Front Surfing & Carving
The feeling of front surfing and carving around on a river or ocean wave in a kayak is so amazing that as soon as you’ve done it once you’ll be hooked. There are so many amazing waves out there its worth putting the time in to master this skill so that you can then put it to the test on many different waves.
How to front surf
The trick to the front surf is leaving the eddy in the right way so you are already in the best position possible to surf.
1. Set yourself ready in the eddy a little downstream from the wave and with your bow pointing upstream as if your going to do a normal ferry.
2. Leave the eddy with a little bit of speed, cross the eddy line and aim to get your boat and butt onto the wave just in front (upstream) of the very peak of the wave.
3. Use rudders and / or forwards stokes keep the boat pointing upstream and carve around the wave
How to Carve
We use our boats edges to carve around the face of the wave.
If you want to carve (surf) right.
1. Lean forward
2. Drop your right edge
3. Angle your boat to the right just slightly
4. Use a left rudder to control your angle and speed
When you are ready to front surf again or carve the other way
5. Drop your left edge
6. Use the rudder or a small back sweep to turn your boat back to face upstream again
7. Carve back and forth and enjoy the amazing feeling of carving up a wave. Or sit and relax in a nice front surf until your tired or its time to go
Start on something small and build up.
Stay with in the ‘surfable bounds’ of the wave. Keep your bow pointing upstream and remain in the more retentive area so you can carve back and fourth and not flush off the wave.
The steeper the wave, the harder the carving angle you can take and the faster you can go.
Don’t be afraid of flipping over its part of the sport. So chose a feature that has a nice friendly run off behind it where you have plenty of time to test your roll and a safe place to swim should you need to.
Try and minimise the number of paddle strokes you use. Using a rudder helps you conserve energy whilst still staying in control.