I paddled with some CFPA folks (Rezac, Layne, and a nice couple from the mountains) from Trail's End to Masonboro this morning. Launched about 2 hours before high tide, 10 mph W wind, not too hot. Through the marsh via a pretty small creek to the island. After checking conditions and a little swimming/bodysurfing, I decided to carry my boat over and try a little ocean side paddling. Chris joined me, which I was glad for because he's very competent and while the conditions were great for my first surf launch/land with small 2' waves, it didn't hurt to have some supervision and someone to ask questions on technique. The launch went fine, paddled over a couple small waves and I was out (this wasn't a big accomplishment, it was small and breaking close to shore). I stayed just outside the surf zone and paddled for waves. Most of them I caught unbroken and just sort of got a short little fast ride, but on 2 or 3 I was able to ride in roughly to same position I would on my longboard, as far as where I was positioned on the wave. I'm tentatively pleased with the Tracer's handling in the surf, as it caught waves fine and even handled pretty well. I never got flipped, even when the waves closed out and broke over my bow. I just braced and leaned into the wave until it passed me and spun around to go back out. We played around for 20 mins or so, and then I decided to attempt the landing. I waited for a break between the small set waves and caught a little one in, braced into the shorebreak, popped my skirt and jumped out in a few inches of water and pulled the boat up, basically dry. It went fine. Afterwards we messed around a little while longer and then paddled back to Trail's End, arriving around noon. It was a fun time and a good first experience riding waves and launching and landing in the surf zone. Thanks to Chris for posting the trip and answering my questions. Cheers.
3 weeks ago