Surfing in a Sea Kayak

I’m interested in getting a little more into surfing. I have a force 5 that I love. How much harder is it to surf in a sea kayak vs. a surf boat? What do surf boats run used?


Surf What You Have…

– Last Updated: Sep-21-09 10:42 AM EST –

it is a good skill to have as a sea kayaker and with a long boat. Never know when you'll need the skill, unless you're a dedicated flat water paddler.

However, if you can, do try surfing with a dedicated surf design craft. It's a whole 'nother game. You may or may not get addicted but you will definitely know/understgand thatis a WHOLE other game.


agree- use what you have
I agree, use what you have.

A surf-specific boat, along with being shorter than a sea kayak, will have hard lips that allow it to carve. That means they can go back and forth on the edge of the wave, where a sea kayak would pretty much have to go straight with the wave. Both are fun, but the carving allows for more playing.

Here is a short video of some friend’s surfing sea kayaks that I took a few months back:

And a few more links -:wink:

– Last Updated: Sep-21-09 12:53 PM EST –

Not just surfing, but there is some surfing in there ...


It is a ton of fun even in a sea kayak - just make sure you do it safely as blasting through in a long boat or being rolled/bashed in surf has it's dangers for you and others -;)

EDIT - forgot to mention: the Cat 5 seems like one of the less suitable choices for surfing as it has minimum rocker and will probably be harder to control, but why not - more skill building opportunities to you...

Here's some more I just found:

Some ways to get started …
While we all agree catching waves in a sea kayak is fun and challenging. It really isn’t the optimal surf experience. Also if you are surfing near others in the water it is not very safe to others unless you are managing to stay outside the breaking waves.

You can find a decent used surf kayak from about $350 -800 dollars. Some whitewater boats surf pretty well and can be had for ~ $350. Sit on top surf kayaks like Cobra Strikes and Wilderness systems Kaos can be had for similar price. Waveskis outperform all of the above and used skis go for similar prices. New Skis can be had from about $800 - $2000 for a contest quality ski. All of which will allow you to learn to cut back, do round houses and surf up and down the powerface of the wave.

in a sea kayak is very different than in a surf boat (as has been said). However, as something to do in a sea kayak it is an an unqualified friggin’ blast. It is almost all I do now in mine, this was me a few weeks ago on the maiden voyage of my new boat:

I agree that longboats should stay far away from swimmers and surfers. One of the nice things about a sea kayak is that it is no problem getting to breaks that are empty.

The Beginning Of The End…

– Last Updated: Sep-21-09 8:25 PM EST –

to my "sea kayaking."

That year, I began to surf every storm I could. Then I started to think what it would like to actually be able to move around with control on the face, like board surfers... The end of my sea kayaking days were maybe a little over a year away. I kept the sea kayaks for another several years and left 'em in the basement to collect dust, while I was out surfing ww boats, surf kayaks and finally waveskis...

I am back in long boats now -- SOTs -- but mostly for chasing stripers.


hurricane riders and a few others
were river waves, or tidal standing waves which is the same thing really.

Surfing ocean waves is a completely different skill.

While any wave can be a good wave, there is a world of difference between being able to catch an eddy break in and then surf a standing wave, and being able to break out through an impact zone, select a wave, drop in and ride it.

Surf what you have.

If you catch the bug, you’ll know it, and you will go out and find a surf boat.

Boy you nailed that on the head.
I still sea kayak alot, but surfing with a boat designed for surf, plus whitewater really is what works for me. I like sea boating and do surf mine once in awhile, but the idea of riding one of those telephone poles on a wave as opposed to my Mega just doesn’t do it for me.


Sea kayaks will be harder to steer
while riding a wave but with proper technique you can learn to catch many waves and ride them straight in. A sea kayak is easier to paddle through the breaking surf to get out were you need to be to catch waves. A short river kayak or surf dedicated kayak will allow you to carve back and forth on the face of wave while riding it. Both kayaks are fun to surf in but shorter kayaks are a real blast. Anyone that’s done some surfing in sea kayaks would really enjoy what a shorter kayak can do on the face of wave. I have a Necky Rip kayak that I’m selling for $300 if your interested. It’s a great kayak for surfing if your looking for something short and inexpensive.

If you would really like to get the most out of kayak surfing I would recommend hooking up with some local paddlers that can surf well and pick up what you can from them. Learning how to set up to catch the wave and use the stern rudder to stear and brace will get you on your way. Surfing is a constant learning experience that gives the highest rush I can find.