunday afternoon?), but the surf was pretty big and it was hard work to get out - I really don't think they'll have been bothered by the beginners who were stuck in the mush (where the surf was hard work and frustrating but, imho, a manageable risk).

I also saw a load of people, new to the sport, have a really enjoyable weekend in - what looked to me - like a planned, sensible, environment, making the best of the conditions available. Well done guys!

kev.

User avatar
robt
Posts: 545
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 3:25 pm
Location: Abergavenny
Contact:

Post by robt » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:19 pm

Goldspoon wrote:To say Veedurb was moaning is, I believe, completely unfair.
Aha, apologies Veedurb. A figure of speech rather than an intended insult. Perhaps I was just suffering boat-jealousy after admiring the swish looking boat in your avatar.
Last edited by robt on Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
CaptainSensible
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: somewhere hot

Post by CaptainSensible » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:21 pm

Nugz wrote:One though I had when towing in swimmers was... would it be a good idea to have some people out in creek/faster boats than playboats to help rescue people.

I don't know how these paddle in surf.

Any one have any experience of this?
Not-surf-boats are fine in the surf (that group has several [on the beach]); they just don't surf as well as a surf boat.
Last edited by CaptainSensible on Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

younggun
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:33 am
Location: cornwall

Post by younggun » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:22 pm

Surfers already perceive the majority of goaters as retards, and taking a huge group of incompetent student paddlers out in big, clean surf just emphasises that point. Those photos make it look like carnage, looks like 6 people swimming out of 6 pairs. Sure you all enjoyed the trip but maybe you should have gone to a more sheltered spot with less crowds such as Crantock or Holywell. Those are not conditions to be learning in! Some of us locals have to surf with boardies all year round and is not nice to be "tarred with the same brush"

Hedgepig
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 2:21 pm

Post by Hedgepig » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:24 pm

I can see what Veedurb is trying to say. I had left the beach by the time the photographs were taken so can't comment on the actual incident with any authority; I do know though however that everything was recovered before the lifeguards were involved. When I was down the beach there were ~45 paddlers out having a safe and enjoyable time. However from afar I can see how it may have looked like a madhouse; it wasn't. As Kev has said SUCC (or Southampton Uni Canoe Club) has gone to Perranporth for its freshers trip for several years and not had a problem. I'm sorry if we caused any hassle or appeared unwieldy; effort was made to avoid this.

younggun
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:33 am
Location: cornwall

Post by younggun » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:26 pm

CaptainSensible wrote:Not-surf-boats are fine in the surf (that group has several [on the beach]); they just don't surf as well as a surf boat.
Playboats and longer river runners are the only boats that are almost ok to have in the surf. Anything else such as creek boats should not be allowed near the surf as they cannot be controlled in the mush or in a wipeout

User avatar
Nugz
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: Norfolk
Contact:

Post by Nugz » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:27 pm

CaptainSensible wrote:
Nugz wrote:One though I had when towing in swimmers was... would it be a good idea to have some people out in creek/faster boats than playboats to help rescue people.

I don't know how these paddle in surf.

Any one have any experience of this?
Not-surf-boats are fine in the surf (that group has several [on the beach]); they just don't surf as well as a surf boat.
I was there! There weren't any big volume boats there just inazones! What I meant was a much higher volume creek type boat with experienced paddlers on board. Would this be a better platform to rescue from?

User avatar
naefearjustbeer
Posts: 1718
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: Caithness
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Post by naefearjustbeer » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:27 pm

Goldspoon wrote:That is big surf for people on their first time in surf... that's not a judgement issue... just an observation. Brave first timers that's what I say! :-)
It looks to me as though most of the kayaks are playing in the soup closer to the beach than further out where it is bigger. But yes if they were first timers out on that they must be quite brave.

To me it looks like absolute mayhem but then again if the guards have asked them to stay in one area then that is what they have done. When I am out I like to have a bit of space and prefer to rescue myself if it goes tits up. I don't want anyone paddling towards me when I am swimming. I have been hit by a would be rescuer coming to see if I am ok in the surf zone.

krp
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:10 pm

Post by krp » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:27 pm

pearcy wrote:That is a risky location for people on their first time in surf... that's not a judgement... just an observation.
Perhaps... I took a look at St. Agnes beach on Saturday afternoon (too late to get on). Being more sheltered the swell was smaller and the waves lovely and clean; no obvious nasty rips. Definitely better conditions than Perranporth. But it's a small beach and the club turning up there would have made kayakers public enemy no. 1 (charmingly "locals only" is scrawled on the sign to the beach). What to do, eh?

(That's not to say I think Perranporth was too risky, just that it was more risky than Aggie for a novice kayaker with the conditions at the weekend - but that ignores group size and hassle with/from other water users, which I don't think the original poster was implying we should ignore.)
Last edited by krp on Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Veedurb
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:18 pm
Location: South Devon
Contact:

Post by Veedurb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:29 pm

krp wrote:I gleaned that Perranporth is infamous for dumping and changing currents, especially at low tide (which was early afternoon over the weekend).

I saw some impressive rides from boardies (and you Veedurb, I think - yellow surf kayak, mid Sunday afternoon?)
Spotted! I did feel the wrong end of some dumping (easy) later on after nailing the steepest, tallest and most awesome take off I'd ever had, only to bottom turn and get the lot fall straight on my head. That is the most violent working I've ever had and so today my neck tells the story...
We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
Paignton Canoe Club
Torbay Surfing

younggun
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:33 am
Location: cornwall

Post by younggun » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:29 pm

Nugz wrote:What I meant was a much higher volume creek type boat with experienced paddlers on board. Would this be a better platform to rescue from?
Easier to rescue from but you can do very little in the surf in a creek boat. Best avoided at all costs.

User avatar
Veedurb
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:18 pm
Location: South Devon
Contact:

Post by Veedurb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:33 pm

Nugz wrote:What I meant was a much higher volume creek type boat with experienced paddlers on board. Would this be a better platform to rescue from?
Have you tried a creek boat in the surf? Even for experienced paddlers they are awful. Maybe a longboard type thing (similar to surf rescue boards) would be a better option. Providing you have someone who knows how to paddle it!
We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.
Paignton Canoe Club
Torbay Surfing

younggun
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:33 am
Location: cornwall

Post by younggun » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:35 pm

Veedurb wrote:I did feel the wrong end of some dumping (easy) later on after nailing the steepest, tallest and most awesome take off I'd ever had, only to bottom turn and get the lot fall straight on my head. That is the most violent working I've ever had and so today my neck tells the story...
Sounds good. Got some footage from Polzeath on sat, was 4-5 foot regular with 6+ in the sets according to magicseaweed. check the wipeout at 28 seconds;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWtnqvG ... ed&search=
Last edited by younggun on Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply