Confessions of an idiot. (long)

-- Last Updated: Jun-12-06 9:09 AM EST --

On Sunday June 4, 2006 I went out to the coast to check out the surf guys. Threw the boat on the car so I could hit a spot to paddle on the way back, cause I knew I wasn't ready for those conditions yet. Hung around and watched every body playing and figured what the heck there was a sheltered area behind a break, I can go paddle over there. Talked myself into it, figured with all these people around it would be "pretty safe". Paddled out and had no real difficulties in the sheltered area, as soon as I got into the surf area I knew I wasn't ready. As I was thinking "Time to turn around and go ashore" blooop over I went. I don't have a roll yet (lesson scheduled for this week) but I gave it a shot. No luck. popped out. Others have now noticed that I cam an idiot. Had an assisted rescue (first real one) and got back in, but managed to fold seat back onto seat and now I am really high in boat. Lasted about 30 seconds. Bloooop. Popped out and decided it was time to swim it in. One problem though was that whil my body was vertical, my boat was capsized and my right leg hadn't come out of the cockpit yet. Pulled a muscle and was in a fair amount of pain. (later found out that I managed to break a finger too) I was now further in trouble cause I was still in the water and had a dry top and bottoms on but they were starting to take on water. The others were really worried about me and I could see it in their faces. Got towed in by Sing (posts here) and a fine gentlman named Dane towed my boat ashore and helped me remove it from the beach.
Things I did wrong: Drysuit in car (DUH), bilge pump left on beach (probably still there), most importantly talked myself into doing something I knew without a doubt that I wasn't ready for (buoy reporting 8-9 foot at the time). At least I had a good layer of poly on and did not become hypothermic (another ten minutes might have been a different story).
I owe many thanks to the NE Surf Kayak people including the following: Sing, Dane, Mike McCrea, Sven, Tim, Ed and a couple of people I am sure I have forgotten. They should have kicked my ass for being a dumb bastard.
Sing contacted me on Monday to ask if I wished to debrief. I knew what I did wrong and listed it for him. He added a couple items and remarkably said that when I was ready he would take me out to play. Not the reaction I expected and an indicator of some of the wonderful people I have met since I started this sport.
What did I learn? Not much that I already didn't know. The big lesson for me :Always listen to your gut and don't talk yourself into doing something just because others with greater skill are making it look fun and easy. More lessons and training and then I will try something a little more on the mild side.


you tried it…you saw everyone out there having fun…keep that memory…do not give up on any of it…


btw: what boat do you have???surfing wise sot’s are great!!!

nice story Ed. I’ve heard it a million times, both surf and whitewater.

the ol’ D’OH!!!

your ending comment drives it home>>More lessons and training and then I will try something a little more on the mild side.

every step we take, in our paddling career, should be careful and planned. It’s real hard to breath H20.


but a brave one
for posting the story. We’ve all got some good idiot stories of our own. What kind of kayak with the fold down seat back?

More info.

– Last Updated: Jun-12-06 12:36 PM EST –

The boat is an Eddyline Nighthawk 16 foot version. I wasn't planning on surfing, I just wanted to try out the swells and get some experience. The seats in these boats have an ajustable strap that provides forward tension. It won't fold back but as I know now it can fold forward. This is the only time it hhas happened on reentry.
I am not too discouraged. A little "paddle shy" maybe. Went out yesterday on a lake with a lot of wind and waves and got nervous a couple times. 1-2 foot waves now get my attention, whereas before I just dealt with them. After I get my roll (this Wednesday woohoo) I will feel a little more confident again.


maybe a back band?
hinged seat backs are common but you discovered their shortcomings. Nothing like experience,you got an advanced course in no time flat.

Thanks for sharing
your story. I suspect we have all done idiotic things at some time (I have) and it’s nice that others will help without judging too harshly. Great group of folks here, for sure.

Thanks for sharing that
I would have been tempted as well. I know enough now to stay out of the Great Lakes and the Oceans until I have more knowledge and experience. At least I think I know enough - but I know that temptation can over ride common sense.

Easy to Install a backband
I have a NH and the first thing I did to improve comfort and performance was install a backband. You can install an IR backband using the exisiting mounting holes and gluing a couple of bungee brackets under the deck behind the seat.

I think the NRS ones can use the same mounting holes easily too.

It can be a fun boat in the waves.

Good Story
We’ve all made mistakes, thanks for sharing yours so you might help someone else avert the same mistakes. Good point about always listening to your “Gut.” WW

Flatwater surf broach training

– Last Updated: Jun-12-06 12:26 PM EST –

This can be a lot of fun with a couple of enthusiastic friends!

Thanks for sharing your story.

Just curious. Did you see any NE Surf Kayak people having Sponsons attached to their kayaks?

None that I saw.
But I might have missed something.


I will look into a backband.
I always knew that the boat could handle more thatn I could. The waves and the boat did get along just fine.

Wasn’t exactly a broach.
The trouble started when I decided to turn around. I should have turned into the waves (having been perpendicular to them for awhile) facing out to sea. That way I could have seen what was coming. The wave that caught me was following another at a much closer interval than expected. Kind of a quartering stern wave. When the stern went under I obviously reacted in the wrong manner. Several bad choices backed up by lack of skill and experience. Luckily for me I had experienced people all around. That would be a doubled edged sword though, because if they weren’t there I would have never even thought about going out.


Glad you are OK
Lot’s of us were a little overenthusiastic without knowing what we were getting into. Get some lessons and go back out with a group.

Two Things
#1 Paddling is a get wet sport

#2 If you’re not getting wet…you’re not learning

Must have learned a bunch that day.
Cause I got really wet.

The Dreaded “S” Word…
A very controversial subject of Sea kayakers. Me… I don’t really care what folks want to use.

It terms of surf boats, can’t put them on and expect the boat to surf. Might as well go out in an inflatable raft.


Experiential Learning…
we all go through some of these.

Yes, some us of were concerned because we couldn’t tell if you had immersion gear. Things were easier to handle 'cause Ed was pretty calm through it all.