Surf Lessons from the Sea

Throwing your weight around can be a good thing.
Foot straps and foot plates really help to shift your weight forward and back.

The foot straps in the picture above are actually re purposed handles rivets in place on my Cobra Revision.  So far it has worked well for me.  On my next project I am thinking of installing a pulling bar on my Kestrel 140 like some of the racing paddlers use for even less floppiness and more secure footing.

Surf straps save hands.  I never let go of the boat soon enough.  Surf straps made of 2 inch webbing with a knot in it can be a real hand saver when attached to the bow and stern.  They drag in the water and can look a little dorky, but they really help when you are trying to lead the boat on your way out or in from the surf.

Playing in the white wash can really help your skills.
Maria calls this playing in the weenie waves, but it really help to be very comfortable here.  Working to be able to take these little white waves right on your side has really helped my bracing skills.  I've also learned a lot about the easier ways to get out by not trying to get out.  I learn move about paddling and boat handling here than anywhere else.  It is also nice that you are right near the shore so you can just stand up when you get dumped.  You can get dumped a dozen times in a day here before you are worn out.  It's a lot easeir than learning on a deeper break where each capsize or failed roll can result in a long swim accompanied by multiple beat downs from breaking waves.

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