Surfing with traditional paddles.

Traditional paddles (Greenland and Aleut) have been gaining popularity in my area.

They are mostly used for cruising and rolling.

Local Euro style paddlers however have often viewed traditional paddles as a joke or just for show.

They don’t consider traditional paddles suitable for rougher water or surfing.

I love using an Aleut paddle for surfing:

And despite all the rumors that a Western Red Cedar paddle is not strong enough, mine has not failed yet.

Anybody interested in “gently” used carbon foam core Werner Athena and Cyprus? :slight_smile:

I nail the sand often enough with my
euro paddle, often just getting off the darn beach, that I’m reluctant to further damage my once-nice red cedar GP. Although I hear Spruce makes for a good surf paddle…

reinforcing the stick
Dave, I hear you.

My once beautiful tips of the WRC paddle got chewed up by pushing off and hitting things too.

They were splitting at the end.

I remedied the problem with a reinforcement of epoxy tips.

I documented the relatively easy process here:

vid! Looks like you guys had a great day.

as usual, you have the idea, the
solution, and great documentation for us lesser mortals to follow along. Thanks!

So where are the surf videos ?
Knee high waves are one thing. Paddling out in double overhead waves that throw you back 10 meters and actually controlling the boat on the wave face are far different.

seadart, do I sense some

Sure, I can’t surf the 10’+ waves that you mention but my kayak still seems to get a free ride under the power of the 2’ wave, so I assumed that it was called surfing.

My bad if I assumed it was surfing… what’s it called than?

Love to see some of YOUR footage in the big stuff, maybe I will learn something.

I think it’s more of what your use to
than which paddle. One thing that I do like with a greenland paddle in the surf is that the bite is more gradual and will possibly leave me less susceptible to a shoulder dislocation and will probably be less likely to be ripped from my hands when being dragged upside down by a large breaking wave.

As far as using a WRC paddle is rough conditions, keep a spare paddle in a close, convenient location. WRC works well until you use it in an extended rear rudder situation while riding a wave. I only use spruce paddles if it’s going to be rough conditions.

Surfing vs Sea Kayak Surfing
Seadart’s remark reminded me of how different the surf feels in different craft.

In a sea kayak or rowing boat I feel like I’m just being washed in. I notice that those who are highly skilled can do some maneuvers on the face of the wave but it is fairly limited and most of the time the boat is pretty square to the wave.

On surf boards and surf kayaks the feel is totally different. I don’t have any skills but I can ride the face of the wave and change directions easily on a surf specific craft. I ride diagonally along the face of the wave most of the time instead of squared to the wave. I feel like I could put the boat in any position along the wave if I develop my skills.

To surf better I think I just need a lot more practice. The sea kayak in the surf I think I need to take some classes.

Both forms of playing in the surf are very fun, but the feel is very different.

Here is some more “real” surfing

You Wrote…
“They don’t consider traditional paddles suitable for rougher water or surfing.”

Obviously definition for “rougher” is subjective (maybe what Seadart is reacting to…). :slight_smile:

No revelation that you can “surf paddle” with anything with a decent surface and a grip,e.g. hand paddles, or half a paddle (LOL). The enjoyment is likewise subjective…


Totally Gnarly… LOL!

Had to dig this one up …Posted before.
Another “real” one 'cause they say it is !

" Surf riding "

For the little actual ocean break sea kayak surfing I’ve done, I find using a white water paddle preferable to greenland. That’s mostly due to the shorter length and more immediate control I can have with it compared to the longer and skinnier “stick”.

I much prefer the stick for actual paddling, but for very dynamic stuff where you have to put some brief bursts of power to the water, I prefer something shorter and with more quick bite. The reason is that there is no time to reposition the hands with a sliding stroke to get power and with hands 20" apart I can’t get the same leverage I can with my normal “power” spacing on a fat-bladed paddle.

Being shorter, actually allows the WW paddle to maneuver underwater somewhat more easily than a stick too in confused conditions (can’t say the same for a long Euro paddle though - it can be unwieldy due to length and blade size/position combination) and in some ways a short WW paddle is not less safe for joints too if you keep good form.

Grarly, …
Have you tried to not attempt racing infront of the foam pile but instead slow down and ride it with the center of the kayak on top of it and the bow up in the air? That is a great way to not broach in a sea kayak, plus you can chose to either speed back down when the foam diminishes and continue on the same wave OR back-off and let the wave pass under you.

Of course, if the wave is too tall, it might be risky to do that as it will definitely hurt if (when) it slams you down -:wink:

why not keep the Werners?
I have a Cyprus, a couple other Euros, and two Greenland paddles - a one piece of WRC and a take apart made from several woods.

Love each one.

They each teach me something different.

Surf or no surf.

Cool vid, thanks for posting it Damiano.

note that he has his PFD

Yeah Man
Sold my Werners some time back. Haven’t regretted it.

funny how that goes.

a few minutes ago I just bought another Werner Cyprus in a shorter length (205 cm, which seems to be real hard to find in stock) from Marshall in Hyde Park.

love all my paddles, but if there had to be just one, it’d be the Werner Cyprus. It’s the chocolate frozen yogurt of paddles for me (inside joke for Kudzu)