wearing a helmet in the surf any comments goatboaters

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ok guys there has been a fair bit of stuff written about wearing a helmet in a river and for the record i always do even if its one ive done 50 times. and if you dont thats your choice i just wont pick up the peices if you refuse to put a lid on when i ask and ill make that clear to you.

however to the disgust of many local surfers (and thats a whole nother topic boys and girls) i paddle my play boat in the surf. being honest i dont always wear a helmet when i surf. for me it depends on the size of the surf if its small i dont if its big i do.
this is beacuse i hit my head in the big stuff with my paddle - when not wearing my helmet, it can get really big and throw you round if the wave rides you instead. but all in all if its small i still wont wear it its got nothing to do with a thrill or making it harder for me it just feels less restrictive

the other thought i have had is when paddling in the surf with friends i should do as well a i have been used as a ski jump before by a friend who was blinded by the the sea spray whipped up by the wind.

and lastly how many sea kayakers do you see wearing helmets? now i know this is almost a different sport for most river paddlers and even me in the surf has different risk because i get amongst the beraking waves

now im bound to be ridiculed for this but bring it on, i hope i havnt offended any sea kayakers or river paddlers or surfers or even bodyboarders for leaving them out. im just courious to see peoples perspective as this is mine

thanks
Mike

dan7's picture

dude, whats up? as a surfer and paddler I can only say that there are a significant number of paddlers who seem to have very little knowledge or respect for the etiquette of surfing. If you were put in danger on the river because of an ignorant surfer floating down the rapids, you too would have reason to be @!#$. Just hope you never drop in on me... It is this attitude that perpetuates surfers' disdain for goatboaters and rightly so I might add

marty's picture

You only have to see wot a surfboard fin can do to a head once to be convinced.

ian's picture

I wear mine all the time in the surf....... you never know when a rogue board or paddle..... or rescue inflatable may strike! You only have 1 brain and it`s delicate :)

mike.b's picture

Great comment I agree

blake's picture

hey brian don't bring skill levels into it/ don't bring us down to yur level "how many poeple can carve on the green....." muppet! i am offended!!!

josh5's picture

Yeah i surf and kayak surf-the reason surfers get so f***d off is cause some (not all) kayakers dont control there kayaks or play to the rules. Surfers always will hassle kayakers cause we have to paddle out by hand and have the hardest time catching waves. You also have to respect that there are far more surfers than kayakers and surfing is always gonna be no.1 on a beach or in the surf. We dont mind kayakers-just stay away from us and youll be fine-there have been reports in NZ of surfers going to the cops about kayakers cause there out of control kayaks dent there boards/hurt them. The rules are clear and square-the person clostet to the breaking part of the wave gets it. Kayakers need to respect that they can get on a wave easier and maybe should go rip on the smaller waves than the surfers will let them have some big ones. If everyone respects eachother than its cool-and by the way we hate bodyboarders way more than kayakers!.

andy7's picture

Hey guys... good to hear this type of informal discussion going on! it's really positive to read and know that we can communicate, passing on ideas about our passion!
I have been a passionate white water paddler for 6years now and a keen surfer.
I'm based in dunedin where there is a vibrant scene of surfers and kayakers. For a while i tried to keep my kayak for the river and my board for surfing- thats what they have been designed for! But i too found the fun you can have in your boat out there with the surfers.

I found that positioning myself away from the drop zone initially will help gain you respect. As stated in an earlier message. let the surfers know you're there. If you're confident that you can hold your line and do your tricks without taking any person out, gradually move closer towards the drop zone. This can be depending on a few characteristics i.e. how big it is, how many there are in the line up, your ability etc.
I feel common sense and good manners are the best answer for this potentially on going problem!

As far as wearing your helmet and PFD in the surf... people make the gear for a reason! All the reasons for not wearing it will sound stupid when you do get hit by your buddies of a board, or if you do swim and struggle to hold on to your gear as well as hold your self up. PDF's keep you warm and give you buoyancy, helmets protect your noggin and also keep head warm- i'm from Dunedin!

