Kayaking Technique Forum

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"Can't we all just get along?"
In Response To: Re: It's all about territory ()

This is not a response to anyone specifically, just keying off ideas offered by M.Hamilton, as he is apparently the resident Surf Kayaking Guru:

:To answer your question according to accepted
: surf practices, NO the kayaker does not have right of way over the surfer
: nearest the pocket / peak of the wave when it starts to break. As I've
: said before most kayakers don't know this stuff, and most don't care.

Links to surf etiquette for those who care:





: Man has experienced truly bad behavior which I do not discount. That's
: "in your face" bad stuff.

Here's some more (all intra stand-up surfer conflict):



:All I am trying to do here is remind
: kayakers that they can play a role in some of these conflicts due to
: ignorance.
:Kayakers are seen as out of control freaks who haven't a clue.

For more on this perspective and a possible future coming to a break near you, see:


and for an interesting response to this same article:


Here’s a link to an interesting forum for those interested in learning more about these issues and kayak surfing generally:


My take:

This is a complex issue. Obviously there are strong territorial and bias components to this problem. Yes, you can suffer bodily and personal property damage for no other reason than what you use to ride waves. Yes, surf kayakers can demonstrate a lack of understanding of or complete disregard for proper wave etiquette, and of course this leads to a wide range of problems; however, I think we all agree that ignorance is not a scarce resource cornered by the kayaking community. I see the issues surrounding PWC bans as a foreshadowing of what can and may be visited upon kayakers of all persuasions. We must take responsibility for our behavior or risk having governmental agencies further restricting or banning kayakers access to certain bodies of water--particularly the surf zone. Show respect toward all water users by looking at your behavior first. When you kayak surf, you represent all kayakers to a degree and leave a lasting impression on other wave users; make that impression a positive one; be competent, courteous, and demonstrate a degree of common sense, so you contribute to keeping the surf zone an area that we can all return to and enjoy. Btw, It also helps if you show-up in a high tech surf specific composite boat ready and able to shred!

Enjoy, and I hope no one suffers simply because they are drawn to the surf,