We’ve shared a few posts to Sitons’ Facebook page featuring tandem kayak surfing of late. We’re sure you’ll agree it looks top fun. But what about the practicalities of having a bash yourself? Here we list some dos and don’ts which should set you on the path to dual kayak surfing nirvana.
Consider your area
This is one of the most important points. Rocking up to surf at a crowded beach is definitely a no go. The probability of tipping your craft over, losing it and having a marauding hunk of rotomoulded plastic blasting through the lineup is recipe for disaster.
A far better call would be to head somewhere with less crowds allowing fall out from dunkings to be minimal. As we head into low season the opportunity to score quieter spots should be easier.
Consider the conditions
You don’t need the biggest waves on Earth to ride a tandem sit on kayak. In fact, starting out in small surf is recommended. Big swells can certainly be daunting at the best of times. Times that by 10 with a double hander under you and it’s not going to end well.
If you’re thinking of having a bash at tandem kayak surfing for the first time then only ripples will be needed. The added propulsion of your secondary pilot and momentum of heavy boats will be more than enough for flotsam riding. Move up in wave size incrementally and should be dandy.
Consider your ability
Fact: you and your paddling partner are going to be doing a LOT of swimming when tandem kayak surfing. Make sure you’re up to the challenge! With colder conditions and sea temperatures your strength with zapped quicker than with warmer weather. Fitness levels should be considered.
You’ll also need a decent understanding of paddling – at least the strokes you should employing to get the best out of your session. It’d be foolhardy to take a complete novice into a wave environment as they could be put off for life.
Consider you attire and safety
Helmets, buoyancy aids and adequate protection against the elements need to be given due thought. Drysuits are fine – if you’re comfortable swimming about in surf whilst wearing one – but wetsuits may be a better bet.
A bonce protector and flotation aid should be worn as standard – there’s a lot of heavy gear floating about that could potentially belt you in noggin having capsized.
Consider the surf environment in general
Rips, tides, wind and the swell itself can all conspire against you and ruin an otherwise fun session. If you have no grasp of the aforementioned then it’s a good idea to learn and make sure your partner is also fully briefed.
Wave spots can be dangerous for the uninitiated – even more so with a tandem kayak floating in the lineup. It’s best to get a bit of practice in with a single piloted boat before hitting the surf with a tandem.
Have fun tandem kayak surfing!
It may sound obvious but kayak surfing should be fun. As long as you’ve given due thought to the above, understand your undertaking and have a plan B in place things go awry then you’re poised to score a smile inducing session. Above all stay safe, be courteous to others and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Photos: Chris Bell