P.S. I got my first proper barrel in my boat the other day!! wearing my helmet, PFD and i was amoungst surfers!!

Leave your ego's at home , no one owns the surf, it was given to all of us, respect the water and the others in it, and in return you will be respected. Be safe out thereand have FUN!

PEACE, Andy Wells

nick0's picture

hey guys
i surf at least once a week up on the west coast and not wearing a life vest is just stupid and as for learning how to swim in the surf good luck youl probibly drown, i just think that if weve got a big bit of plastic and a paddle to look after we dont want to be thinking about staying a float aswell.
as for the surfers just stay out of there way and dont cause @!#$ with them as if one kayaker gives them stick we all get a bad name
we all know that we can catch more waves than them but were all out there to have fun not to hit them with our paddle as someone mensioned.

kage's picture

you are totally right with these comments Juno, it's about having respect & sharing the waves. if I'm out surfing in my playboat when there are surfers out too (most of the time) I make an effort to stay clear of them for a while, barging straight into the middle of the break and catching every good wave coming through is a quick way to @!#$ anyone off.
It doesn't take much effort to keep your eyes open and be aware where people are when you are catching waves or surfing on them. around here most surfers seem genuinely interested in what a playboats can do on the waves, once they can see you can control the boat, even in the big stuff.
and yes I wear my usual kit, PFD & helmet included, warmer in the cold water, and being concussed or knocked out without either bits of this gear in big surf does not appeal...

nick2's picture

hey if u wear it on the river u mars well were it in the surf ive got a friend who doesnt wear a life j in the surf because he thinks it resticks his movement but i just asked him why he wears it on the river, dont u need fredom on the river?

pat's picture

hey good to hear your thinking, when you have a swim in the surf your generally trying to get to shore so why would you want to duck under waves? i come from a surfing background before i started boating and i have to say the attitudes and arrogance of some of the comments on this forum are exactly the same as surfers, just in reverse. why bitch about it if your not going to look for a compromise. we all know how hard it is to pull off a wave in a kayak so when you start to paddle for a wave take a look around and make sure your not dropping in on anyone. if a surfer drops in on you the odds are that your gonna end up in the whitewash and get a good ride and same as him on the face. either that or you hit him and hes likely to get hurt. the rules apply just the same for surfers, if someone drops in you teach him not to

mike9's picture

because my mates i paddle with dont have leg ropes on their kayak.
i wear it becaue i have a towline,
if this is chuck from wellinton then you might find it funny to know that matt bailed while out the back as he lost his paddle and his handroll didnt work. i wasnt wearing a life vest and all i could do was grab his paddle while he spent the next 30 mins trying to get his submarine back to the beach and when he did it was a long walk to the car as he was aboud 300m from where we started
if i had a tow line i could have grabbbed it and caught a wave in with it - i have done this also and while it seems like a stupid idea to some it does work you just dont ride the wave for long as the kayak yanks you back it takes a couple of minutes but nothing like half an hour.
and as another thought have you ever been hit in the ribs by another kayak or surfboard i have playing canoe polo and it hurts with a life vest on!! so a life vest also protects fron a way ward board/kayak or even (and i have not experienced it myself) a surfer aserting his authority too much and hitting you

chucktanguay's picture

If you want respect in the surf, try leaving the silly looking life vest at home. It is the surf, for all sakes, and not grade V, and they don't wear one. If you're not a good swimmer the surf will teach you, though theoretically you don't need that. If you do end up in a swim, the jacket ends up as a hindrence since it becomes hard to dive under waves.

kieron0's picture

Same. Well said.

We should learn the rules and stay out of the way of boards if we're not 110% bombproof on the break we're sharing. The golden rule of goat boating is:

YOU CAN'T JUMP OFF YOUR BOAT IN AN EMERGENCY.

If I'm out of control and I hit a swimmer/surfer with a total mass of 110kgs going at say 5m/s, that's a total kinetic energy of 2750J. Roughly translated, they're going to get hurt. Then so am I. So if the break's too big, I stay out of the pack.

