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Matt Speke - Surf - Scottish Canoeing


Surf - Scottish Canoeing
David Coghill - Surf - Scottish Canoeing


Surf - Scottish Canoeing
Matt Speke - Surf - Scottish Canoeing


Surf - Scottish Canoeing
Ian Sherrington - Surf - Scottish Canoeing


Surf - Scottish Canoeing

What is surf kayaking?

Surf kayaking is riding the waves in a closed cockpit kayak. You can do it in any boat. However a boat with rails surfs better than a round hulled boat. Surf kayaks are predominantly constructed of fibre glass or carbon Kevlar materials to make them light and stiff. A purpose built surf kayak will run rings around a plastic river kayak.

Surf kayak manoeuvres are dynamic, controlled moves using the steepest part of the wave near to the "pocket" of the wave.

Where Can I surf kayak in Scotland?

Any beach will be a good start for surf kayaking. It is essential to ensure you are not out of your depth in the water. In that if you swim you can get back to shore easily. There are many water hazards, even on a benign looking beach. Please seek advice from qualified instructors before you enter the water.

Who do I contact to start surf kayaking?

Contact any of the surf kayak committee or enquire through your local club. The coaches in your club should be able to direct you towards surf kayak coaches in Scotland. If they can't then let us know and we can liaise with your club.


Recommended Reading

Surf Kayaking: The Essential Guide

by Simon Hammond

This 168 page book contains all you'll ever need to know about the sport of surf kayaking. Easy to read text and 90 fantastic full page photo's of surf kayakers from around the world. The book is split into nine comprehensive chapters covering everthing from getting started to the most advanced techniques with a very interesting chapter entitled "What the Expert See's". Simon's use of easy to understand descriptions and analogies to other sports makes this a very enjoyable read.

Kayak Surfing

by Bill Mathos

A modern, illustrated guide to the progressive sport of kayak surfing, which covers in detail the basic principles of surfing, equipment, surfing etiquette, advanced techniques and the psychology and philosophy of ocean wave-riding. This book is equally suited to the expert paddler and to the beginner considering taking up surfing in a kayak. This book effortlessly delivers skill and technique advice that will have other riders in the surf open-mouthed with surprise and envy.

Scottish Surf Championships

The 2018 Scottish Surf Kayak Championships took place in the Thurso area in April 2018. 

Event & Competition Management Guidelines


To provide support & guidance to those running surf events and competitions, on behalf of the SCA Surf Committee.  This cannot be all inclusive and therefore we suggest this is used as an aid memoire.  They will be reviewed periodically and therefore input and suggestions are welcome.


The organisation behind any event is often more complex and time consuming than those attending would credit.  That said, as an organiser it is our responsibility to ensure things run smoothly and to a high standard.  Even small events require planning and a team of well briefed organisers.  This document aims to help you through the process in a step by step way, giving pointers and reminders.  The next section shows a timeline to the planning.  The sections that follow give more detail to the process, but still only offer an insight. T hey are not definitive, in as much as the World Rules should always be referenced for competition.  Finally, any documents or forms referred to are available from the Surf section of the SCA Website. T hey should be checked regularly for any updates.

  • Event Management Timeline - This aims to set out a time phased, bullet pointed view of the planning stages that could be considered leading up to an event.

Event Paperwork

  • Surf Event Finance FormIt is important to complete this form to show financial activity within surf, even if the event breaks even.  This let’s the SCA know we are an active group.  This in turn will mean that they are better able to support us in the future. This should be used for all events.  Please liaise with the Treasurer of the Surf Committee if you have questions as to how this is best completed.
  • Surf Entry Form - Generic - This form can easily be modified to suit both competitive and non-competitive events. These are useful as paper copies as they contain signed declarations and emergency contact details.  SCA membership cards should be seen and numbers noted Remember therefore to store them securely after the event. It can easily be adapted to contain additional questions specific to your event by replacing the classes entered box on the bottom right

Competition Paperwork

  • Competition SpreadsheetIt may be useful to have an overview of your event; who’s attending, categories entered, totals per cat, overall totals. This can be done using a spread sheet or table. An example spreadsheet is included for download. This could be modified to suit your needs. If the event is small this stage may be unnecessary and just prove additional work
  • Heat Selection SheetsThis is where we list participants by category then seed them if appropriate
  • Heat Listing Sheets - This pro-forma allows us to put folks into the first round of competition. The top 2 from each heat will later progress on these sheets. The spreadsheet is designed to be printed with 2 options - Sheet 1 “Max 16 participants” will normally be enough for most events. 
  • Heats Running Order Sheets - These are used to inform folk as to the likely running order of the day.  It is important that folk know that this may change and that if they leave the venue they risk missing their heat.

Additional things to consider at this stage

  • Try and avoid having folk in back to back heats as they will need to swap boats
  • Consider that some folk may have to share boats
  • Score Sheets - These will be used one per judge/ per heat. There are currently 2 styles of sheet available. One in portrait format and one landscape. The top two from a heat progress. This is calculated as an average of the “Score Sheets” for the heat. This in turn populates the “Heat Progression Sheets”. The “Running Order” could be completed for the event or if necessary with difficult conditions just be maintained a couple of hours ahead

Prize Giving - As it says on the tin. This proforma is there to make it simple at the end of a long day of organising to remember who gets what in what order. It ensures that you have all the results before calling folk to a prize giving.

Additional Documents

The are a few additional documents available for download, that may help the running of your event:

Surf Committee

  • Chair - Ian Sherrington - End April 2020
  • Secretarty - Tracy Sherrington - End April 2021
  • Treasurer - John Inglis - End April 2020
  • Welfare Officer - Dawn Horsburgh - End April 2020
  • Welfare Officer - Sophie Tanker- Muller - April 2021
  • Event Safety - David Russell - End April 2021
  • Comittee Member - Neil Baxter end Aprl 2020

To contact the committee email