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How to Remount your Surf Ski

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Remounting your ski is an essential skill for all paddlers, particularly in cold water or the surf zone where speed is essential.

And yet, how to remount is a question we hear all the time - particularly from beginners. Below we take a look at the two most common techniques and how to execute them properly.

Straddle

The straddle remount is generally faster - which is good when you're going out through surf and a set is forming in front of you; it's also easier with some skis (especially those with narrow, deep buckets.


How to execute

  1. Turn the ski so that it's pointing into the wind and waves (if the wind is strong make sure you’re upwindof the ski);
  2. Grip your paddle and the foot strap with one hand whilst grabbing hold of the far rail of the cockpit with the other; 
  3. Pull yourself out of the water onto the ski and swivel so that you're lying face down diagonally across the cockpit;
  1. Swing your leg across the ski and push your upper body up, manoeuvring your backside into the seat as you do so (* note this is the most difficult point and where you're most likely to fall off);
  1. Grab the paddle with both hands and once stable take your time before bringing your legs into the cockpit to complete the remount.

Sidesaddle

In extreme conditions the wind has a tendency to blow the ski sideways - and if you can't hold its nose into the wind, the straddle method can become very difficult to execute. This is where the sidesaddle technique can be much easier. 

How to execute

  1. Let the ski drift sideways at right-angles to the wind and move yourself to the upwindside of the ski;
  2. Grab the footstrap and paddle with one hand; whilst grabbing hold of the far rail of the cockpit with the other;
  3. Pull yourself onto the ski In contrast to the straddle method, as you get onto the ski, and immediately manoeuvre your backside into the seat, leaving both feet hanging over the side of the ski;
  4. Now bring your feet in - this is trickiest part because you're generally sitting to one side of the ski
  1. Once both feet are in and you have regained your balance slowly paddle off (*note some people also find the sidesaddle method easier with single-footwell skis.

Practise

Both methods have a time and a place - but neither is easy unless you practise.  Find some warm water and practise both methods until you're confident that you've mastered both techniques.

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