Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What is the West Coast Surf Kayaking Association (WCSKA)?

What is the West Coast Surf Kayaking Association (WCSKA)?

The WCSKA is a NEW organization whose purpose is to promote and grow the sport of surf kayaking along the US West Coast through educational clinics and event development, support and promotion. The WCSKA is the representing body of the ACA and the western U.S. to the surf kayak world. It is our charter to promote and organize surf contests as a vehicle to educate paddle powered surfers to the ethics of the break. In this we will aid in the appropriate growth of this sport.

Who is involved?

The WCSKA has been developed by the WCSK Committee. Consisting of 7 nominated and elected members, the Committee’s role is to determine selection criteria for a team representing USA West at the World Surf Kayaking Championships, held every two years. Recently the Committee, guided by input from the larger surf kayaking community, has recognized the need for a broader organization to support the growth of the sport. The Committee encourages surf kayakers and other interested persons to get involved as the Association develops.

How will the WCSKA promote the sport of surf kayaking?

Through education –


Create and fund a website to host official rules and regulations, event information, results and rankings, forum about new designs and surfing techniques, and other media.

Host surf clinics at locations throughout the West Coast for beginners to experts

**The first clinic was held in Santa Cruz in Feb. 2006 and was a great success!


Produce an informational and fun newsletter to distribute among western surf kayakers.

Through event development, support & promotion –


Helping Event Coordinators with consistent judging, rules, insurance info, and permits.

Holding a team trial event to finalize the US West Team.

Hosting additional events for more competition opportunities.

Promote the sport of surf kayaking as a whole.

Represent the west coast of the Unites States to the world surf kayaking community.

What can I look for the WCSKA to do in the next year?


Support the expansion of competitive and non-competitive events along the West Coast.

Collect and maintain event results and overall rankings of western competitors.

Select the most qualified and competitive team to represent the west coast at the 2009 worlds championships.

Seek organizing members and volunteer staff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

US Surf Kayak Championships at Davenport, CA

This past weekend was the national championship for surf kayaking, held at Davenport, CA, and organized by Buck Johnson. I went down a day early to get a practice session in. Friday was super fun. I was on the water from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., one of my longest surf sessions ever, stopping only for short breaks. Super fun. Throughout the day, it was a changing cast of characters, including some really strong paddlers, some people that are brand new to the sport, and every level in between. I had a great time hanging out and surfing.

Saturday: Showed up early, just as the sun was rising.   The waves weren't huge, but were pretty solid and big.   Heats ran from 8 in the morning until a little after noon, and the swell just kept building.  Bigger, and bigger, and bigger.   The Level of surfing displayed in the group was really impressive.  It was fun to watch, and even more fun to surf.  As soon as the heats ended, I was outside, waiting for waves.  They'd gotten BIG.  Some in the SOLID 15-18 foot range, in my estimation.  Big, powerful waves.   Dan Crandall and I were sitting outside, and this huge wall was powering towards us.   I wasn't sure if I should go, it was big enough to be scary, and I was worried I was in the wrong spot.  Dan looked at me and said, "If you don't go, I will" which was all the prompting I needed.  I turned for it, dropped in.  Dropping in felt like running a waterfall, it was such a long way down.   Crank a bottom turn, and run.   Wow.  Wow. Wow.  What a wave!  It help up forever, just a perfect wall of water and energy.   If it was the only wave I caught that weekend, it would have been worth the trip.  Wow.   Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of this session, as I was on the water, but it was spectacular. 
And there were others like it.   Like a hard whitewater run, it was that line between exhilaration and scary. Big waves are fun, but unforgiving of mistakes, and Davenport can be a tough spot, as being in the wrong spot can send you crashing into rocks and cliffs.  Crazy good conditions. 
Sat afternoon was a party at a local cafe, with tons of good food, and a fun band.    Good times with good people.   
After the Party, Kim and returned to the comfortable beach home we were staying at.  It was the home of a friend of a friend, and we appreciated their hospitality, and enjoyed the conversation at dinner.   
I slept a little restless that night.  Reports had the swell building, and I was little nervous that it would be stomping huge.  

Woke early and got up, headed up to the beach.  I had an early heat.   Arrived to find the waves were still good size, but smaller than Saturday afternoon.  It was super foggy though, foggy enough that the competition was delayed 20 minutes in the hopes it would lift enough for the judges to see. Soon enough, I was suited up and paddled out for my 1st High Performance (HP) heat.   I was pretty pleased, felt like I surfed well, but I watch my friend Eric catch some gorgeous big waves, and tear them up, and knew he'd beat me long before seeing the scores.  I took second in the heat.   It was enough to take me into the Semi-finals, so I was pleased by that.   Kim was here, and trying to take pictures, but with the fog, there are not really many good ones.

Just a bit later, it was time for my International Class (IC) heat.   I rarely surf the long IC boat.  I had surfed it Friday for the 1st time since this contest last year!   Although I like their speed, I find them difficult to surf and control.    I was in a heat with two guys who have won national and world championships, so I wasn't expecting much, and indeed, came in third.    Suprisingly though, my score was the highest of any of my heats, higher than my HP heats!   How did that happen?

