Author Topic: What to do when caught inside?  (Read 3116 times)

B-Walnut

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What to do when caught inside?
« on: April 14, 2021, 10:23:33 PM »
Okay, I've got to figure this out and could really use some help.

I'm just starting my 2nd year SUP surfing and am more confident in getting out in surf up to 4-5'. However, if I blow a wave, or get caught inside, I honestly don't know how I'm supposed to recover my board quickly enough to get back on before the next wave hits. As a result, I end up taking 4-7 waves on the head with my board banging on the end of the leash. The board flips upside down 99% of the time and gives a terrible pull on the leash. I at least get back to the board and flip it right side up, usually...

Today, with an almost brand new 9mm and 9' leash from leashlock (5th day of use) I didn't make it back to the board in time (Starboard 9'8" blend element). The wave (3-4') grabbed the already upside down board, yarded it horribly, and snapped the leash quite violently with a nasty recoil that struck me hard, and sent my board dangerously loose back to shore.

Still being somewhat new, I try to avoid paddling out when anyone is around me, to make sure if I do lose my board it doesn't hit anyone, but this leash breaking issue has to stop. This is my second broken leash and it's putting myself and everyone around me in danger when it happens.

#1 How do I control a board like this when caught inside. If you cannot get back on in time, do you try and hold the tail? Do you try and push it forward over the wave (seems wildly dangerous).

#2 This leash was not cut by the fin. It broke near the attachment to the board, a few inches away from the swivel where it couldn't have reached a fin. Is this not a suitable leash? I was assured by the sales team "this is the best leash for the most extreme conditions" but having it break after 5 days of 3-4' surf seems absurd.

#3 Is this board just too big for the leash? I'm getting a new board soon, 120 or 130L which will be a drop from the 146 on this board. Is the decrease in volume going to help here?

I really need to figure this out, for the safety and enjoyment of myself and everyone around me.

Thanks so much for the advice.

supthecreek

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2021, 05:40:05 AM »
Hi B-. welcome to the Zone!

You are doing what. should be done.
Getting caught inside is pretty much what it is... and it's the same for everyone.

I never follow anyone out, because of risk... and anyone behind you should know that as well.
You should both move in directions that will separate you.

First off.... in my humble opinion: LeashLok leashes SUCK!
I bought 2 of them because I really liked the length of their ankle cuffs.... they actually go around my ankles with plenty of velcro left, so I was stoked. (pic)

Till my 2nd wave.... a 3 ft'er. It simple parted with almost zero tug..... and like yours, NOT in a place that could be reached by the fins.
Note:
The reason I bought a Leash Lok HAWAII...
EVERY day, there are Great Whites at the beach I surf, and there has been a fatality there.... so swimming is NOT what I want to be doing.
Theses leashes were said to be Hawaii strong - they are NOT.

I went back to Dakine leashes.... I have never broken on and I replace them at least every year.
I also use 2 leash strings, each at different lengths

Ok... when caught inside by a bigger set:
Avoid being trapped  just inside the impact zone... do not paddle out so fast that you get there before the set has passed
I move in to where the whitewater is somewhat diminished, and the pull on the board and leash will be minimized....

Then, I sometimes push my board toward the beach, and coil up my body.
I let my body unfold, with resistance, to avoid the violent tug as the leash reaches it's limit...... then I let the leash do it's job.
If I hold the board through an entire set, I will be dragged back to the beach.... so I go under and use my body as a sea anchor, to limit drag.

On bigger sets, I sometimes get back on the board and kick the board over the wave.... there is time to do that on a long period swell. (pic)
On smaller waves, I just make try to hold my ground
then as the set ends, I get up and paddle as fast as I can, with the water flow, towards a spot between the next peaks.

I have been doing this routine for 57 years.... and I get out pretty easily, since I do not wear myself out by fighting the whitewater or getting dragged all the way to the beach.
I relax and wait for the right moment.


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Dusk Patrol

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 08:14:53 AM »

Yes to Dakine leashes... never a problem. Too bad to hear about LeashLok leashes.  I do use their attachment loops with no problems.   

Tail handles seem to be helpful. I've never installed, but that's what I think about as I'm getting maytag'ed.

https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,2741.0.html
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 08:48:41 AM by Dusk Patrol »
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Badger

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2021, 09:28:36 AM »
I've never broken a Dakine leash. I always remove my leash after each use, rinse it off, and store it away from the sun and heat.

