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Mooloolaba, Australia Surf, photo: from video

TCSurfski on the advantages of a surfski for all kinds of surfing. But don't be fooled by anything on this page or in the surfing videos into thinking this is a walk in the park. Taking your surfski through surf of any appreciable size takes skill and practice and involves considerable risk for your equipment and your body. South Africans and Australians have to learn and practice this in many places because they often have to go out through sizable surf just to get to their downwind run options and many of them have to learn to negotiate surf as an integral part of surf lifesaving. But even their best paddlers destroy boats and sometimes get injured. There is no magic formula that can always keep you from getting hammered because surf is not always possible to predict or correctly time.

Getting In and Out Through The Surfzone

Surf Zone Tips For Novices


Sharon Armstrong Demonstrates Patience and Timing Going Out and Getting In Through Surf


Getting Through Multiple Surf Breaks - Mocke Paddling

Surfing (for practice and fun)

The Mockes often include surfing practice in shore break (in appropriate conditions) in their surfski courses and camps. With waves that are not too steep or close together this can be great fun, and it is also very good training for learning how to control your ski on waves - which will carry over to better wave surfing when downwinding. If your home doesn't have any consistent shorebreaks, look around and see what you might be able to use, whether it is a nearby tide race with standing waves or waves moving up a river or a spot within reasonable driving distance that has surfable boat wakes. Some day you may even want to travel to one of those ultimate wave locations to catch a 3-6 minute ride.

Mocke Brothers - Choosing Waves to Surf


Mocke Brothers & Kyle Friedenstein Advanced Surfski Surfing Kalk Bay, Cape Town


Getting Caught Sideways in Surf


Great Surfing Video in Australia (Experts with Plastic Surfskis)


Youtube Technical Comments About This Aussie Video:

Frank Ladd:

Wow! I do want to suggest surf handles for your boats. These are nylon straps with knots in them that tie to your hard handles and clear the end of your boat. The strap bounces along in the water and does not significantly slow you down. When you crash you have an easy way to grip your boat at the end without the end of the boat beating your hands up. Very handy if you get caught on the inside out of your boat.

Hamish Worsley:

Thanks Frank, that's a good call. Holding the boat after a stack is always a challenge and often we just let them go if its pretty big and take the swim! We have used leg-ropes but they can tangle you up and drag you with the boat in big surf, which is not ideal!

Mark Schroeder:

Awesome guys. Curious.. did you go leashless? Any issues losing the boats/long swims in wipeouts? Also noticed no pfds, presumably to be able to duck diver under?

Hamish Worsley:

Hi Mark. We generally are leashless (except small waves in crowded areas) but you're right, this means some pretty long swims! We have trialed a leash a few times but I think it increases the risk in bigger surf (straining your hip or being dragged underwater with your boat). We counter that by going out in a group of at least two, so one can generally help with the boat rescue! We are also increasingly wearing impact vests , which help provide some protection and buoyancy but still let you dive.

Las Canteras Beach Surfing - Gran Canaria Island


photo from video


Haifa, Israel Surfing - Dueling Flippers


photo from video

Longest Waves for Surfing

Surfing Boat Wakes & Wash

This is about riding behind larger boats - powered by motors usually, but sailboats can provide fine rides also.

Jefferson Sestaro Riding Ship Wake - Porto, Brazil

Further Reading/Research on Surf(ing)

  • If you want to learn more about surf you could sign up on a website like surfline. The emphasis there is more about traditional board surfing but there is much to learn and understand about waves and wave prediction that could help with surfski surfing.
  • If you want to do a fair amount of surfing with a surfski you might want to consider a spec or plastic ski. This wiki is primarily focused on ocean racing surfskis, but they are not necessarily the best solution for the range of function that everyone may wish to have - given their local paddling options and preferences.

What Surf Practice Can Look Like