Re: Paddle float re-entry

Posted by LeeG on Jul 27, 2006

Jim, I'm going to C&P Fosters comments as they really are important.

If you notice the photos in Mathews link he isn't using the bungies, it's more effective to do the rescue holding the shaft at the back of the coaming. With high freeboard kayaks like the Chesapeake there's a very real possibiltiy of breaking paddles if you aren't clear about the technique of getting your TORSO on the back of the kayak and not the paddle shaft.

$.02 more. By the time you get profficient in a p.f. self rescue you should be learning a re-entry and roll. It's a fraction of the effort of a pf. rescue. In the big picture it's smarter to become very efficient in assisted rescues and paddle with another person as the reliance on a solo p.f. rescue still leaves you with a LOT of water to remove. With assisted rescues the odds are a lot greater that a rescue will be successful as the conditions that dump a solo paddler make a pf. rescue very difficult. Holding a pump while trying to brace and prevent more water intrusion is a three hand operation.

As a goal consider doing a dozen pf. self-rescues in easy conditions.

Foster: To sum up Paddle floats are a useful aid to the solo paddler who capsizes and fails to roll, but in most situations where this might happen should the paddler really be paddling solo? When paddling with others, the float rescue is a poor substitute for an assisted rescue. If you trust the float rescue to save your life while paddling alone, you'd be foolish to venture out in conditions in which your self-rescue is untested or unreliable. Practice your self-rescues regularly and always check that your paddle float is in working order before you go. The only paddlers that I found who could show me a quick and effective float rescue were those who had practiced it a lot. The main limitation to this kind of self-rescues your own skill. What one person can do with a paddle float, another can find impossible. You will have your own limits. Garrett exceeded his limits at Cape Fear.

As a footnote What do I consider the most effective self-rescue using a paddle float? My vote goes to the reentry and roll. And as a back up for Eskimo rolling, not as a substitute for it.

In Response to: Paddle float re-entry by Jim L on Jul 27, 2006


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