To me, tail handles are an absolute necessity. They allow you to control your board when caught inside so that it's not a danger to others. They take the stress off the leash and prevent you from being dragged. Plus, once the wave has passed, there is no need to retrieve your board. It's already in your hand ready to go.

https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,29904.msg322277.html#msg322277
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PonoBill

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2021, 09:34:56 AM »
Tail handles have been an endless topic on the zone, and any high-volume board benefits greatly from them. If you have one and learn to use it you'll be amazed at how minor a thing getting caught inside becomes. Having your board hit the end of the leash becomes a rare and generally avoidable thing.

Any leash can and will snap if it's taken to its limit, they break everywhere, but often they break where there has been prior damage. If a leash has been stretched hard, replace it. Yes, they aren't cheap, but no one wants to have a leash that will never break, in fact, they are designed to stretch and break. If you push them anywhere near their limit, the next time the limit will be a lot lower. If you aren't using a tail handle and have had your board hit the end of the leash hard in five sessions then your leashes have already had a pounding. I mostly foil now, but for many years in big Hawaiian reef break surf I might have my board hit the leash hard two or three times a year, and I got caught inside a lot--tail handles are my answer. 

I test all my leashes to failure every year just before I leave for the mainland. I tie them to a car bumper and pull them until they break so I can see where a particular brand or design is failing. So, for me, every leash fails. I like the cuffs and swivels of leashlock. I'm using one now for my wing foil board. But there isn't much stress on leashes with wing foiling.

If you want a stronger leash, then hand-tied ones are the strongest. I've tested many, some I made myself. They always fail in the middle of the urethane and at a level of pull that I hope I never experience.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 09:58:08 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

surfcowboy

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2021, 09:48:43 AM »
Yes, do a search. About 10 years ago we covered this in great detail.

"Tail Handle" will get you some great stuff. I even think I had a thread on "caught inside" from when I was new and figuring things out.

In the end, for myself only (!!) I adjusted to a certain size and to be honest, stopped going out in certain size waves at certain types or breaks. When it's big, I ride a traditional surfboard. I just found them easier to manage in a lineup. Others here SUP surf waves that I'd never go out in at hollow beachbreaks that I simply couldn't get comfortable in. For me, "know your limits" and "what's the outcome here?" were important points. For myself, bigger than 2-4' isn't fun on a SUP due to to managing the gear. And having fun was why I do this so it was an easy thing to figure out. That's just me and I hope folks will respect that. Feel free to share your own feedback.

sflinux

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2021, 10:05:45 AM »
I made a tail handle like Beasho in this thread:
https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,25430.msg280061.html#msg280061
They are useful to get you used to the technique.  On boards without the tail handle, you can squeeze the tail to your chest.
https://vimeo.com/user413605

If you don't have time to get to your feet to use Creek's stand-up lay-back method, you can try getting to your knees.
Knee Paddle (5:05):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY9MytrZjhw
The comment I would add is it is useful to have your knees in front of the handle, to prevent being thrown backward.

If you want less pull by the leash, try a waist harness.  I love them when the waves get overhead.
e.x.
https://www.amazon.com/Haley-SUP-Waist-Leash/dp/B074VMQ7QR

Laird gave the recommendation to not fight your leash, to just relax and go with the pull.  This will lessen the force on the leash and maybe minimize breaking.  I wear an impact vest and just relax.

The 9mm thickness that the shop recommended is good.  I've used the Creatures of Leisure Outer Reef 9mm and have not had one break in waves head high and smaller.  Maybe go to at least 10' on your next leash, as I would think a longer leash is less likely to break (more stretch).
https://www.creatures-usa.com/collections/outer-reef/products/outer-reef-10
When the waves get overhead, I switch to a 11mm Dakine leash.  Inspect/replace the leash loop of your boards periodically.  Inspect/replace any string on the leash periodically.  It is good practice to replace your leash annually.

Another thing to consider is where your board is, in the impact zone.  You don't want the lip landing on your board, else the board could snap (though maybe not likely with a starboard).  So depending how long your leash is, you may want to position your dive so your board is not near the impact zone.  Sometimes I will paddle to the unbroken wave, other times, I will paddle to the beach to get my board clear of the impact zone.  I started doing this after I had a board snap (low tide, nothing big).

