"wake surfing" the yak

pequa1

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Dec 23, 2018
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another thread in another forum has me pondering a certain situation on the bay. I mainly fish the channels marked by the 5mph zones but motorboats (as I did when I boated) literally fly be just to the outside of the buoys. Even with the higher waves from the wakes, I usually float right over them broadside, and only occasionally have a "washover" which is welcome on a hot July morning. My pondering involves "riding" one of those wakes. This is the only time I have ever felt really tippy, despite both hands on the paddle and the rod in its Scotty. It usually seems to happen when the wave is going in the opposite direction to the current, as I paddle back to start another drift for fluke or weaks. (Maybe I am not perpendicular to the wake wave?) Rationalizing the old " let that guy in the Sea Ray help me get back to start another drift." Should I just wait for the wake to dissipate or is there another trick I can use?
 

fishyhands

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Feb 8, 2019
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I've done it on a SUP but it's real hard on a kayak. If you lose it on a yak it can get ugly quick, like tossed really bad if the bow digs in, or it planes to the side. To see what I mean, look for videos where people try to launch in the surf. I did see one of the two owners of Empire Kayak (Mike and Gabby) do it in a white water kayak vicinity of Long Beach, but he's as good as it gets. If you bump into him at his shop or a kayak event, ask. I did see someone do it at Rockaway in a white water kayak modified for surfing (short and really curved) and he took it across the inlet to hit one of the standing waves that forms near Silver Point when the tide runs. It looked fun but there was a couple of times he wiped out and I was like, "oh hell noooo"...
 

pequa1

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Dec 23, 2018
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SWMBO and I rented a tandem at Kailua Bay (Oahu) in 2011 to semi celebrate my retirement. Launching was a challenge. I think I still got bumps on my shins. Coming back though was a lot of fun, hence my stupidity in trying to surf the occasional cabin cruiser wake. I really need to respect my age, turn the damn yak sideways, and float over them. That said, when one is in that "zone" where the water shallows and the wakes become breakers...
 
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fishyhands

New Angler
Feb 8, 2019
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If I were to do it, I'd look for a standing wave from a running tide, out of boat traffic, and not far from shore. The inlets have quite a few, and I bet there may be some around the parkway bridges. I know some rivers have that, and I remember as a kid someone trying in a aluminum canoe in the Housatonic, and wound up bending it like a banana around a rock. Again, try someone who's got a rental place, they may know of a spot and would rent you a yak. I've seen Mike from Empire Kayak do in years ago in Long Beach, and he was able to surf stuff you couldn't touch on a board because of being able to paddle. Once I can get the hang of doing it that way, then I'd consider trying a boat wake, but my first inclination is to avoid boats unless I know the captain and it's off the busy waterways.
 

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