Surf Ski Coach Podcast: Re-Mounting Beach & Open Water

2 months 3 weeks ago #32463 by Paddle2Fitness
Hello paddlers, Our latest Surf Ski Coach Podcast is now ready for you to download from our web site or iTunes. This month we discuss "Re-Mounting from a surf beach or open water". This episode was thanks to one of the surfski.info regulars 'tve' who requested we do a podcast on mounting a surf ski off a surf beach. Happy paddling. www.paddle2fitness.com.au/podcasts/

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2 months 3 weeks ago #32464 by Paddle2Fitness

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2 months 5 days ago #32584 by tve
Nice podcast! I'll have to try the timing you describe, I believe I end up waiting too long for the whitewater to settle and then there's not enough time before the next one.

Also, our beaches seem to be steeper, so knee-deep rarely cuts it to clear the rudder. Then add a little side-current and it's "fun"... :-)

BTW, for the deep-water remount you mentioned that you like to immediately get legs on both sides without sitting on one side, how do you do that? Is it the same dragging yourself across then rotate the bum into the seat but swing the right leg over and out at the same time?

Where I face the most issues with remounting is when I don't hold the paddle in the right place while getting onto the ski: I need the paddle in that side-sitting position to stay there when there are waves. The other tricky moment is when starting to paddle: with the legs in the water I don't get enough speed and when moving the legs in it feels the most tippy until I can get a few strokes in and then a push from a wave. Maybe there's a timing thing I need to improve about when to start paddling so I don't do it right when I'm about to be hit by a crest :-).

Thanks much for the podcast!

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2 months 5 days ago #32585 by tve
I thought I'd ask :-) : can you talk about tipping the surfski to a side in order to turn? I.e., use the water line instead of the brake, uh, rudder. And I mean for steering down a wave, not in flatwater... How much do you do it? How much is reasonable? How do you position yourself so you can actually tip the ski?

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2 months 5 days ago #32586 by PSwitzer
TVE, if you tip the ski to the right, the nose will veer to left and vice versa. Works better with more rounded hulls, not as good with wide hulls that have a big flat spot. Easiest way to apply this is using the low brace. This can get confusing when people explain it, because they might say "lean right to go right" but what they really mean is that if you are surfing on a wave with the uphill side on your right, you are "going right". When surfing in this direction, the boat's tendency is for the nose to swing right and broach, so by bracing on the right, and leaning to the right, you actually help keep the boat's nose from spinning out to the right.

This is why it's useful to have a good low brace on both sides. When surfing to the left, you brace left and vice versa.

A podcast/ video would be nice, I agree, for visuals since it's so easy to get things mixed up with the written description...

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2 months 5 days ago #32589 by MCImes
Tve, Leaning the boat is the primary way to turn a boat with no rudder.

I paddle solo racing canoe as well (come down to Ventura sometime and we can paddle it together). Leaning the boat so that the gunwale is almost in the water is the only way to turn it. Yes, sweep strokes and draw strokes help too, but not nearly as much as leaning.

To me,I don't think leaning has nearly as much influence on a ski. My canoe has wings at the cockpit that act as a pivot (but are really there just to meet usca specs).

The amount of turning power the rudder provides is much much greater. That said, if you're broaching any little bit of turning power will help.

Basically, "show your butt to the inside of the turn". Lean as far as you can without capsizing

Current Boats: Old Fenn XT, Stellar SR g1
Past Boats: Epic V10 Gen0
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all" - God from Futurama

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2 months 4 days ago #32594 by tve
Thanks for the replies. I understand the theory very well, it's the how to actually do it that is not so obvious.

When going off sideways on a wave it's fairly natural to lean into the wave and brace (at least I find it natural) and that then almost automatically leans the boat the right way in order to steer steeper down the wave. But if the boat really reacts and turns then I find myself leaning pretty far off-balance and having to brace so hard I might have as well put an anchor down.

I'm actually more interested in the other direction: I'm getting picked up by a wave facing straight down and want to steer off to the side to get into an adjacent wave.

I'm paddling a nelo 550 and at times I have the feeling that tilting to the side turns the boat and at other times I seems it has no practical effect. It seems to depend mostly on how far the nose is in the water.

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2 months 3 days ago #32595 by PSwitzer
tve,
If you're having trouble getting the 550 to turn left or right whilst going straight down a wave face, then almost certainly the problem is you're going too far down the face, allowing the nose to bury which kills your ability to steer. I paddled a 550 on a couple downwinds and found it to be extremely reactive, almost to a fault (twitchy).

If the bow goes underwater it's stuck, so you have to stay high enough to keep it free and loose. As you line up your chosen wave and come up to speed you decide which way to go, then as you match the speed and take off, turn and stay high on an angle immediately. Boat lean generally not required on takeoff.

As far as the actual execution of the lean-assisted turn is concerned, it's just practice to learn where to put your center of gravity. A wider boat like the 550 requires excellent contact with the bucket.

From your description, and the fact that you're paddling a super-maneuverable hull, I would bet that if you improve your trim on the wave, staying higher, your steering issues will disappear. A good downwind drill for this skill is to stop paddling earlier than you think you need to, and see if you still catch the wave. Once you're missing every 3rd or 4th wave by falling off the back you'll know what it feels like to catch it in the right spot and can dial it in from there.

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