For the rough water paddlers - the Gales of November

This showed up this evening on my You Tube feed. I think that @MCImes posted at least one other by or connected to the same paddler(s). No place for me to be but it looks like they were in control & having fun.


This is Tim and John. They live nearby and rage whenever Lake Superiuor is pumping. I remember looking at windy on this day and saying to my other friend he should go!.
They are borderline more hard core than me, which is hard to do. They have more cold tolerance than me. 43 and windy and wetis friggin cold.

The breaking wave capsize is awesome. conditions with open water breaking waves chest high are amazing. Superior is as good as the ocean, but its much colder!

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Wow - amazing how fast he moved down the back side of those waves.

The outrigger canoe is cool. never seen one around here.

I’m cold just watching this in my living room. Impressive, Gitchee Gumee is no joke.

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Not for everyone.
Surfing the big rollers is fun until you pitch pole.
The Lake is big, cold and unforgiving. 30 knots is possible for skilled people with practice.

I have been in some big rollers on Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake in the 3 1/2 foot range but near shore in warm weather. Paddlers quickly learn to brace well or spend a lot of time in the water.

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In conditions like that in skinny boats (he’s in an epic V10 I think) pretty much every stroke is also a minor balance correction, or brace.

In rough conditions on a ski, 75% of your overall stability is from a stroke brace. A slight feathering, push, or pull on the paddle happens with every stroke and is what keeps you upright in haystacks or any turbulent water. This is why it is so important to paddle! KIPITW!

After a while stroke bracing is fully subconscious and hardly registers in your mind. Same with stability in general, it becomes an instinctual response mot a conscious act for the most part. (Only “OH $h1t” really is a conscious brace after a while in rough water).

As for the pitch pole, I’ve heard it can happen and I have been close maybe once or twice, but it takes some pretty phenomenal waves to truly open water pitch pole. The only times ive come close was riding big swell building against a rip current. Not much of a concern even in really big stuff unless you’re near shore or trying to land.

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I’ve pitch poled a couple of times off shore in a 14’ boat when a breaking rogue wave rolled through. Not an enjoyable experience. One time I got thrown trying to downwind surf some big wind swell stuff my GPS, read 21 mph for the wipeout. Kind of like being a passenger on a catapult.

The footage looks fun, but I suspect a bit too cold water for my enjoyment.