Biggest wave ever surfed?

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Bernie Inakayak
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:07 pm

Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Bernie Inakayak »

6 footers are big enough for me, but I'm suddenly curious to know if anybody surfs giant waves in a kayak the way the board surfers do. Are there any records, videos, written accounts? What's the biggest wave you have kayak surfed, or seen surfed?

BoaterJH
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:40 am

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by BoaterJH »

I am sure I have seen some footage of some guys on the cribbar, although if memory serves me right it wasnt the biggest wave ive seen surfed, definatly a smaller day at the cribbar.

This day was a reasonable day at Polzeath the bigger sets were a good 6ft+ but nothing monumental. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dWtnqvGOxjw

A year later to the weekend I took this pic. My friend James Uren paddling out.

Image

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25285370@N ... 1/sizes/l/

Another good sized day but nothing massive.

I am sure there are guys and girls out there surfing some big stuff but just not shouting about it.
Joe H

Scots_Charles_River
Posts: 830
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:10 pm

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

Google or Youtube search 'Laird Hamilton Jaws' and you will see some amazing
foootage of waves the size of houses, two storey ones at that.

Nick

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by StoneWeasel »

Alejo Pacheco likes his waves pretty big.

Image

Image

Denzil

User avatar
CaptainSensible
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: somewhere hot
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by CaptainSensible »

I'm sure that the more insane surf kayakers could relish the kind of stuff that Laird Hamilton go for, but I don't think any of them would be willing to be towed out there by a bloke on a jetski... or perhaps they aren't that proud?

(what is the biggest wave you can surf in a sea kayak?)

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by StoneWeasel »

BoaterJH wrote:I am sure I have seen some footage of some guys on the cribbar, although if memory serves me right it wasnt the biggest wave ive seen surfed, definatly a smaller day at the cribbar.
As far as I am aware the only person to have successfully surfed the Cribber in a surf kayak is the legend that is Pete Blenkinsop, he went out with Darren Basson but Darren chose the wrong boat for the day and did not get on anything.
You're right though it was not a classic Cribber day with it going full on insaneomassive but still looked like a decent wave.

Denzil

Bernie Inakayak
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:07 pm

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Bernie Inakayak »

BoaterJH wrote:
This day was a reasonable day at Polzeath the bigger sets were a good 6ft+ but nothing monumental. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dWtnqvGOxjw

The biggest look well over 6 foot to me.
A year later to the weekend I took this pic. My friend James Uren paddling out.

Image
Nice pic (and I enjoyed the movie too, I have an insatiable appetite for surf vids). That wave is three times as high as James's boat is long. What sort of boat is it (how long)?

Bernie Inakayak
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:07 pm

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Bernie Inakayak »

StoneWeasel wrote:Alejo Pacheco likes his waves pretty big.

Denzil
I used to have a shot of him on my desktop, those must be some of the biggest waves I have seen in kayak surfing photos. The waves at the world finals at Bakio were big, were they bigger than Alejo's?

Bernie Inakayak
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:07 pm

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Bernie Inakayak »

StoneWeasel wrote:the legend that is Pete Blenkinsop, he went out with Darren Basson but Darren chose the wrong boat for the day and did not get on anything.
Denzil
What were the wrong and right boats in question?

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by StoneWeasel »

Bernie Inakayak wrote:
StoneWeasel wrote:Alejo Pacheco likes his waves pretty big.

Denzil
I used to have a shot of him on my desktop, those must be some of the biggest waves I have seen in kayak surfing photos. The waves at the world finals at Bakio were big, were they bigger than Alejo's?
I have seen photos of Alejo on waves considerably larger than those at the Bakio finals before, unfortunately I can not find those pics now.
Bernie Inakayak wrote:
StoneWeasel wrote:the legend that is Pete Blenkinsop, he went out with Darren Basson but Darren chose the wrong boat for the day and did not get on anything.
Denzil
What were the wrong and right boats in question?
Neutron = right boat
Short RR's = wrong boat

Darren thought the Short RR's would be a better boat once on the wave as it is so ridiculously fast, he just could not get onto the wave with it.

Denzil

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Mark R »

StoneWeasel wrote:As far as I am aware the only person to have successfully surfed the Cribber in a surf kayak is the legend that is Pete Blenkinsop, he went out with Darren Basson but Darren chose the wrong boat for the day
I once paddled far out on in Newquay Bay and fund the Cribbar working fully. I also withdrew as I'd chosen the wrong boat for the day.


I had no desire to be the first to surf it in a loaded sea kayak ...
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
CaptainSensible
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: somewhere hot
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by CaptainSensible »

So, how about it, chaps?

