side surfing

Will your skeg trip you up when side surfing if it is down.

It might cause problems, but why
would you still have it down? It will be an impediment even getting to a side surfing situation.

all waveskiers and surf kayakers would be in trouble if that be the case… :slight_smile:


Landing in surf and the boat broaches or hit by a wave from the side unexpectedly.

I always pull up the skeg when landing in surf, but have always wondered what effect it would have if it was down.

bigger problem at conclusion
I don’t think it would be a problem during the sidesurf, but could be a much bigger (more expensive) problem at the conclusion of the sidesurf, when you hit the beach sideways…


– Last Updated: Nov-26-07 12:52 PM EST –

Okay, since none of the longboat “surfers” are jumping in… Here are my thoughts, as an ex longboat surfer.

-The skeg cannot trip you up if you are leaning or bracing into wave. Simple.

-You will not damage your skeg, unless on a shore dump break, in which case you should worry about your whole body never mind your boat. In most breaks, the foam pile will loose its power and grip on your boat well before your hull would scrape bottom. If you are bracing into the foam, as it loses power, convert the brace to a bow rudder and it will turn your bow out facing the ocean. If sweep, it will turn your bow to the shore.

-What will a skeg do when down while you're on a waveface? No set answer since it depends on your boat design and how you sit/weigh in it. On highly rockered boats with rounded chines, leaning back and having the skeg down a bit may actually help keep on a straighter diagonal run by defeating slide out on the stern. You’ll find that you may not only stay on the wave face but go faster. On long, non rocker boats, have the skeg down will lead to a pitch pole at worse, or at best, will facilate a quicker broach and side surf because the skeg will lock your rear in and drive the bow deeper into the trough.

Your best bet is to pick a small wave day, say 2-3’, and play with varying amounts of skeg down. Nothing teaches like direct experience. Oh, wear your helmet. :)


I have a permanent skeg
attached under one of my kayaks and it doesn’t seem to effect side surfing. My skeg is located just behind the seat so this location would not turn the kayak very much either. I always pull up my retractable skeg on my other kayak when I’m coming in to shore so that it doesn’t get damaged but haven’t played with it down in side surf to see what the effect would be. I suppose most kayaks would react a little bit different from each other. Sounds like you need to give it a try.

Minor nuance here, but…
side surfing isn’t surfing to me, but it is “being surfed.”


Thanks dog!

It’s too hard getting the respect of the
boardies when one is surfing, but when one is being surfed we get taken back 5 years in relations. Especially when the boater is bulldozing an 18’ wide path to the beach. I’m not slamming anyone here, I just think it is an important concept to maximize our respect for other water users and do everything possible to keep others healthy and happy.


question remains the same
Whatever you want to call it

on the rockhopper
i can have the skeg down with the two fins on and still bongo slide in…not detrimental at all to the boat…

btu because of those fins/skgs sticking down i can catch myself a bit and sometimes pull out of a bongo slide…


or being washed ashore? NM

Bongo Sliding
much better’n side ‘surfing’ IMO


If the waves are nice and glassy any effect will come on consistently and you can adjust your bracing accordingly.

OTOH if the waves are lumpy and you are getting bounced around as you skitter down a large wave sideways it can grab suddenly and trip you up. Not as bad as a rudder but even the built in skeg on my Nordkapp HM has been enough to catch me out.

Unless you are deliberately trying to sidesurf eg: to avoid getting looped in dumping surf it is probably better to have it down as it makes staying straight easier.


– Last Updated: Nov-27-07 6:01 AM EST –

I am surprised mostly short boat surfers are responding here (mostly by saying "stay away from my break!"). What happened to all the bitchin' long boat surfing dudes/dudettes? Want to hear how they throw down a waveface with their sweet rides! What's it going to be, skeg up or down? LOL!


Hey, I can laugh (at myself) since I "surfed" long boats for about three years.

PS. ScottB, you don't count since you have a stinkin' Mariner with no skeg to boast about. :)

PPS. If P140 lived near the ocean, I bet he be throwing down in the surf in a heartbeat with his P140. At least the little dude is willing to try any boat but stick by his beloved P140. ;)

Have you seen the bottom of my boat?
There is a big assed skeg thing hangin off the back. It’s built in to the hull and it’s gotta be like 2 inches wide. Goes from just aft of midship right to the stern. It is by far the most repaired part of my boat because it takes a beating during the launch. When the bow goes up into a wave the stern drags ass. Never seemed to be a problem coming in. Seems to work out very well in small surf. If I want to go straight I keep the boat level with the water surface. Heel it over to one side and she’ll turn hard. It is the reason the boat surfs like she does.

Don’t think I would like a drop skeg anywhere near surf. Just something to break or fix. Seems as though sand jammed skegs would be a problem. I like the simplicity of the built in skeg thing. My old Hydra sea venture had a very similar built in stern skeg that I also came to appreciate in the surf.

Yeah, Yeah…
you don’t have a knob to make it go up and down. Your boat is American made. Ergo! It’s not a skeg. It’s just a really prominent keel at the stern! LOL!


I like Sings answer
the skeg is a small area compared to the entire hull shape, seems to me if you’re trippin’ it’s not just the skeg.

No Skeg

– Last Updated: Nov-28-07 10:05 PM EST –

I never surf with my skeg down. Surfing requires a lot of edging, ruddering, bracing, and turning. I don't want anything hindering my ability to directionally control the boat. Oh, just to add...I do occasionally use my skeg on open long crossings in following seas if I am just trying to go straight. I never use it on beach break surfing.