What Matt Krizan learned paddling the California coast

July 8th, 2014

Matt Krizan paddled the California coast in a 36-day expedition. Dave Shivley wrote about what Krizan learned for Canoe & Kayak. Here is what happened on day two:

Four miles offshore, the zip-tie linking his left steering pedal to the rudder snaps. Krizan must act. He spots a channel through 8-foot faces breaking on what looks like beach, so he cautiously follows a wave in. Then he’s upside down. He rolls, but can’t reach shore before the next wave picks up his 18.5-foot Current Designs Nomad—60 pounds of reinforced fiberglass loaded with 140 pounds of gear, plus another 200 pounds draped over Krizan’s lean 6-foot-7 frame—and pitch-poles the full weight into the froth. Half an hour later, as the sun goes down, Krizan finally wrestles the flooded kayak to shore. He’s soaked and shivering, his hull is cracked, cockpit day-gear long gone, plus the deck compass and the maps on which he’d planned out his entire 840-mile transit of the California coast, the labor of eight months spent planning, cutting and laminating each chart with listed mileage and landings. Gone.

I’m still in my first season of kayaking but I plan to one day take on multiple day expeditions on lakes, rivers, and the ocean. I love these stories.