Wednesday June 21st 2017
When a wave travels from deep water to shallow water, the friction of the wave on the bottom causes it to slow down. This results in a shorter wavelength and a higher wave.
When the water is more than 2 feet deep but shallow enough to affect waves, it’s called suck water (among other names). It feels heavy and difficult to paddle through. There’s nothing much you can do but try to keep the boat speed up and get through it.
When the water is shallower than 2 feet you can surf your own wave. This is called “popping” the boat. Put some speed on before you hit the shallows and you will feel your stern rise up and the boat speed suddenly increase and feel easier. You can really fly with your boat popped up and it’s one of the reasons you want to be the first boat to the shallows.
What happens when you approach shallows and are riding another boat? Your “sweet spot” gets shorter, so you have to be more precise about where you are on the wave. And because the waves are higher, it’s a more intense ride that can quickly go wrong if you aren’t in the right spot.
Surprisingly, the right spot to be is sometimes farther back on the side wash than you would think. Watch the waves, feel the boat, and you’ll learn where you need to be.