Latest Surfski News

Tuesday, 17 October 2023 07:11
“What the bloody hell are you doing here?” I thought to myself a few moments after launching on the brand new V10 4G for the first time. It was getting dark; it was raining; the squalls were lifting sheets of spray off the water… directly offshore. What WAS I thinking? The answer is that I’m a sucker for new toys – and if I get my hands on one, I HAVE to play with it. Damn the weather, full speed ahead… Since then I’ve paddled the boat many more times, in much pleasanter weather. Here’s what I think of this,…
Thursday, 08 June 2023 12:42
East London, South Africa: Angus Warren watched helplessly as the shark’s teeth crunched through the hull of his surfski. “It seemed to go on and on,” he says, “pushing and chomping. I was thinking, why is it not working out that it isn’t food? “I can’t tell how long it took, but I had enough time to shout a couple of times to the others.” The next thing he knew, he was in the water…
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Thursday, 27 April 2023 18:42
CAPE TOWN - Hank McGregor and Josh Fenn convincingly claimed back their Prescient Freedom Paddle title on Thursday in a dramatic race marked by tough conditions and a rain-delayed start.  Conditions were extremely tough - a brisk northwester blowing spray from the big confused chop into the paddlers' faces as they headed out to the island.  Huge breaking surf on the far side of the island ensured a wide line but the wind dropped as the fleet started on the journey back to the finish, making it that much more difficult and energy sapping to catch the runs.  
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Tuesday, 25 April 2023 11:50
Last Friday, however, I paddled with Dawid on a windless autumn evening in Cape Town. Cruising from Fish Hoek to Muizenberg, we paddled together, stopping at all the coves to surf a few waves. In short, the operative word was "fun". This was a different Dawid - off duty - and, well, I've never paddled with anyone so noisy before. Whistling, singing, shouting to folks on shore - yahooing as he caught a wave. Heading home at dusk we crept up behind a group of seals lazing on the surface. Dawid began barking like a five-year-old paid by the bark...until…
Thursday, 09 February 2023 07:39
A look back - aaaaargh! A mountain. Let it go through... A smaller one, with a glimpse of something massive lurking further out to sea. Catch it, catch it! Sprint, sprint, you’re on it, here’s the break zone, keep going, keep going, the roar from behind and the sudden acceleration as a massive foamy caught up to me, keep it straight, keep it straight... Phew. Arrived. Panting. Stop the watch. ok. Made it. Empty the boat, pick it up to prevent it knocking you down. Done.
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Saturday, 26 November 2022 17:16
The South Africans cleaned up today at the most prestigious surfski race in Australia – arguably the most prestigious race in the world - taking five out of the top six places and the entire podium at the Shaw and Partners “The Doctor” in Perth. Defending women’s champion, Kiwi Danielle McKenzie won the women’s trophy.
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Saturday, 19 November 2022 13:01
Gold Coast paddler, Cory Hill, took first scalp in the five-event ocean ski racing series, the Shaw and Partners WA Race Week, winning the inaugural race today, the 24km Fenn West Coast Downwinder from Fremantle, just south of Perth, to Sorrento Beach. In fine conditions with a 16 knot SSW wind courtesy of the famed Fremantle Doctor, the start off Port Beach was intense with the top paddlers in a terse battle to make the first break.   But it was 33-year-old Hill – the 4-times DOCTOR champ who relishes the Perth conditions – who was able to shake the field…
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Tuesday, 16 March 2021 13:54
It’s not easy to catch a rolling, runaway single ski in 30kt of gusting wind – and as they attempted to grab it, Alex and his doubles partner lost their balance and fell into the water. By the time they’d remounted, the single ski was gone – blown away by the strengthening near-gale. They turned and paddled back upwind to find their buddy.
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Wednesday, 03 March 2021 12:08
Accident reports are easy to write when the story ends happily, but this one didn’t and it’s with a very heavy heart that I’m writing this, with a view to learning what we can from it.
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Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:13
When the NSRI found Duncan MacDonald, he was approximately 6km off Smitswinkel Bay, drifting rapidly further offshore. Gale-force squalls whipped sheets of spray off the waves, reducing visibility almost to nothing. What Happened? Given the small size of the surfski community, there’s always intense interest whenever there’s a rescue. What happened? What did they do wrong? What can we learn from it? Clearly there are lessons to be learnt from any mishap – so here’s a description of what happened, shared with the permission and cooperation of the folks involved in the hope that we might all learn from this…
Friday, 24 April 2020 11:41
Durban – As the continued coronavirus lockdown grips the country, Canoeing South Africa will host a 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event this weekend as a way to raise funds for members of the broader paddling community that have been badly affected by the lockdown.
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Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:35
“Hey, Rob! Help!” The shouts penetrated the sound of the howling wind and crashing waves – and even through the noise it was obvious from the tone of his voice that something was seriously wrong. I turned and headed back upwind.
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Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:43
Many paddlers use Personal Locator Beacons, or tracker apps like SafeTrx on their mobile phones. But handheld VHF radios are also a great choice to consider – especially when they’re DSC-capable like the Standard Horizon HX870E.
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Monday, 24 February 2020 12:01
I finally got my hands on a demo Fennix Swordfish S this weekend and did two Miller's Runs in succession to see if I could feel any difference in handling between the 2018 Swordfish S and the new Fennix model.  Conditions were challenging: False Bay was covered in whitecaps, whipped by a combination of a 25-30kt southeaster and small, confused seas.  The result?  I definitely want to spend more time in this boat.
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Thursday, 26 December 2019 10:30
The shark smashed like a freight train into Roger Swinney’s surfski in an explosion of noise and spray, knocking him off into the water.  “I managed to get back on the ski,” he said, “but I fell off again and as I remounted the second time, I saw the swirl and tips of the shark’s fins. “I didn’t see it clearly, but from the force of it and the movement in the water, it looked big!”
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Rob Mousley

