don't need a wave machine. Just a webbing sling can be used to make
a fairly good simulation of taking a breaking wave broadside. Handling
your kayak in the surf zone is dependent upon your ability
to stay upright when hit by a wave while in a broached position because, sooner or later, you'll end up
broached with waves hitting you broadside. If you do not learn this
essential skill, you will never feel comfortable or be very successful
in the surf zone. In addition to learning how to keep from getting
capsized upon the initial impact, knowing how to side-surf to shore
while balanced over your kayak will help you stay upright.
Most students are very anxious during their first encounter with
the surf zone. The usual dry-land drills never seem to prepare them
for the feeling of being hit by a wave while broached. A drill in
calm water can simulate the force of the impact from a wave and give you the chance to try side surfing
so that you'll know what to expect before entering the real surf
zone. By practicing in calm water, you will experience less anxiety,
you can quickly be righted if a capsize occurs, and you can gain
immediate feedback from an instructor, who is right there, and not
chasing you through the surf. A fairly good simulation can be done
with the aid of a rescue sling, instead of a wave machine.
|photo A - Anticipating the wave, the kayaker has edged the kayak while maintaining her balance over her boat.