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in the surf

Posted Nov 27 2006 12:00am
Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have the magic technique
When we sway I go weak
- dean martin

Ok, I’m sorry Kent. And I do mean that. But I would have never thought of buying “In The Surf – Performance Surf Kayaking” from Performance Video. Thing is, my surfing really sucks too. Well, to be fair a sea kayak has it’s own special way of surfing AND the Great Lakes have their own special kind of surf. Most often a Kennmore kind of thing. . .Together they make for a different experience than you’d find on the sunny west coast of California. But recently I had an opportunity to get a copy of the VHS version and have to say, I quite enjoyed it. . and learned a bit along the way.

Here’s what Performance Video has to say;

“This instructional video is targeted at sea kayakers, whitewater kayakers, and surfers: No matter what their paddling background, we will show how to play the ocean swells in a kayak.

Learn about the specialized boat designs… advantages and limitations. Learn about the dynamic ocean environment… including wave evaluation and selection, and rudder techniques. Maneuvers in the green, and in the whitewater are explained and demonstrated. Includes exclusive interview with famed big wave surfer Richard Schmidt on surf zone etiquette. “

And that’s about right really. Certainly this is a fast overview and you can’t watch a video and go out on the water and suddenly be great at anything. Paddling techniques, posture, and blade presentation are covered quickly which is not really a surprise as you really should know how to control your kayak before you ever attempt surfing big waves. :) Basic maneuvers are covered but fly by and you’ll find yourself pausing and going back a bunch of times to get the gist of them. My favorite bit was where they set up a funky model of a wave using poster board, cello tape, an old bench and shaving cream!! Honestly that had me giggling all night! What “In The Surf” does an especially good job of is helping viewers visualize waves, find the great wave and the perfect spot. I got a lot of out this section. I was also impressed that they took a moment to address fear a bit. Hey, big waves are scary for all of us!! There are certainly bits in the video that feel a bit out of date but nothing too drastic. For the most part the good information is still good information. Boat types come and go, avoid that high brace as much as possible. . . If you’re new to kayaking and want an introduction to surf this is a good video for you. The DVD version will make it much easier to examine those maneuvers. Sure, it’s got that twinkling eye, Dean Martin, whiskey finger, happy instructor thing going on, but if you can get past that you’ll learn quite a bit.

You can get a copy of “In The Surf” right here.

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