03 April 2012

VIDEO: backsurfing with a stick

I am gaining confidence with my Northern Light Greenland paddle and slowly I have improved my maneuverability in small surf. From the small shore break I have progressed to something just a bit more challenging.

select 720p if you have fast Internet connection
I still have not had the opportunity (and the courage) to tackle large waves and I am working on edging my kayak when the world slides backwards.
In the meantime I am learning how to control my kayaks when surfed in reverse and avoid being broached too soon.
The thrill of not seeing where I am going and the fear of getting pitched stern deep into the water compensates for my lame technique. This play-boating teaches me timing and body-weight shift to maximize the free ride.
Would a rudder help me?


  1. Uau! Funny video!!! Looks nice! No rudder! :)

  2. Exciting, I like the camera angle i this video.

  3. nice video! You want to start another hot topic about rudders vs skeg!!
    I will need to change my kayak, everytime I try to surf backwards my stern sounds the sirens, turn on the red light and goes into submarine mode :-)

    1. >>You want to start another hot topic about rudders vs skeg<<
      I could not: I know very little about rudders; the question was maybe sarcastic :-)
      I had a couple of kayaks with rudders in the past an despite retracting them on deck I broke several in the surf.
      I also have removed one from a kayak that I currently paddle that incidentally surfs rather well.
      For the paddling I enjoy most I have not found yet a kayak with rudder that would work for me, but I am open to suggestions.

    2. I must admit that despite not liking rudders on my kayaks, I do love my rudder on my surfski. Of course, I don't surf my surfski backwards! ;)

  4. rudders - me too. I won't necessarily disparage them - especially for racers, but they're not for me.
    The last one I had was the 1st time I paddled up the (Oz) east coast, I paddled an Arctic Raider (subsequent 3 trips up I used an NDK Explorer). Bent the rudder any number of times (reef, etc), but had one especially difficult day when, on launch (from Cape Bowling Green), mid-way through surf (2 or 3 sets), got flipped and had some difficulty rolling back up. When finally making it, the rudder was halfway down and not adjustable. I had a long paddle across a 25 mile bay - with the rudder deployed at an angle that I had to fight against the whole way (when coming out through the surf, it was still pre-dawn morning - I did not want to go back in to make the fix).

    Backwards surf: A bit tricky with this technique, so start off by paddling backwards:
    When starting to go off course - bow cross paddle. Note: not the 'standard' bow draw, but, on a normal forward stroke, continue across the bow, then correct your backward direction with an inward stroke.

    btw, I'm not much of a 'commenter', but love your blog & videos, 'good on ya'

    request, you being a 'gear' guy (I'll give you a few years to work on this one):
    Attach a PUR-06 watermaker (desalinator), either on foot pegs or in center, so it could be pumped (via foot) while underway. (intake & outgoing hoses would either have to snake back through cockpit, or through hull).
    The 06 is very inefficient (less than 1 liter/hour), but is easy to pump.
    I'm waiting for a more efficient portable desalinator.

    Jacksonville, FL US

    1. Andy, thank you for the tips on backsurfing... let's see if I can get my head around the technique you describe thou :-)
      Re the PUR-06. The unit is very compact indeed and rather slow. I can see possibilities for a potential mount on the cross bar inside the cockpit. Looking at the manual however I see that the handle needs a long travel to operate and a cycle of 80rpm!
      If you supply a unit I would be happy to work on int and come up with a custom carbon fibre mount for it.
      It might work well while sea kayak cruising but I think it would be a bit tricky to operate while backsurfing :-)
      Seriously, I am up for the challenge.

  5. How do you spell having a blast?……………..GETTING GNARLY!!!!!! WICKED< WICKED my friend.


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