Don't trust Croakies in surf

I lost a pair of prescription sun glasses last week on a big wipe out in the surf.

I had them on nice and snug, and they still got torn right off.

I am not sure if any of the other brands work better, but from now on I’ll accept the waves being a little blurry when I am surfing in them.



Good to know
Don’t you use a float?

Wear a helmet?
Seems like a good idea in surf and with Croakies your glasses will not come off unless your helmet comes off (which can happen).

last weekend…
I lost my Arnette Catfish sunglasses in the Saluda because my croakie let go of them.

I lost a $475 pair of perscription glasses in Maui that way. (flex frames, tri focals, phototint, etc:( and wouldn’t you know it was on Saturday too.

Victim of fashion
At least some of this might have to with the glasses’ design.

The temples of glasses have been getting thinner and thinner recently. This means that croakies don’t have to strech so much to fit over the glasses, and thus have less grip on them.

If your croakies are easy to put on and take off you should think about supplementing their grip with tape, or rubber bands.

I’ve suggested this before
As a previous poster has noted, the temples of glasses are getting waaay skinny these days, making anything that relies on a stretch fit none too trustworty. I know, I’m always preaching that nobody knows how to tie knots and that they should, but if you just take a piece of string of the right length and attach each end using two half-hitches, you cannot lose your glasses. Make the string just long enough to pull over the back of your head as you put the glasses on, and there will just be an inch or two of slack - not enough for the string to go up over your head by accident (you can make it even tighter with a predetermined string length that requires you to loop the knot over the ear piece after the glasses are on, and then you cinch the knot down). This knots will not let go as long as the earpiece is even a little thicker than the temple piece (your glasses will break before the knot slips over the earpiece).

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I didn’t have a helmet, but wish I did
I still have a knot on the back of my head from one bad wipe out where the yak was out to get me.

Incidentally the QCC sucks in big time surf, but my little 9 foot rec Ocean Kayak SOT was a ball.

It turns on a dime, and for every wipe out I would make ten good controlled landings.

With the QCC it was four trys and four wipe-outs



Tape The Ends Of The Earpieces
into “bulbs” so the croakies can slide back out.<br />


And don’t forget lines, water bottles, pumps, or anything else that you normally have on your deck. I was really surprized at just how well the surf will strip you decks.

Makes spare paddle mounting more of a concern as you can’t elect to temp. store your spare in the cockpit like you can a bottle or pump.

Happy Paddling,


I never did!
I like my native sunglasses too much.

QCC’s & surf
I had an interesting discussion once with Wayne Horodowich (USK founder & P-Net contributor) about boat design for surfing. He had been on the US Surf Kayak team, so he was obviously a pretty competent boater, but when he first tried surfing with a touring boat (a Chinook) he said that the bow, which is plumb like a QCC, would knife quickly in whichever direction he leaned. So I am not surprised at your experience. I have not had my 500 in surf, so I cannot comment.


Different approach
The earpieces on my sunglasses have tiny holes in them, and the material that goes around the back of my head terminates in loops, and I wear it under a rubberized helmet liner which has a chin strap. I use swivels from a fishing supply store to connect the holes and the loops; something will have to break before I lose my glasses. If the earpieces on your glasses don’t have holes in them, your optician or your jeweler could bore the holes for you.

Cheap Sunglasses
After losing a couple pair of prescription RayBans, I only wear sheap sunglasses. Especially if a surf launch or landing is invloved

Velcro for paddles
Just a bit of stretchy velcro - works wonders to hold paddles in messy stuff. Darned if you’ll be able to get to them too easy from the boat, but in those conditions you are likely to be with company and/or have a chance to regroup on the beach anyway.

Does that mean Greenland kayaks(e.g. Valley) surf better?

Sort of
Shorter waterlines surf better. QCC 700 has 17.5’ of it. Not intend for play use in surf zone, just punching out - and and getting back in by riding wave backs, bongo slides, or whatever works. Most boats “suck” at things they weren’t designed to do.

JackL’s a lot more tenacious than I’ll ever be, or maybe likes punishment more. Doing that repeatedly in a long boat - without a solid roll -doesn’t sound like fun to me. No doubt good for some sort of skill building though - like increasing pain tolerance?

Makes me want a surf boat - but need surf first.

what the heck
is that thing sitting on your grass?

Just something I threw together…
… that has turned out to be the most enjoyable to paddle of any I’ve tried so far.

More pics:


19’ 8 1/4" L x 18 7/8" W

Faster, lighter, more manuverable, easier to roll, and of course better fitting than my QCC 700.

I think it’s the boat’s design.
I have both a 16’10" Gulfstream that is a broach-a-matic in the surf. aIn 6 years, I can probably count the number of times I didn’t side surf it in on one hand.

My 17’10" Nigel Foster Shadow, surfs like a dream. I think there is more to it than boat length.