Caught some fantastic surf and it was about time. Got trashed in the process.

Monday, 15 December 2008
Kayaing waiting to get in the surf. Photo credit: David H. JohnstonGot out for a fantastic surf session today. The winds were blowing in SW 20kn so Erik and I knew that we were in for some great swells and it turned out to be one of the best days in a really, really long time.

We paddled off towards the Western Gap [Google Map] where it was really bumpy on the horizon. I have written before about how crazy that area can get in when there is a SW wind over 15 knots. The lack of any natural shoreline in that area collects all the wave energy and bounces it back and forth which forms a giant area of crashing waves on top of each other. Paddling through it, there were several times when I would drop straight down about 3-4 feet between separating waves causing my stomach to feel like it was trying to bust out of my mouth. Good times.

The height of sea walls in that area is about 4-5 feet above the water line and the water was washing over them quite regularly so you can get an idea of how big the were trying to paddle through the mess.

Erik in Surf. Photo credit: David H. JohnstonAfter getting tired of the up and down rollercoaster, we kept going around to one of the beaches on the Toronto Island and did some surfing. The wind swells were pounding in at around 4 feet so it was a lot of fun racing in but it sucked trying to battle your way back through the surf again. It's a little scary watching a wave break above your head forcing you to look up at it. That doesn't happen to often in our neck of the woods.

I will mention that I caught the biggest surf today which was kind of fun. Yes, I screamed the entire time. Caught a large 3.5 foot swell that was just starting to break. Normally my boat has a tendency to bury the bow in waves causing it to slow down but this time I just far enough back and the wave was big enough that the bow was completely out of the water causing me to scream. I was seriously holding on for dear life.

It was way to scary to shoot any video or pull out the camera in the Western Gap but I was able to stop and get some footage of the wave action on my way biking home. I have it almost finished up and should be able to post it tomorrow night. Just ran out of time tonight.

These photos here are from over on the beach surfing and eagle eyes out there might recognize it as Toronto's official nude beach. Gladly there was nobody there worshiping the sun today! The air was 6c and the water is a balmy 4c.

On another note I got in the mail this week a set of Paddle Britches; the latest offering from North Water. I should have a review posted with some close-up photos so watch for that later this week.

For those not in the loop, the North Water Paddle Britches, is a spare paddle holder that securely attaches to the deck of your boat. You can quickly pull out and stow your spare paddle without needing to fumble with deck lines or bungies. Did they work? Did I like them? Tune in and see!

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

Strategic partner

Paddle Canada Logo