Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Re: Please accept my apologies
In Response To: Re: Please accept my apologies ()

: Hey David, Sorry about the loss of your friends. I've always wanted to become
: a good enough paddler to eventually play in tide rips. Flat water has
: gotten so boorring...Makes me start to think otherwise...

: How fast were the currents in the tide rips you experienced?

: Shawn

One fatality occured on the East Coast of Canada, solo paddling in storm, inexperienced. Sad, young hippy guy. Funny, his nickname was Atwater. Then a couple, doing an island crossing on Canada's West Coast got caught in a storm, one capsized, other went in doing assisted rescue. I wish I knew the details.

I haven't been in a tide tip. I avoid them. One of my closest friends is a guide, who knows the Johnston Straight off of Vancouver Island well. He pointed out the hot spots before I got out. My worst experiences were when I was just learning, in a plastic play boat without flotation, no thinking about weather. When I got my first sea kayak, I took it out and dumped it, again and again, in the shittiest conditions I could find. Self rescue, pump out, self rescue, pump out. Losing sunglasses and all kinds of things I thought I had tied down. Feeling the helplessness and cold of falling out of the boat and the controlled panic. I use the sponsons as first line of defense, with a strong, practised paddle float as my back up. Why no eskimo roll? All of my guide friends say that it is useless. That is a strong statement, coming from them. A loaded sea kayak in a storm is hard to roll and when you get up, you are still in lousy water. So I spend my time on practising bracing and re-entry and assisted rescue. Sponsons are brilliant, and Tim was nice to me when I emailed him with Qs. They do leave you way more stable then you were before capsize. And we can't predict weather, really. I have seen absolutely clear VHF reports, in which big, nasty cloud fronts just come in and hit you on the beam with 2/3 meter bastards. And you say, where did that come from?

So people die from kayaking when their skill level is weak, they get hypothermic, or when the weather turns. I can work on A and B in teaching. As for the weather, I guess that what makes kayaking an adventure sport. Now if I could just have 20 year old shoulders again....

In the lake I am in, there is just alot of high wind and random rebound stuff. Your response and others was excellent.