Monday, January 25, 2010

A Spanish dance in the surfzone

Manolo Pastoriza is kayak guide in Galicia (=the North-western region of Spain well known for its stunning coastline, fully exposed to the elements of the Atlantic). No wonder Manolo is an expert in paddling heavy seas (and btw: he's a an excellent Greenland-roller too!). Manolo recently published 2 fascinating video-clips of loopings he made in Galician surf on his weblog.
Click here for the video of the forward loop, click here for the video of the backward loop.

My associations with seakayak-footage like this altered a bit after the looping with unhappy ending (;-() that I made some months ago. Respect for the forces of the sea is added to the simple idea of having fun while looking for challenges under rough conditions. I became a bit more aware of the risks involved - to paddler and material. Manolo's kayak is obviously more robust than my late Valley AA.... Anyway: playing in surf is good fun, looping with a seakayak is a great adrenaline rush. When you roll up and paddle on afterwards it's just a good story. Keep on training.

The picture above this post beautifully demonstrates how to enter a powerful wave: Manolo keeps his body down, the paddle parallel and close to the hull of the kayak - don't try to fight it with your paddle: you'll lose!

Picture: Manolo Pastoriza

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