Sufski Run in 40 Knot winds

Here is a recent clip of a couple surfskiers doing a downwind run in 40 knot winds. It was shot using the GoPro Hero mounted to a helmet.

Here is the link to the movie:

Here is the link to read more about the shooting of this clip. It includes tips on how you can shoot better movies while paddling:

Surfskis are not just for downwind paddling. However, downwind runs are incredible fun much like downhill runs on a mountain bike.

Surfski paddling is growing around the world. An intermediate paddler is only a couple equipment decisions away from joining this fast and fun discipline of paddling.

very cool
I thought I heard him chuckle about 2/3 into the clip…and definitely when he was nearing land. That looked like a blast!

Good filming tips also, thanks for sharing that.

nothing so much fun as paddling down wind in high winds and big seas and nothing so much a PITA as paddling upwind in high winds and heavy seas

the surfer claims gusting 45-50 knots. while it is definitley a ‘big’ day, swell-wise, I see little to indicate it’s blowing locally much over 30.

at 30 the water surface gets distorted and quarter to 50 cent sized ‘chunks’ of water leave the surface. at 35 the chunks go majorly airborn and at 40 there is a pretty much misty/ foggy look to the surface and up to 1’ or more thick. At 45 it’s down right smokey and literally buckets of water are in the air. at 50 the top of the waves are being blown off and the whole scene is smokey looking up to 3’ thick. been there/ done that.

It is interesting when he broaches to the left. you can see/feel the panic as he works his way back to running with the wind NOT sitting abeam! methinks they’d be SOL if one of 'em flipped out there.

thoose are some tasty swells! think I’ll stick to me sea boat!


Not just because of seas, but the sea LIFE… Besides a sea full of vim & vigor (and I figure it’s gotta be at least a little chilly, but that guy’s barefoot…!), and wind (25-35-45, whatever, I’ll defer to your expertise, Steve; serious whitecaps down here auger for puttin’ up the shutters!) there’s sea full’o’sharks down there. I’d be as much worried about THAT, as getting tossed off, per se.

Makes for added incentive to -literally!


-Frank in Miami

I Tend To Agree…
that it’s unlikely 30-40 knots. Having Surfed in 25 knots plus, the water is much more ripped and foamy than what I am seeing in the video. Don’t know the about the fetch either ‘casue the swells don’t look that big since I can see the other guy as he goes down a swell and into the trough. On big waves, I am used to a stand up guy going down and just totally disappearing from sight until the wave breaks and becomes soup.

Having said the above, going out in a long boat on a windy/wavey day is pretty fun (tho’ less for me than surfing a big breaking wave…).


Kestrel anemometer…
the ultimate in truth telling on a windy day. I love mine because I get to hold it up and ask people what they think the wind is doing. It is quite rare I get a correct guess. My accuracy is improving but FAR from perfect. Observing the sea state is an excellent part of the process. So is checking in online on a weather buoy after the fact.


I carried one for a bunch of years and spend alot of time getting accurate readings both in sustained speed and gusts. You’re right many folks over estimate wind speed almost as bad as they do swell height!

One time I was out in honest 50 knots/honest 5’ seas and was taking a wind reading. one hand holding the wind gauge up in the air, one hand holding my GP in a brace. my buddy looked over a just shook his head. we took a break on a beach by laying down with our heads inside the cockpits just to escape the wind and hold the boats from blowing down the beach. biggest day so far.

them were the dayz!


Like watching paint dry …
I dunno I think a lot of the cameras going along for a ride stuff is pretty boring watching the paddle and the bow going up and down.

and wind speed is just like wave height … everything seems bigger when you are sitting at water level with big nasties rolling around. Waves always look smaller in video, but you can see his buddy alongside and he barely disappears behind the waves, very little edge effect, in really high winds where a boat slices the water you get a huge edge turbulent effect that creates incredible spindrift … not seeing it here.


– Last Updated: Feb-07-08 7:29 AM EST –

It's 50 kilometers not knots!!! (30mph).

Please read the article again...


PS: it's quite funny who some jump to conclusions without confirming the source of the information :O

Doh - Damn Metric System!
Here is a link to the same webpage with a couple stories of guys recently breaking records in winds that average 37 knots with gusts to 44 knots.

“Over the last hour the wind speed average had been 19m/s, gusting to 22.6m/s. Hmm, let’s see, that works out to roughly 37kts (68kph), gusting to 44kts (81kph).”

Check out the pic:

What’s he carry on his PFD?

You will either find that funny or be horrified depending on your personalty type.