Sea kayak surfing in winter, Kachemak Bay, Alaska.

Yours truly punching through a winter wave in 2005.

After a long day of photo editing yesterday I was weighing my options on the evenings outdoor exercise and fresh air activity. The wind was laying down on Kachemak Bay and from my house I can just barely see the beach- the waves didn’t look big enough for a good surf session on a surf board but the sea kayak is less demanding, AND it had been just over two years since I last surfed the big boat.

Loaded the sea kayak, drove to beach and had second thoughts about my choice of activity as I watched a few 5ft beach break waves crash into the gravel. Definitely worth the drive back home for that helmet that I forgot.

Back at the beach I waited for a lull between sets and happily slid out without any hydro-poundings in the shorebreak. What fun to paddle a slippery fast 18ft kayak through the waves. It’s a totally different experience from paddling out on a 7ft surfboard. I headed down the beach to where a few surfing buddies where out on their longboards riding the mushy wind swell. While the waves were a bit too soft for good surf board rides they were awesome for my re-introduction to sea kayak surfing. The faces on the set waves were roughly 4-5ft high, and the rides were plenty long with the speed of the long kayak allowing me to catch the waves far from the shore and ride them for a couple hundred yards until I was either spat out or slipped off them before getting too close to the boulder strewn beach.

It’s always fun to get back out doing a sport that you haven’t for a while. The thrills are all exciting again, but the muscle memory is still there to make it possible without the learning curve. I used to sea kayak a lot, even instructed with a friend who runs the Alaska Kayak School, but the last couple years my sea kayak mostly collected dust. With a new surf (underwater) housing in my arsenal this summer I plan to develope some new angles on Alaskan sea kayaking. I’ll keep you posted.

The shot below is me once again, this time after paddling backwards over a wave we figured to be about 25ft high on the face. As you might imagine this photo has a story of it’s own.

Both the above photos were taken by a friend, Josiah Pisel, who occasionally joins me on adventures. When I have an idea for a shot that I can’t talk him into modeling for me, he’s usually gracious enough to operate the camera while I do my own modeling.

I’ll leave you with a shot of Josiah heading out for a winters surf kayak during a snow storm in December 2002.