And yes I know the surfing rule: those paddling out must avoid those riding in. However you'd do best not to try to enforce this rule in your boat. Be sensible!

rusty0's picture

dunno were ya from but i wish everyone out there had an attitude like you i both kayak and surf and get looked apon totally differnt wen im out in my kayak from my board

brian.spilner's picture

Respect!

rusty0's picture

verry well put i have to say id agree with most of that statement no one owns the waves and no one has a rite to them

jason's picture

I use to surf at the Mole in Wanganui out there it was all about gaining respect. This spot is a "LOCAL". If you want to be one of the locals then you need to build some respect with the boarders. Start surfing away from the main group of boarders this may mean that you have to surf a lesser break, but we can pretty much catch anything and use it. Let the surfers see that you can control your boat use the wave to it's potential, this means carving don't ride straight into the beach. Once you have achieved the above move into the line up, make conversation even if it is a simple "Hi".

Follow their rules just because they break them, doesn't mean you should and probably it is only one arogant b@St@rd. Stop being macho just because you have a carbon stick don't mean sh!t, some do carry knives and most have friends on the beach one on many or many on your car just won't go your way.

Give them a reason for them to want you out there this one helps alot use your hight above the waterline and tell the boarders when a good set is coming in, gives them time to get into position they catch the first and you get the clean second or third. They also get to watch you rip on the wave as they are paddling out, control is a must here. After awhile of this you will find that they start to let you have the first wave just so they can watch.

You will also have a few mates to talk to when there is a lull in the swell and when a groom starts to think that they are better than you or drop in on your head will suddenly have a few people having a serious talk to them.

As for wearing a helmet if I'm out the back with surfers then it doesn't matter no rocks or bottom to hit and you fit in a little better. But then again if it's huge and the surfers are watching the sets roll in and asking you if you are really going out put a lid on rogue waves do hurt when they dum on your head.

Don't carry a visible knife on your gun'ho river jacket your just asking for trouble, and actually showing weakness when you are out in the surf.

brian.spilner's picture

As it stand I only wear a helmet on big days, rocky shored beaches, and when surfing with the boys, b/c there is ALWAYS carnage.

It is in whitewater paddlers best interest to make themselves familiar with Surf Rules.
It is better to build a repoire with the Boardsurfers, than to rock the boat an arogant/ignorant attitude while surfing.
As Dr Funk.. said, there is just some places you just can't @!#$ the locals off.
Especially with carrying knives Brent.
Do you think kayakers only have that option?!

I believe distance should be given to them, especially in crowded spots.
Kayakers have the added option of surfing whitewash, and if you do so and there is a boardsurfer paddling out, then they're are pretty vulnerable - chances of hitting a surfer mulitply on crowded days.
Surfing the green is an arguement as well.
Surfers get frustrated when all a "goatboater" does is surf the green straight towards the beach, let the wave break, and spin on the whitewash.
How many people on this forum can actually say they can carve a green wave for a great length of time anyway?!

rusty0's picture

i both surf and kayak and hate it when anyone drops in on me but yeah it is a respect thing and if a surfer does drop in on u by all means do it back but only to the 1 that did it to you by starting sh%t with surfers is fiteing a looseing batel theres more of them than kayakers

dr.funkenstein's picture

Depends on the locals, I wouldn't try such tricks in say Waitara,or any other local break...asking for trouble. Dropping in is dropping in. surfers tend to think that a surf board is the superior from of wavecraft. Careful not to cultivate the same sort of arorgance by thinking the kayak is the superior wavecraft.

