Introduction to the Surf Zone


Introduction to the Surf Zone - Makah Bay

Day one of Tacoma's Open Coastal Weekend. Clinic that teaches how to launch, land, and paddle safely in and out through surf zones with up to 4 feet of surf. This is not a "surfing" clinic.

  • Sea Kayak V
  • Moderate
  • Maximum Wind: 15 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 4 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 2 kts
  • Pace: moderate to brisk

Hobuck Beach campground.  9 AM. Specific location TBD

A one-day on-water event covering concepts and techniques of safely traversing a surf zone in a long-boat kayak.  This is NOT a surfing clinic, in fact we will be trying not to surf. The surf zone is an extremely dynamic water environment.  Paddling in surf zones requires reflexive bracing and frequent swimming.  Capsizes are frequent.  A roll is great to have, but not necessary to take the clinic. The clinic will be presented as "challenge by choice" where participants may decline to do any of the exercises. 

Participants should already have taken an Eddy's and Currents clinic.

I also recommend participants have taken a strokes and maneuvers clinic; and have a good forward stroke, low brace, stern rudder, a strong reverse stroke,  forward and reverse sweep strokes while edging, and a reliable draw stroke.

It is best to have a neoprene spray skirt, as a nylon skirt will often implode with the waves.

Hobuck is a "dry" First Nations area, and no alcohol or recreational pharmaceuticals are allowed.


Hobuck Beach & Neah Bay

  • Custom Correct North Olympic Coast

    Green Trails Cape Flattery No. 98S

    MapTech Cape Flattery to Whidbey Island No. 103

    Sea Trails Strait of Juan de Fuca & Crescent Lake WA301

    Sea Trails Roadless Coast, Neah Bay to Ruby Beach WA302

    NOAA Cape Flattery No. 18485

    Green Trails Olympic Coast Beaches No. 99S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Sea kayak with sealed hatches in the bow and stern and perimeter deck lines in the bow and stern.

Properly fitting dry suit with adequate thermal insulation underneath for prolonged exposure to the sea.

Properly fitting spray skirt.

Properly fitting Coast Guard approved type III PFD.

Kayak paddle that floats.

First aid kit for kayaking.

Helmet suitable for kayaking.

Any rudders will need to be secured (like duct tapped!) in the up position.

You will need to purchase a yearly Tribal Recreation permit, available at Washburns Grocery or the gas station in town.  You may purchase them at the campground, but the office opens after we will be starting our day.

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