SCOTT MARSHALL'S mother contacted police when she had not heard from her son after he started his kayaking trek from Tallebudgera Creek on Tuesday.
The Westpac Helicopter and water police began an extensive search covering from Point Danger all the way down to Yamba.
Mr Marshall, 41, said he had no idea the search was on and appeared to be in shock about the ordeal.
He told the Daily News the surf was bigger than he expected and he decided to change course to Murwillumbah.
He further told police he had been camping on the Tweed River.
Mr Marshall, who is from Ballina, said he only pulled in to Jack Evans Boat Harbour to contact his mother.
Big Trev from Big Trev's Water Sports said he was astounded when Mr Marshall paddled up.
"I seen the chopper flying around," he said.
"In paddles this guy into the entrance of my harbour, I waved him down and flagged him in.
"I could see his sunburn and I could see his sea grass in his kayak.
"I offered him my phone to call his mum."
Big Trev said he gave the keen kayaker a bottle of water before he told him about the ordeal.
He said Mr Marshal appeared shocked.
On Tuesday Mr Marshall went to C-Kayaks in Burleigh Heads and purchased a yellow and white Prijon Millennium Sea Kayak with his savings.
The shop's manager Eric Pearson said he was surprised when Mr Marshal came in to purchase the kayak with just a backpack on his back.
"It's the first time in four years that I've seen someone come in, buy a kayak, and plan to paddle that distance," he said.
"He went in the water straight from the shop."
Mr Pearson said he told the man it was NSW law to have a life jacket onboard so he purchased one.
"I got a call from his mother yesterday but I told her if he was going slowly it could take some time to get there.
"I don't know if he had the necessary items to travel the distance."
Mr Marshall spoke to police shortly after he pulled into the boat harbour.
He was given some change to contact his mother after refusing offers to use mobile phones.
He told My Daily News next time he would bring a mobile phone to keep his mother in the loop.
UPDATE May 10, 3pm: A BALLINA kayaker who was reported missing off the Far North Coast has been found safe and well.
Scott Marshall, 41, was spotted off Tweed Heads at about 2pm.
He had initially planned to paddle to Ballina after buying the kayak on Tuesday, but after encountering rough seas it is understood he retreated to the safety of the Tweed River and camped.
Mr Marshall told police he did not have money to call his family and inform them he was safe over the past three days.
Shortly before he was found, police said Mr Marshall had set out from Jack Evans boat harbour at Tweed Heads yesterday and was later seen fishing from his kayak at snapper rocks.
UPDATE May 10, 11.58pm: A massive air and sea search is underway to locate a 41-year-old Ballina man who has been missing in waters off the coast since Tuesday.
At 10am the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter joined water police to the search for the kayaker. It understood he set out from Tallebudgera Creek, on the southern Gold Coast, on Tuesday at midday.
His destination was to be Ballina. It is not known whether the man was experienced in kayaking in the open sea.
Owner of Tweed Heads kayak shop WakenSurf, Moti Levy, said he had not heard about the search but hoped the missing man was just tired. He said conditions in the water at the time the man went missing were good, with flat seas and clear water.
The Prijon Millennium Sea Kayak is 5.2m long with a white hull and yellow deck.
More information to come.
INITIAL REPORT May 10, 11am: The Westpac Rescue Helicopter has joined in the search for 41-year-old male kayaker who has gone missing on a trip from Point Danger to Ballina.
The helicopter team joined in the search this morning for the man who has been missing since Tuesday.
The search area will extend from Point Danger to Yamba. The kayak is a 5.2 metres long, white and yellow.
No further information is available at this time. More information will be made available when it comes to hand.