Category: Surf Kayaking

Chris Hobson Kayak Surfing in Cornwall

Chris Hobson Kayak Surfing in Cornwall

Never let be said Chris Hobson was a stranger to eating it in pursuit of smacking the lip or getting some air. In case any of you more timid surf paddlers were wondering how you break out through the soup, Chris demonstrates admirable technique in the first segment of this short video of the parallel paddle tuck right at the lip to break through. He is headed through sizable surf as well, so believe that it works! I have not tried it in a sea kayak, and I have my doubts that this would work in a bigger kayak. Great shots of Chris getting some air later in the video as well, including the parting shot. Small wonder that he is the champ.

Santa Cruz Paddle Fest Video Surf Kayaking Competition 2012

Santa Cruz Paddle Fest Video Surf Kayaking Competition 2012

This is the first video I’ve seen posted from SCPF (or what was formerly know as the Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Fest). This video of the 2012 Surf Kayak Competition was shot by Buck Johnson, one of the local favorites I was fortunate enough to meet a few years ago. Thanks for posting Buck! It looks like the competition got some healthy swell and a little bit of sunshine, compared to last year when Lake Michigan like storm conditions and massive swell predominated.

Mickey Smith BBC Video Surfing Wildnerness

Mickey Smith BBC Video Surfing Wildnerness

This beautiful video from Mickey Smith shows some stunning scenery from Co. Clare Ireland. I’ve seen some of these cliffs from land and they are impressive. Mickey’s comment, which transcends the video itself is about the nature of going to sea, and of surfing itself. The comment @ time segment 4:35 on is what makes paddling, paddle surfing, and our lives worth living.

“You learn good lessons from putting yourself in these situations beyond your control. You can’t help but be humbled by that. It’s good for you. It’s good for you to be taken out of thinking you’re in control of your life and put into a situation where you’re not.”

Surrendering to the notion that you control anything is the way to finally be at peace. As someone who often struggles while on land, like our friend Mr. Jack Aubrey, I can tell you that surfing, and being out in an environment such as a storm on the Great Lakes opens your eyes to what is important.

Biggest ocean wave ever surfed in a kayak?

Biggest ocean wave ever surfed in a kayak?

Tao Berman, decided to take on tow-in surfing to become the first kayaker to tackle some monster 40 foot faces in a surf kayak. (Looked like a Murky Waters Reaction) Tao is the veteran of many daring white water feats, including the tackling the world’s highest waterfall in a kayak. Is this the largest wave ever tackled in a surf kayak? Maybe? It is impressive for its bravado, if nothing else. Looking at the spec of a surf kayak on the face of a monster forty foot wave gives me chills.

Surfing Double Overhead Waves on Lake Superior

Surfing Double Overhead Waves on Lake Superior

This spot on Lake Superior looks pretty intense. Our friend Bryan Hansel of Paddling Light gave us his suspicion on where this film was shot.

Looks like a pretty solid point break with some really nice lefts. I got a big thrill out of hearing a “big wave” surfer saying he totally underestimated the lake, and that he got a healthy dose of respect from double overhead and very cold water.

Surf Zone Basics from Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak

Surf Zone Basics from Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak

Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak put together a brief, (four minute) intro to the surf zone video. Some great initial thoughts on surfing long boats or surfing sea kayaks. I was really glad to hear some discussion about safety and not running into one another, (as has been my complaint in the past about sea kayak surfing videos).

The video touches on, but doesn’t cover in detail the subject of positioning for take-off, body trim, paddle strokes. This is part one, so I hope they have many more videos like this. Great introduction and I hope they come out with a more detailed series in the future.

Surfing sea kayaks is a great way to get an introduction into the surf zone where you can surf what you’ve got and catch a lot of rides.

Largest Wave Ever Surfed in Portugal

Largest Wave Ever Surfed in Portugal

Garret McNamara, world class tow-in surfer from Hawaii may have bagged the worlds biggest recorded ride. Whether or not you think tow-in surfing is a good thing, a bad thing, or not even surfing, that is one big swell he leaped in front of a falling building on a surf board. The wave is near a deep water canyon in Lazare Portugal which allows a very large swell to come in and then be amplified by the shape of the bottom.

If you haven’t read Susan Casey’s the Wave, Garret features prominently in the narrative, though not as prominently as Laird Hamilton with whom Susan apparently fell madly in love. (judging from the text anyway).

On Shore Wind Bongo Surf

On Shore Wind Bongo Surf

I headed out to the lake last night for a surf session with onshore winds 20-30 knots. Waves were about 5-7 feet, but very confused. I tried using the surf kayak for most of the evening to catch rides, but there were heavy closeouts everywhere. It was kind of a mess. My early lessons in having some sort of bend in the wind from the North was reinforced. The waves reflected off the pier and I was essentially playing in seven foot clapotis in a surf boat. I would drop in to surf on a massive face that would quickly hit a wave reflecting off the pier, and I would get almost airborn each time, (fun on it’s own) but I was terrified of nose diving the bullet in the shallow water, so I always held back a bit. But I took a lot of zippered closeouts where I got tossed sideways nearly airborne.

It was good, and somewhat life-affirming to head out, and hit the surf after doing a lot of thinking about the 18 year old, Mitch Fajman, who lost his life on Lake Michigan on Saturday evening. I take a lot of risks as a 37 year old guy. I usually have a healthy pit of dread in my belly for big wind and waves. And on most days within reason I tell my belly to shut the hell up, so I can surf. But on that particular day, I listened to it, and stayed home. But having had some nasty swims out there, it is no joke. But, I can’t live my life in fear of what might happen. I love the thrill of catching big waves in a small boat. Nothing in life compares to it. I just pray that my judgement holds steady in the years to come.

New Valley Surf Kayak website launches

New Valley Surf Kayak website launches

Kubrick was famous for being a perfectionist. He spent years making his films, made nervous wrecks of his actors and support staff. But, in the end the result was nothing less than pure genius. Watch this video of Stanley negotiating with his British film crew over tea breaks. I half imagine, Valley’s head man Peter Orton sitting in a director chair, beret slightly askew on his forehead, looking at a 24″ monitor of Valley Surf Kayak website in progress. He smokes a cigarette, and then with pure disdain says, “not good enough”, then exhales smoke noisily as he walks away in disgust.

Roll the clock forward two years (+/-) ~ and the New Valley Surf Kayak website is now live. Bask in its awesomeness. Revel in the glory that it is, and never forget what it took to make it.

And then watch this video. Seriously though Valley and Peter, great job on the website, and on the lineup of great surf kayaks, hope to see even more on the water!