Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-13-13 6:32 PM (EST)
When the entire length of my 17' boat can sit on the face of the wave and there is wave both below and above, that's a bit of a wave. Now, I've only done that a few times and didn't stay out long, but when paddling in an ocean storm, you sometimes exceed your comfort level.
Many of these see to be about 4-6 feet trough-crest and that is pretty much what I normally see when paddling and/or practicing in surf in Monterey. A couple are much larger, nearly the length of the boat in one set (at about the 3:40-4:00). There is really good sized wave at the 4:55 mark of the film where the wave is nearly the length of the boat trough-crest. I don't know these boats, but they don't seem to be a lot shorter than the 17' boat I typically use. Those were exceptionally large and there were long periods of surf that were much smaller.
One of the major advantages I see in the video is that you don't get the dumping surf you usually see in Monterey since the shore dropoff doesn't seem quite as dramatic. Paddling in through high dumping surf is best avoided, IMO. It may be exhilarating, but it's all too brief to be a lot of fun and collecting rocks in your gear is overrated :).
I might add the paddler did a really nice job of keeping his elbows in when bracing. Nice strong high braces at the 8-9 minute mark after a good roll.