Discover a new way to kayak on the waves

sea kayak surfing

Catching waves in a sea-kayak require a certain level of expertise. Do not attempt this unless you feel comfortable in a relatively rough sea, you are in the good physical condition and have mastered heeling and paddling to maintain your balance and your direction.  You must also be able to get out and get back into your kayak without panicking!

#1 Try sea-kayak surfing: it’s well worth it

Before hitting the water for a kayak-surfing session, check the conditions at sea: wave size, frequency, the direction in which the waves break, etc. Forget about going in if there is a red flag warning and never overestimate your ability as a kayaker.

Do the conditions inspire you? Look for the good waves: you don’t want them too hollow, otherwise you'll end up with your nose in the water ...

Keep an eye out for other people in the water: the combo “waves + kayak” poses a danger for swimmers—surf away from swimming areas.

sea kayak surfing
riptide sea kayak

#2 Crossing the riptide in a sea kayak

Here you are in the water, heading for the riptide! To go over a wave, lighten the back of the kayak, then catch the back of the wave to pass over the surf.  

Is there several of you heading out? Don’t head for the riptide in single file because if the first one gets caught by a big wave, you’re risking a collision. Rather, cross the riptide side by side.   

In the event of capsizing, hold your boat between the beach and you to avoid having a wave hurl it at you.

#3 Catching a wave in a sea-kayak

The secret? Anticipate the wave! Paddle vigorously towards the beach when the target wave is 20 m behind you. The more speed you build, the more likely you are to catch it.

As soon as you catch it, lean back and keep your craft perpendicular to the wave. You can use your paddle as a rudder. Prepare to heel like never before!

The higher the waves, the more speed they give your kayak. Anticipate the opening side of the wave, go over it and try surfing parallel to the beach. Above all, respect the surfing rules of priority. If there is a risk of collision, turn your kayak to a stop.

sea kayak surfing
wave sea kayak surfing

#4 Kayak surfing: advantages beyond just gliding around

Beyond feeding you all sorts of thrills, sea-kayak surfing helps you improve your balance and sense of anticipation.

You can use your usual kayak to surf, but you’ll glide better if your craft is not too narrow and has a pronounced rocker and bows.

There you go: you now have the theory, test out your kayak surfing skills!