Penwyn Mahr tidal race video

This video really is awesome, for anyone that is interested in paddling rough water, this little video will get your motor going.

on a slow dial up! =:-0)

Great shots tho. thanks.


are there tidal races
like this in oregon? I hear the columbia river at the mouth to the pacific is pretty knarly?


– Last Updated: Dec-09-04 3:16 PM EST –

tho' except for the very fast water, It doesn't really look that exceptionally technically difficult. But, film/pics can make things look easier than they really are.


PS. I don't mean to sound glib. The moving water reminds me of white water. And, with white water, it is tricky lines, drops and grabby holes that make things challenging (along with pushy water). The tidal race looks very pushy but also a straight forward shoot-though with big eddies to catch and a couple of big standing waves to surf.

not that technically difficult
but fun to do in a sea kayak.

Two “Difficult” Things…
One, if they had to “attain” any significant distance upstream in that pushy current and there aren’t many eddies to “sneak” up with. Even then, the speed of a sea kayak makes attainment so much more easy compared to short white water boats. Two, if in the ferrying, one is not precise with the angle and upstream hip tilt, it would be easy to get totally turned and swept down stream with the current. Just my observations playing with a long boat in some tidal currents.


oh yeah.
while we don’t have anywhere near the same BIG picture current flow as Brit Isles we do have lots AND swell. Pacific swell. this in combo w/ Columbia river current, San Fran, San Juan’s, Deception Pass, many other bay entrances and you have a dynamic situation.

The West coast is different than Anglesey, tho both can be gnarly!


you’re right
YAW is YAW and current is current. not technically difficult.

add swell for fun.



attaining tricks
there’s some very cool tricks to sea boat attaining that rock.

A tracking hull, some mojo and total control of YAW and you’re G2G.


Do Those Waves Get Bigger
sometime in the tidal phase? I heard there was reputedly a 10-15’ standing wave there or somewhere nearby. The waves in the film don’t look more than 4-5’.


much wind action against that kind of energy and BIG standing dumpers can form. not sure about 15’ as a normal occurance but I bet occasionally. heck we get 5’ers rolling up the ol’ Columbia w/o much current and 6-8’ in the gorge.

someone from Jolly Ol’ England o’ Wales out there?


It was a flat day
It looks like the conditions in that clip are from a relatively flat day. I’d guess that there were 2’ or less and very long SW swells that day. Look beyond the race in the wide shots to see how flat the water is outside.

A group of NE paddlers were there in Sept we found endo sized stuff going off at North Stack during the ebb on a flat day and while North Stack can get nasty due to opposing winds, it’s cetainly not the Perhyn Mawr.

I’ve heard stories about the PM going off w/ 15’-20’-ers. Consider that the race is open to fetch from the SSW for many hundreds of miles and 15+ foot seas are not unheard of around Anglesey. There is also a wide variation of range between neaps and springs. I don’t see standing (or rolling) 15’-ers inside the race as much of a stretch for the imagination.



I guess I took whatever I heard as a 10-15’ standing wave as the “base” condition. Other contributing variables makes more sense.


Drooling wnl
OK keep the drooling WNL and stay oriendted X3 while you’re at it. : > )

from a great lakes
perspective it looks like a hell of a flow! That’s all I can say, and if the weather was up, it could be really wild.

I had the same impression . .
… we trained like maniacs and made sure our life insurance was up to date before daring to give it a go.

“30’ standing waves, 12 knot currents with only Ireland and Scotland to stop you from drifting towards Iceland . . .” No doubt these stories were designed to mess with our heads and they were damned effective at that!


Ha, ha, and ha…

– Last Updated: Dec-10-04 1:51 PM EST –

and who is going to believe that...

People say a lot of things, but who believes them. The "believe-thing" is not in my nature, so someone has to give me valid proof in order to be able to believe anything.


PS: From the monitor of my computer, the video looks pretty basic, but from the cockpit of my ski, awesome!

what’s the boat?
what kayaks are they paddling? i don’t recognize the design.

Rockpool Kayaks
From the same website as the video.

I’m not sure anyone believed the 30’ stuff but it was convenient motivation nonetheless.

even dead flat there will be 3-4’ there, wide and long with a significant run-out to keep you wanting to stay upright.