For many paddlers, playing in the waves is the most fun you can have in your boat. But many others, including some experienced paddlers, avoid even the small surf that they once delighted in as children. To make friends with the waves, you have to spend some time with them. This article will give you a few simple exercises to introduce yourself to mild surf so you can build familiarity, boat-control skills, and confidence.
Tip #1 you already know: Start small! These exercises will work fine in 6-12" waves. Anything bigger than that and you should go with a pro and wear a helmet.
Note! You should never paddle alone. And certainly do not try to make friends with surf without a skilled paddling buddy who is comfortable in the conditions that you're introducing yourself to.
So: next time you go by some baby surf, instead of paddling on by, stop in and stay awhile.
Table of Contents
page 1 Making Friends with Surf
page 2 Getting Acquainted
page 3 Leaning on a Friend
page 4 Landing and Launching in Surf
page 5 Surfing and Broaching