atv223

Surf Launch Fail

16 posts in this topic

If you remember a couple of weeks ago, I posted a video of my buddy practicing reentry on his new  2021 Hobie Outback.  This week he is down in NC and working on his surf launching technique prepping for fishing out front early fall in NJ.  Here he is experiencing what happens when it all goes wrong!

 

 

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Thanks for sharing. I would have kept paddling when he lifted his paddle out if the water towards the end. This way you would still be going forward and can also use the paddle to brace. Those conditions were a bit rough for a first launch in ocean. Don’t think I would have launched? Hind sight is always 20/20?

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when the surf is like that. you have to be prepared to paddle your a.. off because your window of opportunity is very short.  from the video, he wasn't doing that.  he needs to paddle hard and fast!  take it from a longboard surfer who has been crushed more than once!

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Those conditions? There is a reason for small craft advisory. It would not be worth it in those conditions in many ways. Will usually end up bad even when experienced. Coming back would have been the same scenario as the wave would have pushed it sideways as this did in the video with that hard sweep. Tell your buddy to be safe @atv223. He is sure a trooper.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

We launch in condition like this in so cal all the time. Not as windy but with swell up to about 4 ft sometimes coming in fast. What I do is wade out to about knee deep and drop my drive in, make sure the rudder is down and pedal straight through. I have yet to fail using this method. On the way in be prepared to get wet. I'll hook the bungee to the pedal when I get ready to land so the fins tuck as soon as I let go, then I wait for the right set and pedal in on back of the last wave. Jump out right before the kayak starts to surf on the next wave and grab the rear handle. Usually it's shallow enough to be knee deep and stand but I have had to jump when it's big and act like a drag anchor. This keeps the boat facing straight into the beach and stops it from flipping. I almost never use my paddle.

Edited by Shane Y

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Two things:

 

First, it looked like he practiced without any gear, so the weight and balance would be different.

 

Second, and more important, was the commentator who says "He's got it!" right before he didn't...:laugh:

 

Hey, at least he was giving it a try.

Although I've paddled thru some sketchy waters, and dealt with rouge waves and boat wakes, I understand the basic concept of "paddle your ass off" when you need to keep moving.

Edited by FishermanTim

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W md in, the MD opening is largely blocked. So a wave or two over the bow, now you will have lots of water sloshing around, unable to drain out quickly enough, had it happen to me. It escalates quickly after that.

Em ozzies made surf launches into art, plenty of vids on utubes. Stealth kayaks, 5m+ long, real pretty.

 

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I've surf launched a few times now, with several from obx beaches. It ain't easy, particularly cuz so many small sandbars exist that can really trip you up as a wave you're riding behind suddenly breaks sooner than you imagined. Practicing on rough days like that will definitely build skill, particularly in what to do after a turtle, but that being said, I absolutely would not launch on a day with those conditions (as others have said). He should be paddling much harder, but I'm sure he knows that by now. Also it's good to practice with typical fishing gear on the boat, but properly stored, which might be the case here. Make sure to always clip the drive leash to the kayak and make sure the seat is clipped in as well. I turtled pretty badly coming back onto an obx beach once, I paddled too fast and overtook the wave in front of me and as it broke, it turned me right over, ___ over teakettle lol. It was scary more than anything else, didn't break any rods but did lose a small tackle box, and broke one of my scotty rodholder extensions and a 5$ bike flag i was using for visibility. Lesson learned and I was surprised how fast and easily I flipped my outback back over and got (mostly) everything back on shore. 

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20 hours ago, Shane Y said:

We launch in condition like this in so cal all the time. Not as windy but with swell up to about 4 ft sometimes coming in fast. What I do is wade out to about knee deep and drop my drive in, make sure the rudder is down and pedal straight through. I have yet to fail using this method. On the way in be prepared to get wet. I'll hook the bungee to the pedal when I get ready to land so the fins tuck as soon as I let go, then I wait for the right set and pedal in on back of the last wave. Jump out right before the kayak starts to surf on the next wave and grab the rear handle. Usually it's shallow enough to be knee deep and stand but I have had to jump when it's big and act like a drag anchor. This keeps the boat facing straight into the beach and stops it from flipping. I almost never use my paddle.

This is the method I use to surf launch a PA 14 in Maine. On the landing, time the last wave in the set, come in behind it, pop the drive, retract rudder, jump out in waist deep water, and run it up onto the beach. The only difference is I grab the front and if I can’t beat the next wave, I will throw my weight onto the bow and pop the back out of the water so the wave goes underneath and doesn’t grab or turn the boat or soak my gear.  NEVER try to surf a big, loaded yak in to the beach. I also have a safer (sort of) back-up spot nearby if conditions worsened while out. 
 

 

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If my plan is to go fishing with kayak full of rods, electronics and other stuff I would never attempt to launch in conditions like this. Tip the hat to everyone who does. The fail success ratio here is maybe 6 success to 4 tip-over. Even if you get thru you and your stuff will be wet....and then you have to come back with similar odds. There are so many other places to fish where you do not need to launch thru the surf....

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