Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: Surfing downwind without skegs

I'm not sure leaning back is instinctive for a lot of people. (Rigid seems to be instinctive for a lot of people...) It is pretty much a requirement for surfing my whitewater boat on standing waves. If you don't, the bow goes under and you're on your lid floating down stream practicing that combat roll.

You may want to experiment more with leaning forward. By leaning back on a sea kayak it can sink the stern deeper in the water and increasing the locked-in action that will exacerbate a broach. If you can slow the boat down slightly so you rise higher up on the wave so the stern comes free you may be able to loosen it up a bit. By leaning forward you can keep your center of gravity in the pocket of the wave where you will surf.

In this position you can turn back and forth in S turns to shed speed and keep near the top where it is easier to control.

YMMV, but leaning forward can put you in a powerful position for controlling the boat, the key is not letting the boat run out to far into the wave in front where your bow will lock in.