Surf Ski Coach podcast and answer to the mystery of the snapping ski | Snap or break a surfski?

Paddle2FitnessCheck out Julian Norton-Smith’s Paddle2Fitness website and podcast

I just discovered Surf Ski Coach on Instagram which led me to Julian Norton Smith’s website ( and his podcast on iTunes.

I’ve been binge listening to the podcast during my gym workouts and the information he provides is incredibly useful and some of it counter to some of the things I’ve been taught.  I can’t wait to try some of his techniques and suggestions on the water.

He also addressed a well known video circulating on the internet that more than one person has used with me personally to bash a certain ski brand (you can view the video below.)

I’ve wondered if there is any truth to their innuendos or if this was an extreme situation that would have snapped any ski.

Julian answered that question for me.

His response (in podcast episode #20,) “I have launched over a wave and snapped the nose clean off a spec ski or a clubby surfski…I have seen every single brand of ocean ski snap in half doing exactly the same thing…Don’t think one brand is better built than anything else.  If you put it in the wrong position it will break in half.”

So there you have it.

This seemed intuitively obvious to me since we all know these skis are somewhat delicate otherwise we wouldn’t be so careful not to bash them into rocks or hit things with them.

I am not an engineer nor have I ever designed a surfski, but it seemed to me that video shows an incredible force being applied downward to the center of the ski whilst at the same time an upward force (the water) is being applied to both the bow and stern of the boat.

I challenge those who use this video to bash the ski manufacturer to post video of themselves jumping onto the middle of their ski brand from a height of 5-6′ with the boat supported at the ends but not the middle. (Note: Do this at your own risk.  I am not responsible for any damage to you or your boat.  You are doing this in the interest of science and to support your opinion, afterall.)

So go check out the Paddle2Fitness website and the surf ski coach podcast and you’ll more than likely learn something that will make you a better paddler.  The information he provides is excellent.

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A quick trip around the web seems to indicate that snapped surfskis are not all that uncommon


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