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Peddling, as mentioned, is always better but it can come with a price. If you hit a sandbar, it can cause damage to your peddle drive. It takes awhile before you become experienced enough on a peddle drive going through the surf. On a Hobie, you can go to a flutter kick. If the waves are up, the waves will over power your flutter kick. One suggestion would be to place your drive in while in the water and keep the fins folded with the bungee until you pass the second sandbar. Once you are past the second sandbar, the third sandbar is usually too deep to hit with fins or any drive for that matter. At this point, you time it to where you are in between wave sets and deploy your rudder and away you go.

Most of the time I just paddle through the surf then deploy my rudder after the surf zone.
I always paddle through the surf zone, partially for the reason YY gave, but partly for better control. In rough surf, with breakers close together, it only takes a second for one breaker to swing your bow around, where the next can roll you. The pedals and rudder can't respond quick enough to prevent that.
I will admit that I am a paddle only guy but as I’ve read some of the responses that said peddle definitely but no reasoning behind it.

Most people don’t paddle efficiently through waves. Look at the videos and the minute a wave hits the boat people lift their paddle and the wave pushes the yak around. The way to do it was to paddle through the wave. Plant your blade on top of the wave and paddle through wave pushing your boat through. This will keep you moving forward and not pushed into the surf zone.

For peddle I agree with Bigfost. The quickness and agility don’t seem to be provided by the peddles.

Interesting discussion guys.

Unfortunately you are all wrong. The correct answer is you do BOTH. :D

The words quickness and agility are not the first adjectives I'd choose to describe paddling a pedal kayak (like an Outback).

With my Outback, I paddle until i'm over the "first" major sandbar, then drop the pedal drive in while i'm over the second gut while I wait for the wave set to come through, then pedal fast as I can with my paddle in my hands to help out as needed.

It would be pretty unusual conditions to have to worry about hitting the next sandbar out with your pedal drive. Usually the "first" one is the only one of concern, and depending if it is low or high tide, the "first" sandbar may actually be the real first or maybe the second one.

Anyway, point is adjust to the conditions, but I usually will paddle first, then both pedal and paddle if I need.

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