Rather than surf them, we allowed them to roll under us. We’d feel their push, the kayaks climbing as the face of the wave pushed under the stern, falling back as it passed beneath the bow. As it did, the stern would kick out, turning the kayak to the left requiring us to edge to the left and sweep to rotate the bow back to the right before the next wave hit.
Normally when surfing, we’d use a stern rudder stroke to steer and keep the wave at our back while on the face of it. In a surf landing, we’d paddle on the back of the wave to avoid them breaking on us hit shore. My plan now was to allow them to roll under us, controlling the kayak with edging and those short sweep strokes to keep our sterns to the waves. Without the necessary experience, and a paddler who was a bit nervous and less equipped, it was the smartest option.
At one point, I remember him saying he was done with the waves, like a child says he’s done with an amusement park ride part way through. He was being pushed further off to my right creating more distance between us. Unable to move toward my line, I paddled to him. As I got close, two more large waves hit, the first dropped me broadside to the next. I was able to recover and correct. A few more and the ride ended.
Now that we were clear and my partner was OK, I slowed and turned back to find the other three. I didn’t want to make my partner hang, but regrouping now was the priority. I wanted us to be in a position to reachthem quickly if needed.