Go Kayak Now!

Sea Kayaking & Surf Kayaking for the moving water enthusiast

Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival Mar 20-22 2009

The 2009 Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival begins next Friday. I am eagerly anticipating the youtube videos that will arrive on the internet shortly afterward. I keep saying, one of these days I am going to fly out to compete in the amateur class. And here I am again at my desk wishing I had a plane ticket to go surf for a week.

The surf festival is comprised of the following expert classes:

  • International Men-International class boats, minimum length 3 meters, max 4 meters
  • International Women-International class boats, minimum length 3 meters, max 4 meters
  • International Juniors-International class boats, minimum length 3 meters, max 4 meters. 18 years or younger as of Dec 31, 2008.
  • High Performance Men-Any “sit inside” kayak under 9 feet in length
  • High Performance Women-Any “sit inside” kayak under 9 feet in length
  • High Performance Juniors-Any “sit inside” kayak under 9 feet in length. 18 years or younger as of Dec 31, 2008.
  • Wave Ski Open-Any SOT kayak or “wave ski” under 3.5 meters in length.
  • Masters Open-Entrant 45 years and over. Any “sit inside” kayak maximum 4 meters in length.

The surf judging criteria is pretty straightforward.

  1. Radical Controlled Maneuvers
  2. Most Critical Section
  3. The Biggest and/or Best Waves
  4. Longest Functional Distance

Wave selection is always the biggest factor in any of this for the paddler. Getting a good takeoff on the best wave means you will be able to do what you want. Watching a really good paddle surfer can give you chills when they select the exact right wave and paddle like hell to make the section, drop in, and then carve like the devil.

This is a video of the 2008 Santa Cruz Surf Festival

On an upside, the ice is gone from Lake Michigan. Surfing season is open for those daring enough to brave the cold.

One Comment

  1. I saw a surf kayak at Ocean Beach – San Francisco last month. She was just nailing rides, usually I feel that I'm getting way more rides on my surfboard, but that day was not the case. She said things really got better with her latest $2000 Kayak, and she had a lot of experience. Pretty cool.