Back to basics - where to start?

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Jim Tait
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Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jim Tait »

I've just gone and bought a second hand surf boat- Mega Prowler.
While i'm waiting for it to get here, is there anything surf-specific I need to know

I'm quite happy getting thrown about in the surf in a palstic boat, but haven't really 'surfed' properly if you know what i mean.
Will the learning curve suddenly turn vertical?
Where do I start - Catching the waves, then try turns when i'm (relatively) happy with that?

I've looked at the surf skills site and, in theory at least, know what i want to do.
Any pointers would be great

Thanks
Jim

yurper
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by yurper »

Hey Jim,
get out in the surf and get the feel of the boat for the first couple of sessions, remember its meant to be FUN!
Once you've got used to the speed and feel of the boat start developing your bottom turn, this is the key turn to becoming a "Surfer".
People will offer you lots of advice about this one turn alone, be aggressive is my only advice, thats why you have those rails and fins!
From then on its all about how far you want to take it.
Enjoy Joe.
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A good book...

Post by nickcrowhurst »

"Kayak Surfing" by Bill Mattos is excellent, and should answer all your initial questions. There are 24 copies on abebooks:
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... &x=53&y=11

Nick.

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by TechnoEngineer »

Get a copy of this - I resisted doing so for a long time but had a peek in a shop recently and decided that it's very good:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surf-Kayaking-E ... 296&sr=8-1

I've not seen the Bill Mattos book.
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Geebee
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Geebee »

Hi Jim

You're about a fortnight too soon! I'm developing a page for the site which covers exactly what you're after.

This should help in the mean time.

1. Initially, surf where you feel comfortable to be able to learn, the best learning environment is not necesarily out back.

2. For your first couple of waves concentrate on keeping the boat straight by using rudders around your hip area. This is quite different to where you will eventually take your surfing, but it'll help you get a feel for the relationship between the rudder and the rails.

3. Every wave should have a begining (the take off) a middle (the ride) and an end (the point where you decide you've had enough.) If you take this approach you'll begin to surf the wave on your terms rather than the terms dictated by the wave.

4. Once you've caught 10ish waves that have had a beginning, a middle, and an end, start to turn the boat by looking where you want to go and pressing the rudder. Don't go crazy with the turns keep the angle shallow initially so you are just veering off straight. If someone were watching from above you'd be making a shallow S patern on the surface of the water.


5. Once you're comfortable with that widen the turns out so you are pointing more accross the wave before you turn to face back the other way. This skill is the corner stone of performance surf kayaking. The ability to transfer from rail to rail on demand is how we link bottom to top turns, even aerials are just very late rail to rail transfers.

That should get you going for a bit. Any questions get in touch

Cheers
Glyn

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Jim Tait
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jim Tait »

The books sound good - I'll start dropping subtle hints!!
Joe - I can't wait - it's like being a kid again, many thanks again.

I'll try and take all that on board Glyn and i'll keep an eye on the site - although I think i might forget it all at the first wave??
I think I might have to start practicing holding my breath?
Blub, blub!


Jim

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jcox
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by jcox »

Hope I'm not stting the too-bleedin-obvious or teaching you to suck eggs, but I'd start off on a small wave day at a location where you'll wash nicely up onto the sand when it all goes wrong.

I learned to surf a longboard on 1 foot conditions - I got the basics of takeoff and snap to feet before heading out to larger waves. Similarly once I got my SOT into the surf, my first day in the sea was on a pitifully small day, but it allowed me to get the feel of the boat.
Well the forecast said it would be good.

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Jim Tait
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jim Tait »

jcox wrote:Hope I'm not stting the too-bleedin-obvious or teaching you to suck eggs, but I'd start off on a small wave day at a location where you'll wash nicely up onto the sand when it all goes wrong.
That was the intention - but she arrived today and I couldn't resist!
It's going to take a lot of getting used to I think - either that or wait till it's less than a Force 6!!

lesson 1 - I'm either bloody unfit, or I'm using muscles I've never used in a boat before
lesson 2 - it doesn't roll like either the prozone or the sea-king!!
lesson 3- the water is bloody cold at this time of year!!

Once the I've forgotten the aches I think I'm going to have a lot of fun - only caught a couple of waves, but had a big grin!!

Jim

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jonny-the-ski »

IMO - just go and have fun. Go with mates if you can, to be safe. Don't over-cook it on size, keep to mellow shore breaks... and just piss about. You will pick it up your own way. Better to learn from your own mistakes.

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by steddyjames »

I'd also be certain you understand the in's and out's of surf etiqette. It'll help keep ya safe as you progress and end up in proper line ups out back.

