I have been surfing for about a year; at times I find it difficult to paddle out of the way of incoming surfers. It can be one of the most challenging moments of the surfing experience and has been known to make local surfers angry at times; luckily I have not had this happen. I am one to not get angry and understand other surfers will now and then get in the way accidently, and can be expected from beginners and can even happen to advanced surfers.
While viewing the video footage and seeing how determined/focused the little kid was when paddling out gave me the idea to post about paddling out. I noticed how he didn’t see me on the wave and heading his way. In the video footage it does look to be a little close, though I kicked the board out and had full control. The go pro video seemed to make it look like we collided. I believe I could have performed a cutback earlier, though it just happened so fast I decided to kick off the back to make sure I didn't hit the little man. What do you guys think I should have done?
Strangely enough, prior to this event, his own dad had run him over when taking off down the wave, glad the kid was not hurt. Poor little guy was having a tough morning paddling out. The young kid asked 'dad, are you ok?'. I thought to myself, what a tough little guy and respected how caring he was towards his father even if he had just run him over. I believe his father was a little grumpy. I told my girlfriend the story and she said you better not run our kids over if you take them surfing. I laughed and agreed with certainty.
TIPS TO AVOID OTHER SURFERS WHEN PADDELING OUT
Never be indecisive. Choosing to paddle in the right direction needs to be a quick decision and can help the surfer pick his line early. If I had more experience I would have performed a cutback or something to completely avoid him, rather than stopping my ride short and coming so close to the kid paddling out. The one thing this kid did right was that he kept the same line and paddled as hard as he could. Suddenly changing direction can result in a collision.
Once you realise your paths might cross, paddling for the shoulder like this kid in the video can set you up for a potential collision. Paddle for the broken white-water is the safest bet. This is because the surfer does not want to surf the broken white-water, they want to surf the unbroken wave.
Be aware of any surfers coming your way. I did notice in the video the kid made the mistake of not being alert and took his eyes off any incoming surfers. I give him credit for paddling hard and being so young out there is very courageous. When he dove off his board, I did notice he most likely would have been hit. I recommend diving deep under the water to make sure you don't have the nose or fins hit you.
It takes experience to be able to read the waves and know the direction a surfer will take. Majority of the time I get out of the way, though sometimes I have gotten in the way, especially on crowded days. There is nothing worse than feeling like you got in the way of another surfers ride. I always do my best to avoid incoming traffic, though nobody is perfect. We all learn from our mistakes and hopefully we don’t get hurt in the process. Leave your tips below or tell us a story about your surfing experiences when paddling out.
Hope you enjoy the surfing footage at Woonona Beach as it is an unreal exposed surf break on the south coast of NSW. It often has pumping left and rights. The surf works best with a north easterly swell and westerly offshore winds. This beautiful morning was no exception with clean offshore winds and a decent NE swell.
It has been some time when I last posted a surfing video. I have been recovering from a condition known as costochondritis (inflammation of the rib cage). I was told by the doctor to give surfing a break, which I have for a little while, although it doesn't seem to go away. I decided to continue surfing in pain which is better than not surfing at all. Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day and can share some more surfing footage, so stay tuned.