I was fortunate enough to be able to spend New Years Day paddling at Emerald Isle.
Magic Seaweed reported the conditions at about 1 foot. However, we determined that due to the distance Bogue Pier(the conditions Magic Seaweed is reporting) is from Bogue Inlet(where we do most of our paddling,) you need to add a bit onto its prediction for it to be accurate. It was probably closer to 1-2ft and easily a bit more at times. Wind was pretty low and both water/air temps were around 50 degrees. This was pretty chilly and dry suit weather.
We spent most of the day surfing around by a few sandbars, one about 3/4 mile off shore, where there was some fun breaking surf. In addition to getting some surfing practice in, we also practiced edging control, by surfing or just hanging out in the surf and trying to hold off on bracing with the paddle for as long as possible. This is great practice for boat control. We also practiced going backwards through the surf. Initially, I wasn’t very comfortable doing this and just paddled backwards without surfing. However, by the end of the day, I was feeling a bit braver and did some very short backwards surfing.
I also experienced a cool effect where I caught the second of two close together waves and the bow of my boat caught a bit of the front wave, while I was surfing the back. There was some pearling too at times, which was neat and I was able to see the impact that leaning backwards can have(at least when going pretty slow.)
Overall, it was a pretty awesome day and over the past few times I have been out, I feel like my surfing skills have exponentially grown. Rather than broaching almost immediately, I have been able to catch some decent waves and surf for a bit before peeling out.