If you are fortunate enough to live near the sea you should definitely know how to surf kayaks for those summer days with small waves. Surfing on a kayak is pretty fun but it is also challenging. You should definitely be a veteran sea kayaker before attempting this.
To surf kayaks, you will need:
- A single or double white water or sea kayak with spray skirt
- Life jacket
- Considerations. Being able to surf kayaks is a thrill but much different than just recreational kayaking. You will need the right type of kayak because if you have to ditch your ride and swim to shore, you will lose most of your gear and maybe even the kayak. If you are new to sea kayaking, you should go in a two person vessel with an experienced kayaker. Not only will you be able to watch how they maneuver through various ocean conditions, it will be much easier to get onto waves with two people paddling. You also need to be able to do a kayak roll. That is mandatory on the ocean.
- Conditions and wave selection. Look before you leap. If it is a big day, perhaps you should watch. The nice thing about surfing on kayaks is that you can catch up to slow, small waves and ride the hell out of them. Larger waves can be deadly. Waves that dump, like shore breakers are to be avoided. Go for the long, cruising breaks that do not have steep faces. These are perfect for learning.
- Catching a wave. As you paddle out, make for a spot past the breaking waves. Watch the swell build and paddle hard for the shore. Matching your speed with the wave is the difficult and will take some practice. Try and enter the wave at an angle to avoid the bow getting dumped which will cause you to flip the ugly way. As you drop in, you may have to lean a little to keep the kayak from doing a roll. If you want to exit the wave, just turn back into it and paddle over the break.
Tips: Many sea kayakers learn how to surf kayaks by accident when they are paddling back to shore. If a shore breaker (the nasty wave you should avoid) is hurling you towards the beach, slow down and get behind the wave. You can ride that little bump behind the breaking part of the wave all the way in if you can keep your kayak from shooting forward and going over the falls.