Precurser to Winter Paddle Surf

Sunny today but with a north wind of 11-18 knots, and air temps in the upper 30s, felt winter like. Needed my mitts and the hooded wetsuit today.

Short period, 2.5’ waves that were fun after the initial slap on the face of chilly water. Had the break for most of the 2 hours to myself. A boardie showed towards the end.

Long shadows at the end…




Nice day out

Ooh a Greenland Paddle! I have just switched to a GP and thought it was less grabby and more versatile surfing on waves than a EP.

This is a new GP for me, the Gearlab Kalleq, and (unlike my other GPs) I actually like this one in surf! While I like general paddling with a GP, I more favor my Euro paddles in surf. The Kalleq feels significantly different from my other GPs. It has very thin blade edges, has no flutter and absolutely seems to grab water on the initial plant in a way that I don’t feel with my other GPs. I am still assessing and will have to try again with the other GPs, maybe alternating in the same session to get the assessment justice.

Not side by side, but provides a view of difference in control I have with a Euro compared to a GP.

Sterling Progression with Werner Shuna:

Sterling Progression with Gearlab Kalleq:


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Nice, thanks for sharing!

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All to say, KEEP using whatever works for your paddling perferences!


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I don’t have any experience in the surf. Can someone explain? Which is actually more control?

Good question. Usually, surfers want to be on the green (unbroken) part of the wave and to maneuver to stay just in front of the breaking crest for as long as a ride as possible. If one manuevers to far from the breaking crest, one can lose the energy of the wave and fall over the back of the wave. If one is too close to a wave break, especially with a longboat, one can get caught in the foam and broach and end up “side-surfing” (which from a surfer’s perspective is not really “surfing” but surviving and being controlled by the foam pile). Shorter surf crafts have the ability to go into the breaking foam pile and break back out (cutback) into the green face to continue riding. Some longboats (with lots of rocker) have the ability to be in the foam pile but then break back out (very dependent on rider’s skills).

So, with the two videos, the one where I am surfing with a Euro, you can see from the distant shoreline, that I can maneuever with long carving turns to stay on the green face for longer rides. Not the case with the GP. Sometimes, I just can make my longboat turn in the direction I want, and I end getting caught in the break and foam pile. Technically, the ride has ended if I can’t get back into the green.



Thanks very much. After your explanation I reviewed your videos with a much better understanding of what I am seeing.

Follow up question: I’ve seen longboat surfers use both inside edge turns with a rear rudder on the low side, and outside edge turns with a rear rudder on the high side. Would you say this is a preference, a boat design difference, a choice driven by the surf conditions? Interested in your perspective.

I think I use different terminology than you. I think of stern rudders having two functions. One, with a neutral blade angle, the the stern rudder helps the boat stay on track directionally, especially when traveling diagonally across a sloping wave face. When turning, the stern rudder (“pry” as opposed to “draw”) is always on the inside of the turn, i.e. if you are turning right, the stern rudder will be on the right side of the kayak. This acts to push the stern away from the paddle bladen and the bow towards the direction you want to go. The inside stern rudder (pry) acts as a pivot point for the turn.

One can turn with either an outside or inside edge. In general longboat paddling, we are often taught as beginners to use the outside edge to “carve” a turn. This outer edge is combined with a same side sweep stroke (left edge and left sweep to go right), or an outer edge combined with inside bow or stern rudder (left edge with a right stern/bow rudder to go right).

So, for all the longboats I have surfed, I am used to turning with a outside edge combined with a inside stern rudder. But, with the higher rockered and hard chine Sterling Progression, I am finding that I can use very aggressive inside stern rudder (prys) with inside edging. I find this combination allows for faster and tighter radius turns than possible with outer edge turns. I am still learning and playing with this. A good visual of this type of turning technique can be seen with high level longboat surfers in this video:


Thanks for the description and video, Sing. I understand what you are saying, and the video clearly shows the idea of pivoting around the paddle blade. It contrasts pretty sharply with this video:

Different boats, different waves, and different paddler, but obviously there are multiple ways to get things done.

I have only tried to surf so far on relatively small boat wakes and wind waves, but I’ve found that visualizing and practicing the correct movement and technique has helped me improve my boat handling and rolls.

One day hope to surf some green ocean swells.

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