by Michelle Michalak November 29, 2017


Dalton Smith from NPI Productions talks about how to bodysurf at a pier break using your Slyde Handboard.

A PIER BREAK HOW TO PADDLE OUT:

Alright guys we just drove from the Indialantic Beach up to the Cocoa Beach pier.  This is basically kinda like a beach break, because it's got sand bottom and it's pretty close to the beach. But the pier affects the shape of the wave a lot, so that can be a good thing or could be a bad thing.

When it gets really big, a lot of people will go to piers. And the reasoning is because that pier is gonna act as a barrier that will break the wave apart. When it's big, there's this thing called the conveyor belt. The conveyor belt basically is when the waters rushing back out. It's a really easy way for you to get out quickly, but it's also kind of dangerous and scary. If people get caught in that and they're not ready for it, it's, a little bit nerve-wracking to have you just ripped out past the pier. 

Today is relatively small and we're just going to go...I think either on the south side of the pier or maybe end up in the north side. It depends on what the waves look like. But we're gonna gauge how far out it is and we're gonna look around. Another thing to keep in mind is that piers are a house basically for fish, sharks, stingrays, you name it, so be careful.

PREPARATION FOR A PIER BREAK:

Darg your feet when you're walking and just be observant and see what else is out in the water with you. When you're bodysurfing at a pier or an inlet, you want to be really cautious about how close you're actually getting to that structure.  If I'm bodysurfing on the south side of the pier and I go left away from the pier, you know, that will put me in a position where I'm not gonna hit it. But if I go right and I'm going into the pier, I'll eventually kinda stop or I'm going to slam in the pier and it's covered in barnacles and you can get seriously hurt.

You need to be careful and...I've never personally seen anybody shoot the pier body bodysurfing, but it may be possible.  To shoot the pier, literally means to ride a wave through the pier, so definitely don't try that unless you're super confident and I would say an advanced rider.

Today I'm going to ride the Bula again, same board that we were riding in the beach break video.  When you're sitting next to the pier depending on the day, there can be a drift. Either to the north or south, whatever. If the water is moving in the direction of that pier, you need to be careful. Because if you're, you know, basically downwind of the pier, it'll blow you into it eventually. So you need to be able to say, yes I can catch a wave in or get out of the way or go past the pier.

What to be aware of:

Whatever you need to do to not get stuck in the pier. Because getting caught in the middle of those pilings during a big swell, it's seriously scary. So be aware of that, be aware of the water, the animals, fishermen especially. These guys that are casting lines in right next to the pier.

With all these different factors play a role when you're at either an inlet or a pier or a jetty or what have you. I would say that you're gonna have usually more people when you go inlets or piers. Cocoa Beach pier is like one of the most crowded spots there is in this area.  

Be aware of all these things and you know, just kind of look around when you're doing stuff and you'll have fun. 
Another thing to remember at piers or inlets or jetties, whatever is that they can have different rules for how close you can be to the pier. Some don't allow you to be within you know 100 feet of the pier.

Some only allow you to bodysurf or surf or swim on one side of the pier. So look for signs, be aware and don't get yourself in the way of anybody else that is doing what they should be doing. You know if there's a fish side of the pier and you paddle out, you're liable to get hooked or hit by a wave.Keeping all these things in mind, piers can be super fun. 

WATCH THE EPIC VERSION OF THIS SESSION BELOW:

Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.


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