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CHIEF500

Not as easy as it looks.

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Took the yak for my first foray into the salt yesterday. Just went to play and learn. A beach launch isn't as easy as it looks. I got buried quickly and constantly. Had a blast, but learned I need some more practice. Started at low coming into high, the damn waves were just getting bigger and bigger. Got to a point where I'd get out and try and ride them back in. What a mistake that was. Think I separated my shoulder again. The lake and river were much easier. So any suggestions are appreciated. By the way no video's yet but it would make some money. I'm going back tomorrow and we'll see what happens when I get to play again.

 

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SOL #669

RFA #23964F

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Actually launching in the surf is a lot easier than coming back in. Heres a few tips. Before launching just sit down and watch and count the waves. Usually after 4-6 waves theres a lull. It will always be the same. So if the lull comes after the 5th wave then hop onto your kayak and count the waves once the 5th has come paddle hard and straight and you should be able to make it out before the next set of waves come in. Now coming back in is a lot harder depending on wave height than going out. If the waves are small 2ft and under I'll come straight in but if there 3ft+ I come in on an angle similar to someone on a surfboard. Just lean into the wave and you won't have any problems. Otherwise if you try to ride 4ft waves straight in you will learn how to fly real fast.

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I'm new to it but from what I've seen Flyrodder covered it in 2 sentences. This webpage also has some tips.

 

surf faq

 

It may not be intuitive to lean into the wave but that's the ticket. To lean into it you need to put a brace in it. And if you dump don't get between the yak and and beach.

 

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Let's see, between the yak and da beach. That's where the crease and red mark next to my right eye came from me thinks. They fly when they don't have any weight on them.

 

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SOL #669

RFA #23964F

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Chief

 

Flyrodder is right about the wave cycles. Wait for the lull, climb aborad and paddle like hell. The more momentum you have the better your chances of breaking through. Also, keep the yak perpendicular to the on-coming waves; if yoor bow if off, even a little, the wave can, and likely will, corkscrew you. I also walk the bow of the yak into knee deep water. If the on-coming waves look too big, lift the bow and they'll wash by. When things settle down, quickly pull the yak alongside and step in (practice). This allows you to launch with alot of water under the keel and to do so with some forward momentum....I surf launch alot and still get tossed regularly. The best strategy is practice. Surf launch for fun; then do it with your gear (make sure it's all safely stowed, leashed and lashed). And you'll learn to land (another tough act as rodder points out) while your at it. Good luck.

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Chief, how big were these waves? I've never had aproblem heading out. Just time it and paddle like mad. Never hesitate, always keep your momentum going forward. If you hesitate all sorts of things happen and none are good.

 

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baja55@optonline.net

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I watched the cycles and picked up on them. I think I was hesitating and not working (paddling)throught thre waves. I would get turned a bit and away I'd go. Over and over again. Jon the waves weren't real big. I'm new to the beach launch and wanted practice, I got it and will go back for more. It was low coming to high and the waves were building some.

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Andy, its the hesitation. It will kill you every time. You need the forward momentum, otherwise you loose control of the kayak. The natural reaction when you see the wave break is to let up. That's when you loose the battle. When the wave breaks paddle as hard as you can. The water will wash over the bow and flood the cockpit. As you clear the wave you may drop down the other side and then the water drains out. Usually only one wave will break. You have a great paddle, in the Powerflex, for this. So just go for it. You'll be very pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.

 

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baja55@optonline.net

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I didn't see this mentioned but it is worth bring to light. Make sure you have a rope off the bow of the kayak. When coming into the beach you can hop out and grab the rope and pull the kayak up on the sand. I found this out in my practice sessions (my legs look like you eye!) and I found that keeping the rope between my legs kept it handy for the landing. I to need more practice but found out many things just one outing. Until you get good at it make sure you fishing rods are lying down and secure going and coming...no need to break the rod. Hope this helps.

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Jon, thanks I'm gonna work on it the rest of the week.

Saltyh2ofly, I have the rope and will bail out once I think I can walk it in so I can control the yak. But I was practicing and had some fun. No rods, just workin on the paddling and accessing the yak incoming and outgoing.

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If you're good at getting on board and don't mind a short swim, you can always swim and pull the yak past the breakers. I've got a short, wide, very stable Pelican thats easy to mount and have found there's a lot less effort doing it that way than fighting the breakers close to shore.

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