Imagine that you are standing on the beach with a surf kayak or sitting out at sea in a surf kayak watching the boardies surf some massive Laird Hamilton fodder and someone with a jetski/boat offers to tow you in for a go... what would you do?

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by SwamP »

Hasn't Tea O Poo been mentioned yet?

Denzil, those pics are huuuuge...who is it?
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

BoaterJH
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:40 am

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by BoaterJH »

Bernie Inakayak wrote:
BoaterJH wrote:
This day was a reasonable day at Polzeath the bigger sets were a good 6ft+ but nothing monumental. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dWtnqvGOxjw


A year later to the weekend I took this pic. My friend James Uren paddling out.

Image
Nice pic (and I enjoyed the movie too, I have an insatiable appetite for surf vids). That wave is three times as high as James's boat is long. What sort of boat is it (how long)?

Its a Mega Scarab I think. I took a nice beating that day, never realy made it out back, just got monstered.

Took my surf boat to Soup Bowls, but surf was only chest to head high most days.

I don’t think there is any issue with being towed in to a wave. Plenty of people have been towed behind boats in their kayaks before. The big problem is being rescued from the impact zone. Just say you don’t get a good ride, you drop down the face and get nailed, then what? If you stay in your boat you eventually surface, a guy on a ski has to come in to pick you up.

I don’t think currently there is any way in which you could get you and your boat and paddles quickly on to the sled behind the ski. If you swam your boat would be gone, but your life more easily saved. That’s not to say that someone cant design a better/longer sled that you could get on to in your boat. I still think it would be quite sketchey though, as you have to hold on dam tight when on a sled. Sitting in a boat on the sled holding your paddles would make this a lot harder.
Joe H

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by StoneWeasel »

Ryan P wrote:Denzil, those pics are huuuuge...who is it?
Why that is Alejo Pacheco the Costa Rican big wave nutter, he has a gorgeous wood laminate Jester Cyclone and surfs some mental waves in it.

Denzil

User avatar
chris-uk
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:45 pm
Location: South Hams, Devon

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by chris-uk »

You guys do know that Teahupoo has been surfed in kayaks right? Bill Mattos, Steve Childs and two others (I think Nathan Eades was one of them?) took a bunch of Mega Marauders and went out there four or five years back...

http://www.surfkayaks.com/products/surf ... rames.html

Scroll down to the Marauder for pics.

Chris

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by StoneWeasel »

chris-uk wrote:You guys do know that Teahupoo has been surfed in kayaks right? Bill Mattos, Steve Childs and two others (I think Nathan Eades was one of them?) took a bunch of Mega Marauders and went out there four or five years back...

http://www.surfkayaks.com/products/surf ... rames.html

Scroll down to the Marauder for pics.

Chris
Yep I am very much aware of this trip and you're right, Yellowboy was on that trip.
I don't think it was the biggest wave surfed in a kayak by a long shot though. It is a heavy, scary, mental wave they surfed but not the biggest.

Denzil

User avatar
kris
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 5:46 pm
Location: cumbria

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by kris »

Trouble is as waves get bigger they get lumps and bumps on the face, surfers can absorb these lumps and bumps through their legs (have a look on vimeo or such like to see how much leg flex goes on) for a kayak they'd just act as a kicker to bounce you into the air and oblivion! I've no idea what the biggest wave would be but I'm guessing it might sting a bit if you got the upper limit wrong!

User avatar
chris-uk
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:45 pm
Location: South Hams, Devon

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by chris-uk »

StoneWeasel wrote:Yep I am very much aware of this trip and you're right, Yellowboy was on that trip.
I don't think it was the biggest wave surfed in a kayak by a long shot though. It is a heavy, scary, mental wave they surfed but not the biggest.

Denzil
I wasn't suggesting they were the biggest, but, as I know you aware, waves don't have to be big to be powerful. I got my ribs and carbon paddle shaft broken by 4ft waves at a certain Cornish favourite of mine, yet I'd happily surf more than double that at certain other spots.

Chris

User avatar
Peter Holgate
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:16 am

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Peter Holgate »

Ouch! Bet that hurt.

User avatar
Peter Holgate
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:16 am

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Peter Holgate »

I once did a magazine article about Kayak surfing with Bill Mattos a short while after his Teapoh trip. After struggling to get out back with him for ages I turned and took the first wave that came along his comment was "are you sure you want to take that one isn't that a bit silly". From memory it was a very very long free fall. Pretty sure it was a big wave, not so sure I was technically surfing it though.

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by StoneWeasel »

chris-uk wrote:
StoneWeasel wrote:Yep I am very much aware of this trip and you're right, Yellowboy was on that trip.
I don't think it was the biggest wave surfed in a kayak by a long shot though. It is a heavy, scary, mental wave they surfed but not the biggest.

