× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Best way to find downwind runs

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #31836 by mrgreenfur
I'm new to surfskis; with my old kayaks I usually paddle in the long island sound. Now that I don't fall off the ski every stroke, I'm curious how to find some good downwind runs.

Do ya'll look at wind maps to find steady breezes? What windspeeds usually make nice waves?

Do you do one way trips or end up paddling against the wind half the distance?

Thanks in advance!
Last edit: 5 years 8 months ago by mrgreenfur.

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5 years 8 months ago #31838 by zachhandler
In my experience it is only really adequate wind if it is enough to make whitecaps. Even tiny white caps will do. This seems to start at around 15 mph. I use the windfinder website of my favorite locations and follow it like a junkie. Clicking on the “superforecast” link will give you a more accurate forecast but only 3 days into the future.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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5 years 8 months ago #31839 by mrgreenfur
Thanks Zach! Do you get exhausted paddling into 15mph or do you setup a pickup a few miles away?

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5 years 8 months ago #31842 by davgdavg
Windy.com is great to just ok depending on where you are. You don't necessarily need strong winds, but you do need windswell (swell periods under +-10 seconds) with the best being around 4 feet and 7 seconds (to me). My guess is that in the sound you won't get that without strong winds though.

Its also best when you have the winds aligned parrallel to the shore. Currents, coastlines, and bathymetries affect the "cleaness" of the water too though. Good, reliable, downwind runs are not especially easy to find, which IMO is why certain ones become famous/popular.

Most people don't like to paddle upwind. Depending on the conditions it can get really tiresome after only 5-6kms of it, especially if it is choppy.

The best advice is probably to find some more experienced paddlers and learn from them.

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