dim's picture

Brent everyone seems to bag all your opinions but, your opinion on surf rules is spot on mate. Surfers make rules break them then have a cry when you do the same. Waves are for all to enjoy. When your out in the surf doing all the tricks they can then some, you get the respect. Or you get told to sod off by gimps who are jealous because you can get back out the back quicker than they can to get all the good waves. Surfers should just except the fact that we do not all belong on the river. Speed bumps are wicked and yeah we have sticks they have squat.
Brent wrote:
>
> Thats a bunch of @!#$, the surfers don't even follow there
> own rules on the wave. How many times have you been on a
> wave and a surfer starts outside you....they do it all the
> time but when it happens to them they have a cry. Just tell
> them to @!#$ off. A Robson Pogo beats a fist any day.....if
> it can cut foam and small branches then a surfers head is no
> contest. Don't be scared to mix it up with the surfers, most
> of them are pussys and won't back it up....no shame in a
> small beating if you get some respect at the end of it.
> Leave your knife on you life jacket...even get a slightly
> bigger one!!timmy wrote:
> >
> > For me it depends on who Im out there with, if Im with a
> > bunch of kayakers Ill wear my helmet cause it can be carnage
> > with heaps of boater out there, if its me a mate or some
> > surfing mates then the helmet usually stays at home cause I
> > can trust them and they trust me to stay out of their way.
> > As an asside many boaters cant understand why surfer hate
> > them so much- I can fully relate to the surfers, I hate when
> > some punter goatboater drops in on me or is a wave hog- which
> > white water padlers often are due to lack of knowledge of
> > surfing rules etc, I think some boaters bring it on
> > themselves, it just sux when it effects us, who stay out of
> > surfers way and stick to the rules. From my experience it
> > doesnt take long for surfers to start to respect you if you
> > stick to the rules and show them how much a boat can actually
> > carve up a wave!
> > Peace

brent1's picture

Thats a bunch of @!#$, the surfers don't even follow there own rules on the wave. How many times have you been on a wave and a surfer starts outside you....they do it all the time but when it happens to them they have a cry. Just tell them to @!#$ off. A Robson Pogo beats a fist any day.....if it can cut foam and small branches then a surfers head is no contest. Don't be scared to mix it up with the surfers, most of them are pussys and won't back it up....no shame in a small beating if you get some respect at the end of it. Leave your knife on you life jacket...even get a slightly bigger one!!timmy wrote:
>
> For me it depends on who Im out there with, if Im with a
> bunch of kayakers Ill wear my helmet cause it can be carnage
> with heaps of boater out there, if its me a mate or some
> surfing mates then the helmet usually stays at home cause I
> can trust them and they trust me to stay out of their way.
> As an asside many boaters cant understand why surfer hate
> them so much- I can fully relate to the surfers, I hate when
> some punter goatboater drops in on me or is a wave hog- which
> white water padlers often are due to lack of knowledge of
> surfing rules etc, I think some boaters bring it on
> themselves, it just sux when it effects us, who stay out of
> surfers way and stick to the rules. From my experience it
> doesnt take long for surfers to start to respect you if you
> stick to the rules and show them how much a boat can actually
> carve up a wave!
> Peace

ian1's picture

I always chuck the skid lid on in the surf, I couldn't really care less if its solid 5ft or 1. Its not whats on the surface that scares me mr bigglesworth, it's those fricken rocks and those hollow shoreys that pound you into the sand that my melon does not enjoy.
Surfers are the least of my worries whilst boating, it's cool to watch the shiznit they pull and you can learn a lot from them if you want to. No point in abusing or dropping in on them as the surfer ratio to Kayakers in the north is not in my favour.

timmy's picture

For me it depends on who Im out there with, if Im with a bunch of kayakers Ill wear my helmet cause it can be carnage with heaps of boater out there, if its me a mate or some surfing mates then the helmet usually stays at home cause I can trust them and they trust me to stay out of their way.
As an asside many boaters cant understand why surfer hate them so much- I can fully relate to the surfers, I hate when some punter goatboater drops in on me or is a wave hog- which white water padlers often are due to lack of knowledge of surfing rules etc, I think some boaters bring it on themselves, it just sux when it effects us, who stay out of surfers way and stick to the rules. From my experience it doesnt take long for surfers to start to respect you if you stick to the rules and show them how much a boat can actually carve up a wave!
Peace

