Surfing

boikie

New Member
Thread starter #1
I have a very basic question regarding surfing waves: what should you be looking at when trying to do this?

When you're faster than the waves I guess you should be looking ahead of you for the lower spots or valleys.

What about when you're slower than the waves? Should you be looking behind you?

I find it rather difficult to know where to concentrate my gaze.
 
#2
Ground swell, surface chop, or an actual surf break? If ground swell and/or surface chop are big enough to surf, you'll feel the surge of motion as your boat catches each wave. If the waves are rolling up under your boat from astern or from the quarter, you'll feel the stern rise... this is when I'd pump the mainsheet a few times, perhaps also lean forward and grab the rail to "make the drop" as the wave took hold of my boat. More of an instinctive feel for what's about to happen, though looking astern or off the quarter doesn't hurt either, it can help you get set for the next ride. Live ballast trim is critical, I'd often keep my upper body moving in various directions to better control the boat and keep her smoothly sailing. If you're sailing off the wind, raise the daggerboard to a height which allows you keep up with the waves and still maintain control. :rolleyes:

Surfing a break is trickier, but it can be done safely if precautions are taken: first study the break relative to the wind, and figure out which direction you want to take. Beam or broad reach is best, and you want to be out on the wide shoulder of a peeling break, not where the barrel is breaking and the lip is pitching forward. Once you match the speed of your boat to the speed of the wave, you can catch an exhilarating ride without endangering yourself or your boat, though this is best attempted by an experienced sailor. Sail too fast and you'll outrun the breaking wave, too slow and you'll need to turn up and over the wave face to avoid swamping or disaster. I used to sail parallel to a break and work up boat speed before altering course slightly to catch the next wave. Ride the broad shoulder and exit the wave in a timely manner to avoid disaster in the impact zone. :eek:

REMEMBER, DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF NAUTICAL VALOR, LOL... IF ANYTHING FEELS WRONG, GET THE HECK OUTTA THERE AND TRY AGAIN WITH A BETTER APPROACH. ;)
 

thieuster

Active Member
#3
REMEMBER, DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF NAUTICAL VALOR, LOL... IF ANYTHING FEELS WRONG, GET THE HECK OUTTA THERE AND TRY AGAIN WITH A BETTER APPROACH. ;)

... and remember not to bury the boat's nose in the wave... A sudden halt. The pressure in the sail can snap the mast, as we found out a few weeks back. Costly weekend.

Perhaps this helps: Part of a larger video; Dutch sailors heading downwind on the North Sea, near The Hague (the spot for the 2022 World Championship Sailing)

Down wind
 
#4
Yes, watch the pitch... on the relatively shallow Salton Sea, the surface chop was so steep in 20+ knots of breeze that I had to constantly keep an eye on the bow and alter course slightly now and then to avoid pitchpoling. Burying the bow in the back of the next chop wave would have led to an immediate capsize... or an automatic death roll, LOL. :eek:

I'm off to do more home rehab, I ran to the hardware & lumber store to pick up four more floor registers and figured I'd check the web on my way home. I could've repainted four of the old vents, but the three new floor registers I bought last week look so good in the new carpet that I decided to simply buy four more and toss the cr@ppy old ones covered in crud & rust, yeah? :rolleyes:
 

boikie

New Member
Thread starter #5
on the relatively shallow Salton Sea
That's where the flat earthers were debunked right? LOL
REMEMBER, DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF NAUTICAL VALOR, LOL... IF ANYTHING FEELS WRONG, GET THE HECK OUTTA THERE AND TRY AGAIN WITH A BETTER APPROACH. ;)

... and remember not to bury the boat's nose in the wave... A sudden halt. The pressure in the sail can snap the mast, as we found out a few weeks back. Costly weekend.

Perhaps this helps: Part of a larger video; Dutch sailors heading downwind on the North Sea, near The Hague (the spot for the 2022 World Championship Sailing)

Down wind
Dank u Menno, the Dutch lads are TOP NOTCH

Ground swell, surface chop, or an actual surf break?
Regarding where to keep your gaze on, what you're saying is rather than constantly looking aft, you should feel the surge and manoeuver accordingly, right? What about those light-to-mid air days when it's harder to get the feel of waves?
 
#6
That'll be trickier, best to try surfing when there's sufficient breeze to give you good boat speed... and it's absolutely necessary to have boat speed when surfing a peeling break, otherwise you'll make the local rag (front page, above the fold) as the "star" of a maritime disaster, LOL. :eek:
 
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