One of the important things to understand in Kayaking is the fact that the boat may turn over due to different factors. With this in mind, it is only imperative to learn the skill of getting out of a capsized Kayak. Know how to free yourself from the boat and get used to moving underwater as you escape and break the water surface.
Learn how to get out of a capsized Kayak by performing drills prior to the trip. Make sure that an instructor or experienced kayaker is close by to ensure your safety as you do the exercise and give assistance when necessary. Learn how to perform the Capsize Drill in this section:
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Here is what you need to exit a capsized kayak
- Find Water Body with 4 Feet Depth
Look for a calm stretch of water with a depth of at least 4 feet.
- Put on Spray Skirt
Sit on your Kayak and put your Spray Deck on. Make sure that the release strap is outside the Cockpit.
- Lean Over to One Side
Place your hands on your sides. Take a deep breath and lean over to one side, turning the Kayak upside down.
- Turn The Kayak Upside Down
Do not try to get out of the Kayak unless it is completely upside down.
- Bang on The Side of the Kayak
Bang on the sides of the boat to attract attention.
- Pull Spray Skirt Off
Hold the release strap. Pull it forward and then away from the Cockpit so you can pull the Spray Deck off.
- Push Yourself Out from The Kayak
Put your hands on your sides, lean forward, straighten your legs, and push yourself out of the boat.
- Hold The Kayak Tight
When you are completely out of the Kayak, hold your boat as you break the water surface. Wind can blow it away from you.
- Grab the Kayak and Try to Swim toward the Shore
Grab the front or back end of the boat and swim towards the land.
Getting out of a capsized Kayak is one of the essential Kayaking Skills every kayaker should learn before heading out. Practice the Capsize Drill so you will know what to do should your Kayak turtles in one of your trips.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.