Classic Fail (For Me) With Longboat Surfing

We have had a warm/cold front boundary hovering over southern New England for the past several days. Little low disturbances of rain/snow have been riding through along the front, bringing bouts of surfable waves. MagicSeaweed is not very good with these little disturbances, forecasting for foot or less of wind waves. However, real NOAA buoy data indicated pulses of true 11-13 second swells from the E-NE, albeit only in the 2.5’ range.

Headed out with the longboat for a surf session. Indeed, some nicely shaped swells in the hip to waist high range, were rolling from in from backdrop of mist and fog. Perfect stuff for some mellow longboat surfing:

Got the boat and paddles to the beach. Got my wetsuit, my helmet, PFD on and… Oh shoo… Forgot my spray skirt. :rage: This is a “classic” fail for me with the longboat, where I get to the break and only to find that I have forgotten the PFD or the skirt. Reminded me of one of the reasons why I had given up up kayak surfing way back when in favor of waveskis.

Well… I’ll leave the longboat on the car. Hopefully, we’ll get some rideable waves later this week to for my first surf session of 2022.



That’s why I leave my skirt and PFD in my vehicle, along with my paddles and some other gear. The less I have to grab from inside my apartment, the less likely I’ll forget something important.

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I forgot my paddle once, and like you had the kayak already off the car and most of my gear loaded before I noticed. Fortunately I wasn’t too far from home, so loaded up, drove back and retrieved the paddle, and then I think launched from home if I remember correctly. I still felt pretty dumb, though!

Classic. Skirt, paddle, pfd or whatever. I once forgot my weight belt when going freediving.

Could be worse. You could have forgotten the kayak. :upside_down_face:

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Keep an extra one stashed in the front hatch.

But I try to do a mental checklist before closing up the rear hatch of the car.

Yup same for me. Sit in sides were just too much gear and bother. We’ve had lots of big storms with lots of pollution run off. I spent several days up in the bay area and hoping to get out tomorrow for some wave ski or SUP surfing, have to see what the wave gods have planned.

Couple of reasons that I don’t leave gear in the car. First, I like to take things out to rinse and dry. If the gear is not entirely dried, my car starts to take on an unappealing odor that even I don’t care for, never mind my non-paddling passengers. So, by the time, I have my gear rinsed and dried in the garage, I don’t even think of the paddling gear until I ready to go out again. Fact is that I engaged in different activities with with respective sets of gear. Don’t make sense for me to keep anything specific in the car unless I expect to be doing that activity in consecutive days.

The second reason is that I live in the city. Way back when, I had my car stolen. It was a pretty old Mitsubitshi Colt that was not worth much. HOWEVER, I had a habit of leaving my flyfishing gear and waders in the trunk so I can take off each weekend for some faraway flyfishing without taking time to pack gear. I lost 4 premium flyrods/flyreels, vest loaded with flyboxes, and waders. That fishing gear was worth more than car itself. :frowning_face: Another time, someone broke into my car in a parking area of office building I had a meeting at. So, I lost some electronics. Well, that’s life in city… Actually, I had my car broken into at a trailhead parking area in the White Mountains too. (Shrug)


That’s not a bad idea since I do have an extra skirt that would work with the Delphin. Of the two items that I usually forget – a PFD or the skirt – the latter is something that will totally eliminate any chance of kayak surfing. Whereas a forgotten PFD, I have surfed without it when the waves are mellow/small and the water is relatively warm. Yesterday, I think I would have the chance it given 3’ feet and under waves. More important, the water temp is still at an absurdly high 48-49 degrees in January. Nothing that surfers can’t handle in a swim while dressed in an appropriate wetsuit (hooded 4 mm for me).


Yeah… Too much gear. Even more so when going out on a longer range paddle. I have even forgotten to bring along a pump and then skipping a day paddle because of it. While I don’t think it is very likely for me to wetexit my boat in normal touring, if I were to do that and need to re-enter, then a small pump becomes critical.

I seriously envy the greater number of wave days you have out in SD. Here in MassBay, I feel like good wave days are a more scarce source of joy. Even though Magicseaweed was forecasting flatness, I just thought the forecast was wrong based on way the airstream boundary was set up and the little disturbances that rode along it. Sure enough, I get to the break and am greeted with a beautiful sight of nice mellow rideable swells yesterday. Not a single surfer out on the waves rolling in. It stayed that way when I left, given that I forgot my skirt. :frowning:

I had hoped to get out your way this winter, with the KaluaSofty Waveski, for a surfing break. But, Omicron basically nixed that idea. Have to see how COVID numbers trend in the coming weeks. I may still take a west coast trip come March or April.


I have kids. My vehicle has had an unpleasant odor for years :joy:

I get what you’re saying about the break-ins. Maybe make yourself a gear checklist that you go through each time you go out? Laminate it and use a dry erase marker so you can physically check things off as you grab it, and then wipe it clean for the next time.

I did that once this past year. I didn’t realize it until I put the kayak in the water, got in, and grabbed for my skirt to seal it before the next wave. There was nothing to grab! That’s pretty bad. I thought I’d just paddle up and down the beach a ways, but quickly realized I was filling up too fast even beyond the break.
I’ve also forgotten my lifejacket, my paddle, once even my hatch covers. It seems like I’m good for a year or two between each instance.

The best laid plans of dice and men
oft roll with schedules or list,
but there a timing might crap out,
synaptic sparks are missed,

and thus Jasons and Argonauts
find golden chance oft fleeces,
masters of quarters per Sirens’ song.
woebegone some constituent pieces.

The more I have the more I forget.
When I finally lose my mind
guess I’ll be about set.

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Perfect summation! Maybe 15 years from now, I will just be body surfing. :slight_smile:



Well here is hoping it’s going to be safe to travel by air come Spring or early Summer. I don’t have high hopes of that after my experience designing anti-viral drugs, but trying to be optimistic about the future. Time to go surfing.

I once drove over an hour to catch an optimum high tide, only to discover (after I’d unloaded the boat) that I’d left my paddle home. I looked around for something else to use, and saw I had a folding camp shovel I’d found on my last kayak trip and tossed in the car. That, plus one of the square Thule rack crossbars and a 6 foot cam strap I use to secure the kayak, and I managed to fashion a serviceable albeit heavy canoe paddle.


That’s pretty wild. Truly a “paddle” you can’t afford to let go of… LOL!


The first couple strokes I took with this paddle nearly flipped me because of the weight. I eventually got used to it, but it was tiring.

Looks solid. Adjustable blade?

Yep. Also useful for digging oysters out of the mud while you’re upside down. Not real good for rolling though.