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by StoneWeasel »

With your rolling just get your weight forward as soon as you can making you all nice a stable, you get used to rolling a surf boat in no time.

Etiquette is important so here is a handy little guide

Like others have said though having fun is the most important bit and if you are doing that the rest will come.

Denzil

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Jim Tait
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jim Tait »

One good thing about up here is that there's hardly ever anyone else on the water, let alone the same wave!

But I get where you're coming from, thanks

I've been used to a back deck roll, but i somehow managed to get the paddle blade diving at the end of it and couldn't get myself stable.
I'll have to slow things down a bit and think next time I'm under.........

Jim

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Soul Surfer »

Getting your surf roll bomproof is a real key as it gives you the confidence to try things out, safe in the knowledge that you've got yourself covered. I last swam in 2007, and prior to that was '05 or '04 I think, both due to broken paddles. Jonny-the-ski will tell you what my confidence lets me do... ;-)

Like others have said, enjoy it and you'll go far!
People are always afraid of what's different...

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Kayak-Bloke »

That was the intention - but she arrived today and I couldn't resist!
It's going to take a lot of getting used to I think - either that or wait till it's less than a Force 6!!

lesson 1 - I'm either bloody unfit, or I'm using muscles I've never used in a boat before
lesson 2 - it doesn't roll like either the prozone or the sea-king!!
lesson 3- the water is bloody cold at this time of year!!

Once the I've forgotten the aches I think I'm going to have a lot of fun - only caught a couple of waves, but had a big grin!!

Jim
Lesson 1 Surf kayaking is bloody knackering especailly getting out the back on a good day. You'll soon get fitter! Top tip th is once you've made beyond the break it spend some time getting your breath back. Don't give in to the temptation of grabbing the first good wave while your lungs are still coming out!

Lesson 2 Rolling. You soon get it sorted. Surfing invloves a fair bit of inverted when you start out so plenty of opportunity to practice!

Lesson 3.... Wait unitl Feb.. You'll think Nov was like bathwater. It can actaully hurt just paddling out!

Keep having fun!

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steddyjames
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by steddyjames »

Kayak-Bloke wrote: Lesson 3.... Wait unitl Feb.. You'll think Nov was like bathwater. It can actaully hurt just paddling out!
But oh so worth it...

Unfortunately for these islands the coldest months are the best for surf with the trade-off of being quieter with the warmest months having the crappest surf but are the busiest.

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Jim Tait
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jim Tait »

I'm using a reed paddle suit at the moment. When it's time for it to be retired, am I best with a drysuit, or wetsuit?
If a wetsuit, is there a particular type that lets you paddle more freely (when I started paddling many moons ago, steamer wetsuits were a bit stiff under the arms)

Thanks again

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Deadly »

Hi Mate,

Am with Jonny on this one, Get out there and enjoy, but best go with mates. Always paddle with someone, that way you got someone to laugh at when it all goes wrong!! Stick a bit of work in on the roll, much better spending a morning surfing than swimming!

Had myself a Prowler and loved it, in a Bullitt XS now and having the time of my life!!


by Jonny-the-ski on Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:16 pm

IMO - just go and have fun. Go with mates if you can, to be safe. Don't over-cook it on size, keep to mellow shore breaks... and just piss about. You will pick it up your own way. Better to learn from your own mistakes.

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Soul Surfer »

I don't subscribe to the 'always surf in a group' river boating club mentality. I have surfed on my own, sometimes in waves that'd make you cry, on and off for over two decades. Just be sure to be honest enough to admit when it's beyond your abilities, and wise enough to then stay on the beach. I used to surf a spot near lands end that required a 2 mile walk carrying all your kit, no buildings, no phone signal, no other surfers, but some of the best waves I've ever had.

Of course there's safety in numbers, but that's often not what surfing is all about...

As for wetsuits, any modern fullsuit from a major manufacturer will be plenty flexible enough. Try xcel or o'neill.
People are always afraid of what's different...

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Jim Tait
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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Jim Tait »

Thanks

There's not a lot of us up here, so I have tended to take what chances I've got and just go.!

I had her in the pool last week and can roll consistently there (in the warm and calm!!)
I think I'm going to have to work on my flexibility, but otherwise I've been looking for nice gentle breaks and for the next day off!!

jim

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Re: Back to basics - where to start?

Post by Deadly »

The "alway surf in a group" bit was more tongue in cheek than river boat mentality.

I have only surfed and never gone down a river, but you got to admit its nice to be out there to share the moment with someone. If its to see some of your mates get a great wave, one of your mates to see you ride the one that never got away or even to see them get trashed!!!

Have fun anyway mate

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