Denzil
I wasn't suggesting they were the biggest, but, as I know you aware, waves don't have to be big to be powerful. I got my ribs and carbon paddle shaft broken by 4ft waves at a certain Cornish favourite of mine, yet I'd happily surf more than double that at certain other spots.

Chris
Yep, I'll agree with that for sure, I was merely offering a suggestion as to why Teahupoo may not have come up in a thread called "Biggest wave ever surfed" =P

You should have been out in Port Rush for this years British Open, some of the waves there had size AND power, the beatings hurt!

Denzil

Richard Uren
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 7:59 pm
Location: Penzance
Contact:

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Richard Uren »

James surfs a Mega Vanquish.
PaddlecrestCoaching
It`s the journey that matters, not the destination

User avatar
CaptainSensible
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: somewhere hot
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by CaptainSensible »

kris wrote:Trouble is as waves get bigger they get lumps and bumps on the face, surfers can absorb these lumps and bumps through their legs (have a look on vimeo or such like to see how much leg flex goes on) for a kayak they'd just act as a kicker to bounce you into the air and oblivion! I've no idea what the biggest wave would be but I'm guessing it might sting a bit if you got the upper limit wrong!
So there is a price to pay (in injuries) for the extra speed?

User avatar
kris
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 5:46 pm
Location: cumbria

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by kris »

Speed and the few tonnes of hard water that's going to hit you, not to mention the sea bed, lack of breath, crumbs sphincter is twitching thinking about it!

User avatar
chris-uk
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:45 pm
Location: South Hams, Devon

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by chris-uk »

The force with which a breaking wave strikes a body whilst falling (pitching lip) is measured in tonnes per square foot and rises exponentially with wave height. At 6' the force is approximately 4tonnes per square foot, though that varies with water temp, salinity etc. If it weren't for the water around you absorbing a large amount of this impact force you would be killed (at that wave height it's the equivalent to dropping an elephant on your chest!!!).

It's very easy to understand how people end up with broken bones (and worse) when they fall badly on a wave.

Chris

User avatar
CaptainSensible
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:17 pm
Location: somewhere hot
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by CaptainSensible »

chris-uk wrote:It's very easy to understand how people end up with broken bones (and worse) when they fall badly on a wave.
Of course. It was just interesting to read about the lack of 'suspension' on surf kayaks being a significant potential problem. If surf kayaks are faster on the wave than boards(correct?), then that speed comes at a price (something I didn't expect because I thought that apart from not being capable of certain moves [not that boardies can do some of things that you can do], surf kayaks were intrinsically better than boards when it came to basic 'just riding the wave' surfing).

User avatar
harrysk
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:39 pm
Location: N. Ireland
Contact:

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by harrysk »

Hi,

Unfortunately surfkayaks are not as fast as surf boards and don't have the same manoeuvrability so ultimately surfboards are better at 'just riding the wave', from a performance point of view. There are limiting factors in surfkayak design (static seat position, deck etc) that don't apply to surfboards. I'd be interested to know why you thought surfkayaks were better?

As to big wave surfing in a kayak; I agree that the chop generated on big waves and the lack of ability to absorb them is a real problem. Add to this the much more serious consequences of a wipe out and I think the risk is just too great. Having to be towed in is not the problem.

Over the years some big names in the surfkayak world have had big wave surfing projects but there has been no news of success so I'm guessing the will to continue living kicked in at some point.

Harry

User avatar
Peter Holgate
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:16 am

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by Peter Holgate »

You are joking aren't you Harry?

A surf kayak has a surfboard hull, it will be as fast as a surfboard! However it also starts to plane on a wave sooner because of the paddle and lack of drag, so a surfboard has to work harder to attain and retain the speed.

I am not with you on the manoeuvrability thing either. I can't thing of a move that you can do on a board that you can't do in a surfkayak. The thing is that a surfkayak will retain momentum after an "extreme" move because of the paddle input. A surfboard needs to generate more power or just stall.

User avatar
chris-uk
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:45 pm
Location: South Hams, Devon

Re: Biggest wave ever surfed?

Post by chris-uk »

Sorry Pete, but I'm with Harry. I have surfed both to a fairly respectable level, and a kayak will not compete with a board at any level. If you put a Chris Harvey or Darren Basson in a boat with an average Joe surfer on a board THEN you will see the kayaks looking better than the boards. But put those guys against the top ASP guys (WCT or WQS) and they WILL be blown off the water.

Kayaks are slower because of their design limitations, it's just Physics I'm afraid, the extra width and rocker, as well as the drag from the deck all slow the boat down.

Chris

Post Reply