diagonal surfing

I am surfing a mini mako with thruster fin set up and LOVE this boat.

Went to an ESKA contewst this weekend and had a blast and learned some new stuff.

Anyway I am seeking advice regarding shooting the line and diagonal surfing. I read Nigel Fosters surf book and he recommends facing away from wave and leaning into wave to climb and using down wave paddle to keep course. Is this unessecary with fins? By accident once I faced the wave and had one of the best rides ever, then at the contest someone told me to turn and face the wave as this wil cause down wave knee to lift putting me on my inside edge. What I am now starting to think is that that paddle should basically be used only for balance in a boat with fins and not direction control. Is this too much of a generalisation or is it a good way of thinking?

Did I mention that I LOVE my mini?


Shore Side Stern Rudder

– Last Updated: May-09-06 9:31 AM EST –

is most useful for non fin boats because it acts as a fin and directional control. It takes more finesse because someone inexperienced can trip up for a nice window shade if they don't edge/lean aggressively into the wave face.

The fins act to keep you on the wave face without a shoreside rudder. Wave side rudder on a finned boat, utilizing a way up lean, can drive aggressively back up the wave face for on the lip maneuvers. Harder to do with shore side rudder.

However, beware steep faces ready to close. Your wave side rudder can get caught leaving you defenseless. Switching to shoreside when the face goes critical allows you to turn towards shore hopefully outrun a curling ready to break lip.


with or without fins
anything that you put in the wave (ie a paddle blade) WILL slow you down…the best is to use your body ‘english’ to control the boat and use the paddle only when needed to for bracing or to start a manuever like a flat spin…

now if you want to slow down a bit then by all means drop a blade in-it can slow you enough to catch up to the power pocket again…

i too have nigel’s book…unfortunately it has become a bit outdated with specific Surf Boat technology-but it has Great info about the surf in it!!!other new good surfing books both from the UK (although i was able to get the first here in the states…) both of these books deal strictly with surf boats (esp. Mega cuz of the UK part!)

Kayak Surfing by Bill Mattos ISBN: 0954706102

Surf Kayaking: the Essential Guide by Simon Hammond ISBN: 0955052009


agree with above posts
On very steep faces sometimes the paddle is just in the way…I hold it shore side and up out of the water…

Get Simon Hammond’s Book
It’s available from amazon.com.uk

Your boat will want to go in the direction your body is facing. Makos like to surf edge to edge, think about engaging the edge and leading a bit with your uphil or wave side shoulder just like down hill skiing. Engage the edge, set the trim angle, and use the paddle as a fin to keep you tracking just a bit. It’s alot like down hill skiing, you carve your turns. Keep the the paddle low and back shoreside so you can steer away from a close out, if you have a good surfing paddle, it has very little drag (see Mike Johnson’s Paddles). Most of the best surfers have their paddle low and back and slightly adjusting course or just near the water 90% of the time. Learn to use pre-rotation of your upper body to do top turns.

For surfing Mako style boats have you seen the Video by Vince Shay called The Search II ? In it there is a segment with John Bonaventure surfing his mini Mako at the Ranch north of Santa Barbara on mushy waves, study how he does it. Also check out the video of Randy Phillips in Panama and at the Ranch.

Waveskiers use a slightly different style, my mako carves from the front of the boat, my waveskis turn from the center or back more like a surfboard. Either way keeping the paddle close to the shoreside stern of the boat really improved my technique. (Remember it’s quite dynamic though you have to be able to move that paddle and steeer, brace, ruddder instantly.)

is that sometimes you want to slow down because you are outrunning the critical section of the wave (which a longer boat like a mini mako can easily do compared to some of the newer, shorter HP models). Stern rudders will not only slow you but allow you to turn for a cutback to critical section and then cut back away from it again.

May be jumping ahead though since we’re talking a simple diagonal run. Effective stern rudders and lean outs are the basis for advance manuevering on the waveface.