Kai’s tip for the Month:
What to do after catching the bump. The biggest problem that people have when going down wind isn’t so much catch-ing the bumps; it’s linking the bumps together one after another. Anyone can catch a swell; the key is to stay on the swells, linking them all together and keeping your boat speed. When I know that I have the boat speed to catch the swell in front of me, I am already looking for the next set of swells. Wind swells, just like waves, come in sets, which means that there is pretty much always gonna be one right behind the one in front…and that is the basic way to read swells, follow the one in front. Different sets are going to be going differ-ent directions, which is how you can link and weave through them. If they were all going in the same way, you would have to jump over to the swell to go faster than it. But because they are going in different directions (some going in and some out, basically forming an X) you have to find he intersecting points to keep linking them together.
The nose of your boat will not always be facing in one direction. If a straight line to where you’re heading is 12o’clock, then you might be facing a little bit in or a little bit out, ranging from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock. For that reason, you cannot always be looking in one direction. Like anything, the more often you do it, the easier it will be, and you can literally get down to 4 strokes a minute. So, follow the bump in front and look for the intersections any where between 10-2 o’clock because the swells are going in different directions.
Kaihe Chong is a natural waterman that has been crossing the Kaiwi Channel and
waterways worldwide since the age of 14. The expert paddler has been featured in Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine as we welcome him as he shares his tips and mindest with our readers. If you have questions please email to: [email protected]