How to Launch a Kayak in a Surf Zone

How to Launch a Kayak in a Surf Zone

This episode of Kayak Fishing Tales is
brought to you by the ACA. Improving the paddle sports experience for over a century. learn more at Although it’s not for everyone, the more adventurous kayak anglers can launch their kayaks in the surf zone to quickly access prime fishing areas. And so in this
video, we’re going to look at how to do this, but I would highly recommend you take the surf kayaking course before you try it yourself. Now first things first – Wearing a life jacket is always important when you’re on the water, but it’s even more important when you head into rough conditions like a surf zone. It’s also important that you’re using the right kayak. which means using a sit-on-top fishing kayak. Sit-on-top kayaks are the best option in surf, because they have scupper holes which let them self-bail, which means they won’t swamp and fill with water like a sit-inside kayak will. assuming you’re wearing a life jacket,and using a sit-on-top fishing kayak, the first thing you need to do is stow your gear inside the kayak before heading out. You have to assume that anything you leave out will get lost or get broken. different sit-on-top kayaks have different levels of access inside, they also have varying capacities, and so you might need to reduce the amount of tackle you would normally carry with you. It’s also a good idea to minimize the gear
you bring, to minimize the load you need to paddle out, because the heavier kayak a is, the less responsive it will be. When it comes to launching, you’ll want to
choose a gradually sloping beach, because it lets you walk your kayak into the water, and the waves don’t tend to dump as hard. Remember that waves is come in sets, and so take your time and let the bigger sets roll through before ‘going for it’. When that
time comes, grab the bow of your kayak and put into knee-deepish water, while
keeping it pointed directly into the oncoming waves. When you see an opening, hop onto your kayak as soon as the wave passes, and start paddling out, keeping your boat pointed directly into the oncoming waves. If a wave that’s coming at you is breaking. Keeping your boat pointed straight becomes that much more important. You’ll also want to hit that breaking wave
with a little extra speed, so take a couple of good hard strokes going into
it and then plant a last stroke into the wave as it hits you. This last stroke
will not only help pull you through the wave, that will help keep you balanced.
Using the above technique, and with some practice, you’ll be able to paddle out through some mild or moderate surf in your fishing kayak. but here are a few more tips to
keep you safe in the surf zone. 1st off, it’s never a good idea to
paddle alone – Especially in the surf zone. Secondly, if you’re not on your kayak, it’s important that you always keep yourself between the kayak and the
incoming wave. If the kayak ends up between you and the wave, the wave can
slam the kayak into you, and having a 70-pound kayak thrown into you by an
ocean wave is no joke. Well I hope you found this video helpful,
and if you did please subscribe to the Kayak Fishing Tales YouTube channel for more
tips and tricks. I’m Jeff Herman, we’ll see you next time.

Antonio Breitenberg

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18 thoughts on “How to Launch a Kayak in a Surf Zone

  1. manny says:

    Great Video!

  2. Fernando Salamanca says:

    First comment gets a free kayak right?

  3. Grunter says:

    Super drone shots from above over the breakers . Amazing quality work , as usual . Always impressive .

  4. Jimmy Rodriguez says:

    Where can i find a surf kayaking course here on the Island ?

  5. matty tripps says:

    a sit in kayak won't fill with water either if you have a spray skirt

  6. BfishN says:

    nice info. good quality vid.Thanks

  7. Everything Jay says:

    can you surf launch
    a 9foot kyak


    As much as you need to now how to go into the sea, we must know how to go out later.

  9. See Mee says:

    this would not work in the winter in hawaii.

  10. Francois De Waal says:

    You guys should try South African made Stealth kayaks. They are composite, much faster, and made for big surf. There is agent in USA

  11. Jj Sands says:

    where is the video on how to LAND in a surf zone?

  12. texas fishing finatic says:

    Is that 61st street peir at galvenston?

  13. Muskrat says:

    Jeff, which Jackson were you on in the video? I have a Big Tuna that I love, and am looking to get a surf launchable yak next (and I'm a big guy).

  14. mihai7 says:

    Problem its coming back 😂

  15. Nauti Fish says:

    Awesome vid thank you Jeff.

  16. ViveCrypto says:

    lacks any real information

  17. Alex Bunn says:

    I understand your logic saying it won’t swamp like a sit inside kayak, but have you heard of spraydecks

  18. Alex Bunn says:

    The other thing that happens is surfing in hope this info helps:
    Sit on tops are hard to surf in
    Without knee straps you have little to no control and any empty storage bays will fill with water, faster than the drainage holes can empty it. This makes the boat very unstable, which isn’t the most confidence inspiring.
    Best thing is to try and stay straight and lean into the wave if you get sideways, it’ll stop you from tipping.
    Always good to get in some surf only days starting on small waves and working your way up, with the gradual increase your technique will improve then getting in won’t seem as much of an issue.

    And getting off early and walking the boat in is a viable option if you don’t feel confident that you can get in, depending on the ferocity of the water, if the waves are too big this might get difficult.

    Another thing to learn with knee straps would be rolling which takes the issue of capsizing out of the picture, once you’re confident enough anyway.

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