I was recently asked to describe my version of counting waves when launching your yak from a high surf beach. When I started kayaking 4 years ago I read a lot of books on the sport and never quite understood what was meant about counting waves. Then one day working on Clearwater Beach (Florida), it came to light. All waves come in on a regular pattern and if you watch the beach where the water comes in right before it recedes back, you can see them. I call them small, medium, and large. The pattern can change often, even several times a day, but when you are launching, what you count will work till you are floating.
Recently working water support for a local triathlon, we had a storm brewing off shore (in shore for that matter) with a good surf pounding the beach. 2 of us launched the other yakers as the waves came in which is when I started my counting. 2 big, 4 small… okay here comes the first small, I would push them out and tell them to paddle enough to get past the beach self. Okay next, 2 big, go! When it was only the 2 of us left on the beach, Dary asked if I needed help to get out, and I was counting 4, 1, 2 here’s my wave see ya! And I was punching through with minimal water splash till I could be floating to get my skirt on the cockpit.