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Surf Kayaking - Beach Fun and Competition

Surfing credibility has made massive leaps in recent years with top paddlers holding their own on small wave beach breaks as well as on the more challenging conditions offered by the points, reefs, and larger surf locations around the world. The development of boats has greatly assisted this accuracy. The relatively small, flat-bottomed play boats are now closer to a surf board than ever before. These advances allow the true form of Surfing to be realised, riding the shoulder of a peeling wave, using the potential energy to carve and slash the boat in all directions. The combination of freestyle, white water skills and the finesse and timing of a board surfer is bringing the world of surf canoeing to a bigger and more enthusiastic audience.

– British Canoeing

Modern Surf Kayaking involves distinctive techniques, but is essentially about making dynamic, controlled moves whilst riding near to the "pocket" of a shouldering wave - in much the same way as other surf users. 

Whilst almost any short closed cockpit kayak, sit-on-top or stand-up-paddleboard can be used for surfing, those with flat bottoms and "rails" tend to be more rewarding. For a truly rewarding experience, specialist craft work best.

First Steps

Many beaches in Yorkshire are renowned for their surf, but some are more forgiving than others - and some can be positively hazardous even when appearing benign. 

When sharing a surfzone with others, understanding good etiquette (and the expectations of those others) is essential, so starting surf kayaking alongside more experienced boaters is always recommended.

Contacts for Yorkshire and the NE

Join the North East Surf Kayaking Facebook Group to pick up on what's going on... or get in touch with:


If you're wanting Competitive Surf Kayaking, visit the England Surf Kayak Facebook Page.

Forthcoming Events

Further Reading

The web is awash with top tips for kayak surfing, but books are also available:

Additional information is available via these links:

Last but not least...

If you surf-kayak in Yorkshire and would like to help us develop the guidance and programmes being offered along our coast, please get in touch!