I found Clay's video helpful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeo_SgCWvLI

Still being somewhat new, I try to avoid paddling out when anyone is around me, to make sure if I do lose my board it doesn't hit anyone,
I think everything happens for a reason.  SUPs are dangerous in the lineup, always be mindful of others in the water, and it is encouraged to paddle to peaks away from others. I fell in front of my board on a wave, and my board hit me, breaking a rib.  I respect the hazards of SUPS in the lineup now because of that.  Be aware of others inside of you.  If others are inside of you, move left or right to get away from them.  Best to grab the tail, then let the board go to leash if someone is too close, but prevention is best by moving away from others.
I like having two SUPS, a shorter one and a longer one.  At high tide, I usually use the longer one.  At low tide, when the waves pitch faster, I tend to use the shorter one.  I would think a board with less surface area (& lighter) will have less pull on the leash.
At 82 kg, your 146L board gives you guild factor of 1.78.  A 130L board will give your 1.58.  A 120L board will give you 1.46.  I found my learning progressed fastest with a guild factor of ~1.5.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 11:04:53 AM by sflinux »
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PonoBill

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2021, 10:51:21 AM »
Here are 19 pages on tail handles in case you're really bored. https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,25430.0.html  There's been a lot of progression in how to make these things. It's surprising that no manufacturer ever paid attention to this, even with their beginner boards. Bill Foote considered them to be a bad idea--I never got him to try one, so it wasn't because he knew better. I've seen him swimming for his board numerous times.

Doing it wrong IS dangerous, as my damaged fingers will attest. A pissing match between me and Sam Pae over my stupid interpretation of his design led to the damage, my complete capitulation, and my friendship with Sam. Doing it right is a game-changer. As long as the surf is mushy I'm totally comfortable being caught inside in surf that's well past double overhead. If the surf is pitching and breaking top to bottom, then don't use the handle. In those conditions, you need a strong leash and good luck.

Incidentally, waist leashes put MORE strain on a leash than any other attachment--they pull your body sideways, it's extremely difficult to streamline yourself. I love them, but not because they reduce strain--I make mega-strong leashes to go with them. I love them because they don't injure my already screwed-up legs, and the high drag pulls the board out of the wave--very short leash rides even in big stuff.

I was holding forth on hand-tied, strong leashes once and Laird told me I was totally wrong, that an ankle leash that's thin but long was the way to go. Less drag, and you can streamline yourself to let the leash pull you out of the impact zone. I tried it, broke the leash like it was overcooked spaghetti, and got to swim in from the outer reef. That's the problem with taking advice from godlike beings. I'm not godlike. Dave Kalama told me I should repair broken leashes by melting the broken ends together. He rightly said they never break in that spot again. Indeed, they break right next to it. He doesn't care, he breaks leashes all the time and just considers it a nice opportunity for exercise. I consider it life-threatening. I saw him out at Tidy Bowls once with a leash draped around his neck. He explained that when his leash breaks he didn't want to have to go all the way in to replace it. I'm not doing that either.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 11:09:46 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

TallDude

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2021, 01:03:32 PM »
Wedge your paddle blade under your chest with the handle pointed straight forward and start paddling out. Just before you hit the white water roll your board sideways on the rail and let your paddle slide to one hand or the other and pinch it to the board with your thumb as you hold the rails tight. The board being on edge will go through the white water easy. After you get over, climb back on your board with the paddle wedged under your chest and repeat till you make it out. You will be a little exhausted by the time you make it out, so just lay there on your board and catch your breath before you stand up. 
That's my routine when it gets bigger combined with higher frequency swells.
Tail handle 100%.
It's not overhead to me!
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ospreysup

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2021, 02:12:01 PM »
I am 7 years in now and I remember the feeling you have all too well. I asked all the same questions you are, broke all kinda of leashes and did the tail handle thing. All the advice here is A++++++. With that said, all the advice in the world is not going to beat experience. I still get caught inside and I still take a beating but it happens much much much less. Reading the ocean is a skill that only comes through experience. Experience, I took for granted when I started. This includes getting out and riding waves.

Stay with it. Sit on the beach and watch your spot. Find the rips, see how sets roll in, watch how surfers get out. It will all speed up the process. But it gets better!!!!

My favorite part of Surfing is I get better every time out even when it's awful .

There are so many advantages to Sup surfing but the inside is not one of them.

