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 Post subject: Side Surfing Advice ??
PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 11:49 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2005, 9:22 am
Posts: 287
Location: Wenatchee, WA
I have not done a whole lot of surfing. Today I got myself in a situation I could not get out of. I was paddling tandem in the stern of a Wenonah Rogue with a inexperienced bow paddler. We were front surfing and doing great. It some how turned into a side surf. I was padlding on the downstream side, and leaning downstream for all I was worth and doing sculling draw strokes. We were not moving. Eventually I got tired and allowed the boat to capsize to the upstream side. We were in no danger and quickly swam to shore. Afterward I found out my bow paddler had been leaning upstream. My question is how could I have extracted us out of that situation other than letting the boat be window-shaded like I did???


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 6:25 am 
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Joined: July 16th, 2006, 8:59 pm
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Location: Now in Sudbury
I'm not familiar with the terms. Were you on a river surfing a standing wave, ocean shore or end of a long lake, or surfing waves on a lake in the wind?

You could always tell your bow paddler to stop paddling and not lean. Inexperienced bow paddlers sometimes need to be told what to do, or what not to do as the case may be. You could always let the canoe turn right around 180 degrees if you can't get it to go back to the direction you wanted. You could always switch sides and pry.

I'm not exactly sure what you were doing so it's hard to suggest what might be best. Could you explain it again sticking to the physics with a lot of detail?


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 6:59 am 
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Joined: April 1st, 2003, 9:40 am
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Location: Toronto,ON
Hello John, not too many side surfing tandem paddlers out there :).

Hopefully you'll get your partner to lean (J-Lean) downstream next time. The trick is to lean downstream but no so much as to take water from the splashing froth.

Side surfing wave have stoppers at each end of the wave. Smile shaped waves are easier to exit then Frown shaped waves. For practice/experiments the Smile shaped wave are better because of the downstream exit, Frown shaped waved require an upstream exit.

To exit a Side-Surf, surf/ferry to the weaker of the stoppers and manage the approach speed to the strength of the stopper. A weak stopper will let the boat slide out into the downstream flow, a strong well defined stopper will require a paddle to be inserted into the main downstream flow. In tandem if the stopper is in front of the canoe then the bow paddler will make the big reach, if the stopper is behind the canoe then the stern paddler will be contorting to reach the clean current (be careful of shoulder strains/separations).

Darryl H.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 8:41 am 
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Joined: April 14th, 2004, 4:26 pm
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Location: Toronto
If the foam pile is not too big you can shove the paddle on the UPSTREAM side of the boat in the bow. Catch the green water and spin THROUGH the foam. You need a SOLID brace and thigh straps for that to work. Once there is spinning motion a BIG forward stroke can pull through the hydrolic.

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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 9:41 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Darl-h did a nice job of explaining how to get out of a side surf. Smiling waves from upstream are much easier to got out of than frowning waves. Some evaluation of the wave shape, and the size of the stoppers at the ends of the wave before surfing is always a good idea.

One thing to consider is how can you change the shape of the canoe to decrease how much hull is presented to wave you are surfing on. I've found that heel, pitch and alternate paddle placements can really help to release a hull that is "stuck on the surfwave".

PK


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 9:45 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2005, 9:22 am
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
Ghost, Darryl H, Dan
I should have explained the situation better. We were surfing about a two foot high hole formed by the water going over a sandstone ledge. This ledge begins at the rivers edge and extends out about twenty feet. We started out front surfing, but some how got ourselves sideways. We were then in a situation with the bow almost against a boulder at river's edge. I was paddling on the downstream side. We stayed put side-surfing for a good thirty seconds. I was leaning clear out of the boat with a sculling high brace on the downriver side. I was fighting the force that finally overcame us and flipped the boat. My bow paddler was paddling on the upriver side. Frankly I was not paying much attention to what he was doing, as I was struggling myself. It was afterward that he told me he was leaning upstream, as he thought he should lean into the wave.

I think I have come up with my own answer. I should have asked him to switch, so that we were both paddling on the downriver side. Then we would have had a better anchor against the force that was rotating the boat to the upstream side. One of us could then start back-paddling and get us out of there.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 10:12 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Ledges can really be ugly, but often they are the only waves that create a long enough hydraulic to surf (especially in my neck of the woods). So I surf them pretty often. I agree, your bow paddler's lean could have prolonged your surf assisting you in getting out. Both switching to the downstream side might be a good idea intially, but both paddling on the same side can create it's own set of challenges as well getting the canoe out. But getting onto a ledge created roller is often much easier than getting off. Remember, ledge rollers are essentially natural low head dams, so windowshading is a strong possibility, and if the ledge is tall enough the possibility for being retained can become an reality.

PK


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