Valley Storm - RM Surf Kayak

-- Last Updated: Jun-13-06 5:38 AM EST --

okay, I give Valley a lot of credit for going this route and recognizing the need for an affordable starting surf kayak for newer surf paddlers. The profile of this boat is pretty cutting edge (waveski inspired stern).

There's been some notable grumbling about kayakers by board surfers in various boards. The two main criticisms include the lack of knowledge of surf etiquette and the second about the lack of control. Both increase danger and tension for every one surfing a break. There are constant stories about kayakers running folks over in the surf zone. I have actually seen that happen myself in some of the popular beach breaks. Not good PR and makes it tough for all surf paddlers.

Etiquette can be learned but an inappropriate surf craft is just a disaster waiting to happen on a crowded break. Long boats are worse, followed by white water boats and SOTs. The majority of these simply lack the rails and fins that will allow them to grip the waveface and execute precise, crisp carving turns. The skills of the rider can make up for a lot but, ultimately, these crafts slide out as waves get steeper and bigger. Sliding out is a loss of control and increases the danger of someone being runned over.

Of course, most boardies don't understand the difference between dedicated surf crafts and other kayaks. They just remember the worse incidents and blame all paddlers.

Last week, I was doing dawn patrol with two boardies on a very steep cobblestone beach break. The waves were waist to chest high but very steep and curly because of the bottom contour. It got even more "exciting" as we near high tide because the waves were closing out within 20 yards of the shoreline. We were literally dropping in on the wave and getting super fast but short rides before coming right onto the rocky beach. The boardies would get on and then jump of the boards before smacking into the beach. On my waveski, I would drop in, really accelerate, nake my maneuvers and then pop back over the curling lip before the closeout. At one point, dropping in on a wave, I got into the pocket only to notice a boardie standing in the soup about 10-15 yards ahead of me waving frantically to draw my attention. He had a deer-in-the-headlight look because he thought I was going to run him and his board over. Instead, I immediately cut back into the closeout, tucked and flipped myself over to stop so I wouldn't crash into the beach. After session was over and we prepared to go to work, the boardie was talking to me and saying how he was impressed with the maneuveribility of my "kayak" (he was surfing a long board). I explained the difference between waveskis and surf kayaks from other crafts and how judicious use of the paddle actually give us more maneuverability than even some of the surf boards on a waveface. He listened attentively and said, "Cool. See you the next time.)

For folks who want to get into surf paddling, please learn the etiquette, get a dedicated surf craft (which has become more affordable with RM models) and develop your skills. The surf zone is a blast and more so when everyone, from paddlers, to boardies and spongers, are surfing well and sharing the stoke.


The day the music changed
Hey, Sing:

For folks who want to get into surf paddling,

please … get a dedicated surf craft.

So I take it you’ve changed the music since you talked me into buying that used Necky Jive a couple of years ago, which, to tell the truth, hasn’t seen much surf.

S’ok. Things change, and I had kinda figured it out on my own, which is one reason you haven’t seen much of me. Guess I’d better sell it, but of course only to a river runner, not a wannabe surf kayaker. ;-)))


There Are White Water Boats

– Last Updated: Jun-13-06 7:00 AM EST –

that handle fine (depending on the skills of the surf paddler) on mellow waves (spilling type) and not too big, say not over 5'. The Jive is fine for that, especially on less crowded breaks. You can play at Nahant all year long with the Jive without any problems since it's not a crowded break. The jive is certainly far better than a long boat. But to progress into more challenging, steeper waves and to really become a skilled surfer with the ability to make the dramatic cutbacks and more radical moves, you need a dedicated surf craft.

For those who are not committed enough to the sport to get a dedicated surf craft, there are white water boats that perform better than most but never as well as a dedicated surf boat. The jive is a compromise and I usually say that.

My own history, I went from a finned Trickster (ww boat) for almost year to a Boogie (dedicated RM surf boat). I kept the the Boogie for maybe a year before moving up to composite surf boats and then to waveskis. I knew then and now, that I am committed to the sport and I wasn't going to hamper my skill development with a compromise boat.


PS. David you should easily be able to sell the jive for pretty much whatever you paid for it. You're certainly welcome to demo most of the surf boats that NE Surf Kayaker members have. But I don't have a sense that surf kayaking is where your passion is at within the kayaking world.

Have To Talk To A Surfer Or Two
and learn more about what they expect and want. My son the almost surfer tells me that there is some built in distrust to begin with.

The last time I came into prox of board surfers was while I was exiting a very small Inlet going into the Ocean. There were about two dozen board surfers. There was no boat traffic as the Inlet was not large enough to support normal boats. Conditions were calm, breakers were waist high or less. I paddled out in calm water to watch the waves and pick out my course and settled on an area where two guys were surfing. I got their attention and indicated I was going to paddle out where they were. They responded that I should come ahead.

I assumed that they would wait until I got out but as it turned out they surfed the same wave that I was busting out on.

Happy Paddling,


Choices, choices
> I don’t have a sense that surf kayaking is where

your passion is at within the kayaking world.

Yep, there’s only so much time in a day, week, month, year or lifetime. So although short-boat surfing is definitely a hoot, I’ve made a conscious decision to hold back on it in favor of long-boat, open sea work, not to mention livlihood and other, dryer pursuits. But you guys sure do rouse pangs of regret and longing now and again. ;-))

IAC, many thanks for the help so far – you are extremely generous with that and I’m not the only beneficiary, I’m sure. Let’s see how the next season or two play out.

And just ribbing you about the Jive – you were clear from the start that it was a compromise.


That’s About It…
“Yep, there’s only so much time in a day, week, month, year or lifetime. So although short-boat surfing is definitely a hoot, I’ve made a conscious decision to hold back on it in favor of long-boat, open sea work, not to mention livlihood and other, dryer pursuits.”

My longboating has decreased proportionately to my increasing interest in surf paddling and ww. This past year, I have not gone out in a long boat at all. I seriously thought of unloading my long boats.

Unfortunately, in coming year, I believe I will be using the long boats more if want to get some paddling in at all.


Thought for today !

Looks very familiar
Tongg’s or somewhere thereabout?

I’ll Reconsider My Aversion To Tandem.

Not sure … assumed it was Oahu…

Sort of Negates All the Neg Vibe
Yeah I liked this picture because they are having fun on a wave, I’m sure those agro guys on the surfline forum would complain about something like this too. Something like these ladies trying to look like they are really in the Authentic Surfing Lifestyle, when we all know you have to be a 20- something shortboarder to be valid.

Pretty sure I’m within a break or two

– Last Updated: Jun-14-06 12:44 PM EST –

It looks like the Waianae Range and the Waikiki/Kakaako shoreline in the background, and from the angle it would be one of the breaks at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. That's right next to the place I usually launch.

BTW, that's a very kayak-friendly break, if anyone's interested.