Dusk Patrol

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2021, 03:15:44 PM »

The worst is getting pummeled by a set of awesome waves and then... waiting... nothing... waiting   
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Califoilia

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2021, 03:30:36 PM »
However, if I blow a wave, or get caught inside, I honestly don't know how I'm supposed to recover my board quickly enough to get back on before the next wave hits. As a result, I end up taking 4-7 waves on the head with my board banging on the end of the leash. The board flips upside down 99% of the time and gives a terrible pull on the leash. I at least get back to the board and flip it right side up, usually...

#1 How do I control a board like this when caught inside. If you cannot get back on in time, do you try and hold the tail? Do you try and push it forward over the wave (seems wildly dangerous).

For the past year I've been running the leash...

...with a handle built into the rail-saver.

The beauty of this is that you can quickly reel-in your board with the leash, and then before the next whitewater hits you, spin the board around so you're behind it looking at the nose facing away from you, and having your back towards the oncoming whitewater. At that point, grab the handle of the leash, watch the whitewater approaching you, and just before it hits you, get under it as deep as you can pulling the board as close to you as possible, taking the tail down with you...you can choose to take your paddle down with you, or just let it go so you can hang onto the handle with both hands if need be in the really big stuff.

Typically, when the whitewater hits the board, it will start to pull you to the surface, which you can either let happen in average surf, and you've now made it through the whitewater board in hand, and ready to jump on it and paddle back out either prone, on your knees, or standing up depending on your level of proficiency.

On the much bigger whitewater, you might not want to be pulled up into the middle of it, and go for a ride, in which case you can either continue to pull/hold the board down if able, or let it go if need be...but either way you're now on the back of the water with your board, or one that hasn't taken the full brunt of the whitewater, and thusly, has not been pulled so far away from you (or dragged you along with is far in the whitewater w/o the handle) so that you can now easily and quickly reel-in your board again, get back on it, and be on your way again.

The only important thing of caution with this leash and handle, is to not try to use it, and hang onto it in the impact zone. Nothing good is going to happen when tons of water come pounding down on you with your board anywhere near you.

Me: 6'1"/185...5'1" Kings Foil Board...5'7" Kings Foil Board...9'6" Bob Pearson "Laird Noserider"...14' Lahui Kai "Manta"...8'0" WaveStorm if/when the proning urges still hit.

FRP

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2021, 03:35:28 PM »
There is gold in these posts and advice. The only comment I have is Turtle’s famous quote.

“When the wave breaks here, don't be there.” Ever since Turtle broke it down to Rick Kane the sentiment has been repeated after every flogging.......

Bob
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B-Walnut

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 05:55:14 PM »
Thanks for the tips/support everyone. I was definitely bumming after the last break. Went to the local surf shop and they had 1 9' big wave leash in stock. The dakine. Bought it and went out today.

Surf conditions were bizarre, kept most people out today. 2-4' but the sets moved kinda funny and the faces were steeper than usual. The ocean would go dead flat, and then there would be a rush of 20-30 waves, then dead flat again.

So..... I definitely caught and rode waves, and then had to take some on the head since most closed out before making it back to the rip out.

The dakine leash was bizarre. Its hard to compare it to the leashlock hawaii. The leashlock always felt like a giant bungee jerking me around and kind of spooking me. The dakine though, it just felt like a stable tug whenever I got caught. If that is the norm, then I must admit I wont miss the leashlock feeling of consistently wondering if I am going to blow out my knee because of the leash. The stretch/recoil of the dakine felt so much softer and more stable.

I'd argue the waves had a little less bite to them today, but the leash difference was obvious. Fingers crossed the new one works out. I definitely had a moment yesterday of "geez maybe I should just stick to kite surfing" so it was nice to hear everyone has been through it. I'll hunt down, or make my own tail handle. Also hoping to get my hands on the quatro carve pro for a quick demo soon. Either the 8'4" or 8'2" should do it for me.

Subber

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Re: What to do when caught inside?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 06:02:06 PM »
I also noticed the weak point where the leash attaches to the cuff and also where the leash attaches
to a waist belt - the plastic attachment, like on the Leash Lok HAWAII - I own one but don't use it - its my back up.

I also owned (but lost) a Haley SUP Waist Leash which I liked more - the belt wrapped around my body more.
However, it didn't have a double swivel - It didn't have a swivel where the cord attached to the belt,
so it would get twisted sometimes.  He may have done that to avoid a weak point.  That setup is hand tied.

I also hand tied a cord, well, at the swivel, to a different waist belt.  So a double swivel. Works great. 

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