2018 Steelcase Dragon Run Set to Roar

Monday, 22 October 2018 08:14 |

Hong Kong – With less than a month to go before launch, the Steelcase Hong Kong Dragon Run is preparing to greet some of the surfski community’s superb usual suspects as well as a wide range of local paddlers angling to take home some of the event’s largest-ever purse offerings.

Accident Report: French Paddler Dislocates Shoulder

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:03 |

As the avalanche of water broke over him, smashing him off his surfski, Killian Marzin felt an agonizing pain shoot through his shoulder.  He knew he was badly hurt – and the next wave in the set was roaring in towards him…

"Like Being Hit by a Truck" - Samoa Shark Incident

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 10:29 |

All I remember is that it felt like being hit by a truck,” said Andy Wheatley.  “The crunch was pretty impressive!” 

Flung violently off his surfski and into the water, Wheatley’s “first thought was to get back on and go!”

Sprint Finish at European Champs...

Thursday, 11 October 2018 14:00 |

In a desperate all-out, red-lining sprint, the two paddlers put everything they had into the last 300m to the finish.  50m to go and Noé Pelizza surged forward, …but the nose of his black surfski ramped up the back of the next wave and he slowed – just as Esteban Medina, nose down, accelerated onto the run behind him…

Video of the Week - Sharon Armstrong... Again!

Tuesday, 02 October 2018 17:50 |

Yet another one of Sharon's Durban adventures...  Make sure it's switched to 1080p for best results - and if this doesn't get you leaning forward and backwards as you watch it, nothing will...

Surfski Reviews: McGregor Classic and Rhythm

Monday, 01 October 2018 08:56 |

[Editor: Knysna Racing Kayaks released the Lee McGregor-designed Classic and Rhythm surfskis in 2017.  Contributor and passionate surfski paddler Erik Borgnes has been paddling both them; here's what he thinks of these "short" boats...]

Race Report: Sean Rice wins Irish Coast Paddling Champs

Thursday, 27 September 2018 12:12 |

With eight km to go, Sean Rice decided to accelerate.  “There were three of us at that point and I felt I could do a burn to get rid of one of them,” he said.  To his surprise, both Cory Hill and Gordan Harbrecht dropped back.  But the race wasn’t over yet…

Master Class in Surf Technique

Monday, 24 September 2018 20:40 |

Downwind fiend and avid surfski videographer Sharon Armstrong does it again - and produces a video that is a Master Class in how to get through monster surf.   Watch and learn!

€55,000 in Prizes for Inaugural Irish Coast Paddling Championships

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 17:45 |

…and most of the world’s best surfski paddlers, both men and women, are in Ireland to take part.  Here’s what you need to know about the world’s richest surfski race.

Orcas Join Poor Knights Crossing Race in NZ

Monday, 03 September 2018 11:46 |

Sam Mayhew might have left it too late in the race to try to catch the eventual winner, Aussie Sam Djoden, but he did experience a proper adrenalin spike when a breaching orca landed right next to him…  The 2018 Zest Brokers Poor Knights Crossing lived up to the paddlers’ expectations – wildlife, exquisite scenery and hard racing…