mike9's picture

im in dunedin and tho it dosent happen very often it does hapen
theres a few of us who do it and sometimes kayakers have been as numerus as surfers, its mostly the good surfers coming close to give you a bit of a scare and tell you to stay out of their way, like theyd do to any little kid surfer.
the last bit of surf rage was from a kid probably about 14 who paddled in front of me when i was paddling out just so he coulsd miss the wave and abuse me for it he wasnt catching them anyway so i didnt care
i know one kayaker whos given us a bad name, accidentally of course, he paddles with glasses on or else hes blind and took his new boat (riot booster) to the surf he had a bit of trouble controlling it and in one day managed to break two boards one tip and one fin he paid for the fin but didnt catch the other guy before he went home.
thats why they tend to stay clear of kayaks i think

enjoying.it's picture

Where does stuff like that happen? I occasionally paddle at Mount Maunganui which has quite a lot of surfers and i havent had any problems yet.

I just say g'day and make sure i dont drop in on anyone.

mike9's picture

yeah ive met a few unkind boarders but none that have held me under, the occasional tip or fin coming close but i think theyr more worried about breaking their board. its a good reason to cover your head tho.

d0's picture

Hey I surf kayak or goat boat as you and the majority of newzealands board riding community call it, all the time and my helmet is always on my head. This is due to the fact that surfers on the breaks that i surf are unfriendly and have been known to try run you over or even jump and land on top of you then hold you upside down till you have run out of breath and bailed or hit them with you paddle in your attempts to roll. Im sure many of you have encountered similar attitudes at your local break also. So yeah were i surf im not so afraid of dragging my head on the ground, im more worried about geting hit by a local gimp surfer who thinks he owns the break, or is gutted because your impresing his girlfriend more than he is
Cheers
D mike wrote:
>
> ok guys there has been a fair bit of stuff written about
> wearing a helmet in a river and for the record i always do
> even if its one ive done 50 times. and if you dont thats your
> choice i just wont pick up the peices if you refuse to put a
> lid on when i ask and ill make that clear to you.
>
> however to the disgust of many local surfers (and thats a
> whole nother topic boys and girls) i paddle my play boat in
> the surf. being honest i dont always wear a helmet when i
> surf. for me it depends on the size of the surf if its small
> i dont if its big i do.
> this is beacuse i hit my head in the big stuff with my paddle
> - when not wearing my helmet, it can get really big and throw
> you round if the wave rides you instead. but all in all if
> its small i still wont wear it its got nothing to do with a
> thrill or making it harder for me it just feels less
> restrictive
>
> the other thought i have had is when paddling in the surf
> with friends i should do as well a i have been used as a ski
> jump before by a friend who was blinded by the the sea spray
> whipped up by the wind.
>
> and lastly how many sea kayakers do you see wearing helmets?
> now i know this is almost a different sport for most river
> paddlers and even me in the surf has different risk because i
> get amongst the beraking waves
>
> now im bound to be ridiculed for this but bring it on, i hope
> i havnt offended any sea kayakers or river paddlers or
> surfers or even bodyboarders for leaving them out. im just
> courious to see peoples perspective as this is mine
>
> thanks
> Mike

gazza's picture

I surf a bit. I live in Nelson, so not as much as I'd like.
I always wear all my gear. I've been dragged over rocks at Snapper's.
I think it is important to try and be friendly to other wave riders. Obviously it's not so heavy here, but you can usually get along. as for missing out on the green, get amongst it. Do you think snow borading would have grown so fast if they stayed off the slopes? What about mountain bikes on walking trails?
Kayakers "can" surf and charge on the wave. Don't go out to hit anyone, but don't be intimidated into sucking out there either.

brian0's picture

Truth hurts.
Stop trolling.

mike13's picture

Definately respect eh. Often i just keep away from surfers cause normally ya can have heaps of fun in the ol boat without needing the sweet spot. Half the time you end up with surfers cruising over cause suddenly the break changes n your in a great spot. In saying that anyone that says "your a minority you cant get the best spots" is gonna really @!#$ me off. But luckily up in the good ol north so far all ive met is friendly surfers. Probably pays to head to less well known spots eh. Less competition ... more relaxed people :). As for pfd ... definately. Helmet i never used to use, two people out the back there is a minimal risk of smackin ya head. But in saying that heck why not, i have since started using them.