So, how do YOU cross a tide rip?

I don’t mean an eddy line, I mean a full-boogie multiple wavetrain rip, as featured in Justine’s videos.

Normally I avoid these things like the plague, but was forced to deal with some real monsters last weekend on the Bay of Fundy. I crossed the waves at right angles, with the idea of surfing them while crabbing sideways to the other side. Nice thought in theory, not so much in practice. I remained upright and crossed the rips, but it was ugly. The rest of my group went with their instincts and crossed beam-to the waves, which horrified me at first, then puzzled me as they all motored across nicely. Was the apparent difference in results a function of the water’s motion or was my difficulty due to my Prijon Catalina’s short waterline I wonder? (Pearled badly several times)

What I do
We get some nasty rips up here (AK) also. Am I correct in assuming that the current was running against the wind chop? Builds up nice doesn’t it? I usually try and quarter the chop with the bow pointed down wind but into the chop. This gives me a clear view of what’s approaching, and allows me to lose as little ground as possible while crossing. This does of course depend on speed of current and how built up the chop is. If my target landing on the other side is down current, I will quarter the boat and back down and across. If it’s not to bad, I’ll go beam to the chop, but it’s not my favorite.

“River” In The Ocean…
you ferry across like you would a white water run. Ferrying angle depends on speed of the race. The faster the higher the angle, say 50-60. In most cases, a 45-50 angle will take me right across to a point almost directly across on the other side. If you not trying to hit a certain spot, a lower angle will end up allowing the current to take you further down before you crash through the current line on the other side.

Trying to drop in on mid race wave, I tend to keep a higher angle ferry. As I drop into the wave, I stroke faster to make sure I get to planing speed on the wave face. Otherwise, the tendency is to flush right over the top and to the back of the wave.


sing you sure get up early.
Oh, wait, it’s 4:10Am here. I paddle Lake Decatur in two hours. Sun not even up yet.

I keep the paddle moving, and
a bunch of “oh sh–s”, and it usually gets me through.

We went through a couple of times a few weeks ago at Bug Light at the mouth of Plymouth Harbor.

They are always hairy crossings in my estimation, and I keep wondering how bad one has to be before it will eat me.



From The Description You Gave
in your report, I think I would turn around and go the other way, LOL. I would likely try and put some angle on the bow and attempt to play off angle and current drift to get to the wanted point on the other side.

Happy Paddling,


What do you get if you cross a riptide…
…with a toy poodle?


THAT was my approach…
Keep padling and cursing. I was trying to ferry across, as Sing mentioned. The wind was against the flow, and I realize now my mistake was in not turning around into the wind and ferrying “backwards” to my intended direction. The waves approaching from behind just about stood me on my nose, and I was trying to brace while lying on the aft deck. Like I said, ugly.

Thanks all for the input, I will sit and ponder a bit longer before comitting to large rips again.