Re: CH 16 sea trial Q's

Posted by Tim Clark on Mar 18, 2007


Your wonderful new kayak is akin to getting your first two wheel bike, without the training wheels.

Unless a wave tips you over, you will come to realize just how stable a kayak can be. Keeping your upper body centered will reduce tippiness and increase your sense of confidence. Next time you get in your boat. try wiggling your hips while keeping the upper body centered. You will begin to understand the stability of a kayak.

Find a kayak club and solicit their help in getting your kayak fitted for you. Make sure the foot braces are adjusted so that your knees are sufficiently bent.

Buy an introductory video on kayaking which focuses on paddle strokes. Learning rescues are importnat, but not before learning the right way to paddle.

When it is time to learn rescues, learn not just the paddle float rescue (by the way, do you own a paddle float?) but assisted ones as well.

Buy 'Deep Trouble' (the book) as soon as possible and read it. It will instill a sense of caution, which is the primary reason the highly intelligent people who are drawn to this sport to get into trouble.

If you want to learn to roll, you should decide early whether you are doing so to learn a reliable rescue option or because it seems like somwthing which all kayakers should learn. If you are out in conditions severe wnough to cause a capsize, then you will want to be highly confident in your roll (i.e. a "bombproof roll") so that it is second nature and you can execute it under duress. Many people learn to roll without great effort. Few develop a bombproof roll without great effort.

Whenver you go out, file a "float plan", telling people when you are leaving, when you are coming back and where you intend to go. If you don't get back in time, you want others thinking about finding you and ensuring you are safe.

Dress for the water, not the air. Hypothermia can occur even in the summertime.

Until you are comfortable with your skills and your ability to self rescue, it would be best not to paddle aline. And your PFD should be warn at all times, even when it is too hot to wear it.

And above all, have a fun time with it!

Best Wishes,

Tim Clark

In Response to: CH 16 sea trial Q's by Jay on Mar 17, 2007


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