Next up was my Semi-final heat for HP.   It was me, Sean Morley, Buck Johnson, and Alexander Stubbs.   Sean won the heat, then Buck, then Alexandar, then me, but I was pleased that my scores were only a few points away from what would have been needed to take me to the finals. All in all, I was pleased with my surfing and how I did.  I didn't win, but considering the caliber of paddlers at the contest, I hardly expected too.  It was fun, and great crew of people.   The level of performance was stunning.

We did have a couple of scary moments.  On Saturday, after the contest, a paddle swam and lost his boat.  He was outside when a big set came through (they were huge) and lost his boat.  He was swimming and getting pushed way south, and none of the other kayakers realized there was a problem for 20 minutes or so.  Then, finally, a paddler spotted him and raised an alert, and several people went to his aid.  As far as I know, his boat is still missing.

Sunday, the same paddler (in a borrowed boat) swam on the inside, near the cliffs.  He was lucky to have his boat and paddle wash in with him, and after resting tried to paddle out.   Unfortunately, he got clobbered again, and swam.  The waves washed him and his boat into the dangerous rocks, where we had some difficulty getting him out. Thankfully, he escaped with a battered nose, a broken boat, and some bruises.   Thanks to Kristie, Jeff, Matt, and Mark for their help.  

There was a fair amount of carnage this weekend. I personally helped fix 3 boats, and know of two others that were irreparable, but thankfully no serious injuries to any competitors!

All in all, simply a phenomenal weekend.  The most fun I've ever had at a contest.  Great people, incredible waves, good party.  Everything you could want.    Buck did an incredible job, and it is much appreciated.  Thanks Buck! 


Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 US Surf Kayak Nationals and the Nor-Cal Surf Kayak Contest

The 2008 US Surf Kayak Nationals and the Nor-Cal Surf Kayak Contest will be held on 25th and 26th of October at Davenport Landing in beautiful Northern California!

Davenport Landing is located one mile north of the town of Davenport and ten miles north of Santa Cruz. The coastline faces west and the wave form on a number of submerged reefs. In October it can be paradise, hell or somewhere in between. The break holds up well to large NW swells , wave faces in the 15' range have been experienced in past contests.

ACA waivers will be signed Saturday morning prior to the first heat. Bring your ACA card as proof of membership. A $5.00 charge will be collected if you don't have proof of ACA membership.

Each category will surf one round each on Saturday and Sunday. The final rounds will be Sunday afternoon.

You should come prepared for all types of weather conditions.

Pit toilets are available at the site. There is no running water.

Plans are being made for a Saturday night get-together. Stay tuned for more on that.

The closest motel to to the Landing is the Mission Inn in Santa Cruz. 831-425-5455.

Throughout the years we've eaked out a relationship of harmony with the boardie crowd. We'd like to keep the relationship civil and ask a few things of you.

*All contestants pre-surfing the event surf only at the north side of the landing.
*Don't park your vehicles on the west side of the road north of the restrooms.
*Surf well and make us proud!

More info to come soon!


View Larger Map

Ever wonder how the Team is selected? Read more here:

 This report summarizes 1) provides recommendations for the
selection process for the US East and West and Coast Surf Kayak Teams
(USSKT), and 2) outlines needed next steps.

More Here

Bylaws and Event Sanctioning

ACA National Surf Kayaking Competition Subcommittee
09/05/96, Half Moon Bay, CA.
Additional Rules and Clarifications
1. Boat Specifications
A. High Performance Class boats must be decked and meet safety standards, otherwise, anything goes.
See More here: 


Bylaws of the ACA and the National Surf Kayak Committee

Interested in learning the rules that guide the National Surf Kayak Committee?

Read the bylaws here:
More Here

Thursday, September 18, 2008

2007 World Surf Kayak Championships

Santa Cruz 2008

Davenport Contest 2006

Dave and Buck at Indicator Point

Fun morning at Bolsa Chica in huntington beach

Had an awesome morning at Bolsa today. Low tide and chest-head high waves on the standup guys. Fast and powerful, with some awesome drops, fast walls, and occasionally enough of a should to make a cutback. Good times, and a mellow vibe with the boardies, I got more questions about the boat than normal this morning. Much fun.

Current Adventures Kayak School

Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips offers state-of-the-sport surf kayaking instruction. Dan Crandall, owner of Current Adventures, has been a member of the US
West Kayak Surfing Team since 1991 and has been riding
waves competitively since 1989. This experience
combined with his unique instructional knowledge
and style make these sessions invaluable for novice
and advanced surfers alike.

For more information including locations and cost,

please visit  CurrentAdventures.com.

Monday, September 15, 2008

We thank our many great sponsors for their support. Interested in helping sponsor the team? Email Us

Mega Surf Kayaks


Team Standings

The 2009 Team will be selected shortly. Details coming soon.

The 2007 Team consisted of the following people:

High Performance Men-               1. Rusty Sage

                                                           2. Jono Stevens

International Class Men-              1. Dave Johnston

                                                           2. Dan Crandall

High Performance Women-         1. Kate Smith

International Class Women-        1. Morlee Griswold

Team Bios

Team Bios - Coming Soon!