Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: I have to agree
In Response To: Re: I have to agree ()

: I have to agree with you. A reenry in flat water is hard once your hands are
: cold and wet. In rough water it may become impossible quickly.

: But as they say ...

: any recovery is better than none.

I learned most of my kayaking through friends who are guides, I think their bias for re-entry is based on the fact that the often take people out in doubles and assisted re-entry is usually the case. Most people don't have a very good roll, and time just often doesn't permit a fair weather kayaker to master this kind of skill, they often have families and are very busy, and grab a few hours when they can to take a paddle, usually in a rented boat. This consistutes a majority of kayakers, people who can read the weather, paddle reasonably well, and know their limitations. So I guess my point is that for the average weekend paddler, practicing good, reliable re-entries (using a pair of neoprene gloves lashed to the deck rigging near the rescue aid to prevent "wooden club finger" due to immersion) gets these people results pretty quick. We teach students to work with buddies at safe beaches, practicing re-entry in progressively worse conditions, until it becomes routine.

I absolutely agree with you that for folks who are really into kayaking, and have the time, the eskimo roll is a desirable first measure, no doubt about it. But for the average paddler who doesn't have much time, but still wants to enjoy the sport, assisted rescue or self re-entry provides a feeling of security, especially when the sponson deployment is mastered in bad conditions. Of course, we all favour anticipation of bad conditions, but we have all had some unexpected problems. Now that does raise the question of whether rolling should be mandatory, and taught as the primary recovery skill, and I know it has its advocates and detractors. But I think the student needs to master the fear of coming out of the boat. Paddle float and sponsons, with wetsuit, signal devices and neoprene gloves to maintain use of the hands in cold water, provides a quickly learned rescue system.

I am much more suspicious of the T-rescue and the H-rescue and the all-in rescue, these look frankly impossible in bad conditions. Anyone with comments on the T or H rescue and experience seems to advise against them. But for unloaded boats, on a day paddle, they make a certain amount of sense.

After having read Deep Trouble and talked to alot of kayakers, I am still not sure that rolling, in the end of things, saves any lives. Sorry, but the conditions, if bad, defeat the roll, and require measures such as sponson deployment, or better things to come in the future, to stabilize the craft and to get the hell out of the mess you paddled into. Failed rolls result in exposure, repeated rolls are demoralizing, especially when you have to fight to bring them around. Do rolls do anything other than refine bracing and hip leveraging skills? I haven't seen a study which compares these things scientifically, and perhaps that needs to be done. An analysis of the efficacy and reliability of different rescue procedures.....