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

How to avoid broaching?

13 years 1 week ago #7058 by zachhandler
Looking for some technique advice. I'm new to surfski (9 months) but have paddled a sprint boat for years. I'm trying to figure out how to avoid broaching when surfing on the diagonal. I am 1500 miles inland, so the only waves we have are are short steep wind waves, usually 2 - 4 feet (trough to crest) though occasionally they've been as big as 6 - 8 feet. I'm in a v12 with the standard rudder. If i surf straight down the face i go straight, but just bury the bow. If i try to surf at an angle occasionally I scoot along nicely. but more often I get turned too far sideways and get tipped, or just fall off the wave and get wallowed with a full bucket.

Any advice would be much appreciated, and I'm sure I'm not the only one reading here that needs the help!

FYI I just got a surf rudder but have yet to install it.

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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13 years 1 week ago #7059 by [email protected]
The surf rudder will help.

The key though is speed; if you're going too slow, there's not much you can do to prevent the broach. The faster you're going, the more the rudder will bite.

Oscar Chalupsky always talks about "explosive strokes" to get on a run. What I think he means is that in a couple of strokes he gets up to speed and then has greater control.

Of course it's quite tricky to balance and get the strokes in while you're rocking at the top of the wave... but it comes with practice!


Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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12 years 7 months ago - 12 years 7 months ago #8338 by DougMar
Replied by DougMar on topic Re: How to avoid broaching?
AS Robin said, keep the speed up, try to hang on the face of the wave as long as possible (stop paddling, relax), watch the wave you're on, and also the surrounding waves. Identify and traverse to the wave in proximity to you with the best slope. Use a lot of body english, ie, lean forward to jump onto and go down the top of a wave faster; lean aft to get the rudder and aft hull to dig in while on the face. If at all possible, do not allow a wave to sneak up and peak (break) under you. This happens mostly within a mile of a lee shore due to reflective waves. The resultant bath water will slow you down and it'll happen all over again until you drain and get your speed up. I'm not sure if the Anderson Mini Bailer is slower than a bullet or two, but my V12 takes what seems like eternity to drain a full cockpit while battling clapotis in heavy, near-shore conditions. Obviously, speed is of the essence.

Practice those explosive strokes. Do a lot of dead-stop sprints in smoother water. Do some resitive weight and plyo training. Try some boxing. That WILL help with explosiveness.

I'm sure your new surf rudder has helped alot, too. I have also done a lot of fairing of both the regular and surf rudders from Epic. This has seemed to have helped prolong the flow over the rudders in rough conditions. Both rudders were somewhat unfair, both along the seam lines, and the surfaces as well. Took a file to fair the seam lines, a sanding block to fair the surfaces. Faired with epoxy with carbon powder additive to fill in the hollows and molding defects. Then sanded again. Lightly filed the trailing edge normal to centerline plane to create a fine, sharp, squared section. The results are splendidly smooth and silky rudders that perform better than anything you could purchase.
Last edit: 12 years 7 months ago by DougMar.

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  • RobH
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12 years 7 months ago #8350 by RobH
Replied by RobH on topic Re: How to avoid broaching?
Zach - I really noticed that problem with the V12 standard rudder as well. I just couldn't hold a large difference to the wave direction without broaching more than I would expect. I switched to the surf rudder and noticed an improvement. Amost every downwind paddle I did this year (Lk Michigan) involved the bigger swell coming at about a 45 from the right/rear. As a result I'm starting to be more aggressive and confident at that point Rob mentioned, where the boat is kind of teetering as the wave passes underneath at an angle. The aggressiveness I suppose keeps the boat moving, making the broach less likely. I have a ton to learn though - it always seems like there's a lot more potential speed out there... I'd sure love to get out with someone who's good at this and see how it's done properly.

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12 years 7 months ago #8351 by Rightarmbad
The V12 comes with the surf rudder as standard in Australia.....

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