getting outback when it's big

hello all thanks in advanve for your help this question is in regards to surf specific kayaks.

I paddle a mini mako on the east coast. Are there any suggestions other than gaining experience of when to punch through or roll under waves when getting out back? Can you roll under a foam pile or is it only hoping over the pile and work on technique so as not to do an accidental rear ender?


in my surf boat
i just plow through…there is so little stern on most surf boats that you have to lean forward very hard and dig in at the same time…

upi can turn that ender into a kickbutt drop in if you spin around fast enough (pirouette)

what size surf you speaking about???big stuff???mini stuff???

i have found in my past experiences that i would expend more energy rolling under a wave than going through it…


Va Beach surf
I play in the Va Beach surf quite frequently (come join us Tuesday morning!) and punch through the waves straight on. Depending on the size and position I may tuck down into the setup position for a roll to get my paddle down along the deck in line with the boat, but usually I just try to time it so I dig my paddle into the wave and keep moving forward.

  • Tom

Generally Punch Through

– Last Updated: May-29-07 5:14 PM EST –

is the best option. However, if I see an impending curl and the "green room" closing in, I've turned turtle and took it on the hull bottom. Been sucked out and paddle stripped with very steep curling breaks.

After 5-6', I tend to not want to surf a beach break, unless we have hurricane swells of 12 plus seconds, giving more window to get out and minimize the pounding.

Try to find your own point or reef break. These are the places to be on the bigger days. I am spoiled these days 'cause I have a combination of both on my home break. It is not at all hard to get outside on a head plus day. Wiping out is another story.


Agree with sing…
Flipping only when horribly in the wrong place. As you gain experience you will find your timing etc. gets better and this will not be so much an issue. Have fun.

My Choices in a Mike Johnson Boat
1. To get outside. Time it so you paddle over the top. Be in the right place at the right time. If you watch guys who are really good at big wave surfing like Dave Johnston, they are always in the right place at the right time. ( Can’t say the same for me.)

The secret to survival is timing, timing, timing. If I see a really big one coming in at me, I paddle like He|| and angle off a bit at it, as I climb the wave I keep my weight forward, and paddle like mad, aiming wherever I think there is enough path to go up and over. You should aim to be airborne going off the back.

2. If I am not going to make the pitching lip spear it hard where you can see thining of water at the convex wave surface.

3, Paddle out take off… aim at that lip throw the boat around on a pivot and pray.

4. If you can give yourself enough time not to have the wave pound directly down on you. Turn and run, lay back paddling as fast as you can at a slight angle then move way forward after you are in the torrent and try to stay upright. With any luck it will spit you out surfing the foam diagonally.

5. Turn turtle … last resort when a huge wave is going to break to close to do anything else.

Watch a video of Jalama expression sessions for inspration.