Kayaking Technique Forum

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

Re: Wake - smile and relax - responsible?

Although I quite agree with the three above people and share their views and enthusiasm, I still say their advice is BAD. why? Giving this type of encouragement to someone who defines himself as a "rookie kayaker" just is not SAFE. You don't know his skill level, and yet you do your best to encourage him to behave like old experienced kayakers do.

Rookies freeze and loose all control when hit by something they fear they can't handle. Without that uncertainty and fear they probably could, but that only comes with time and practice. So think twice, and get responsible, before giving advice which on closer examination may well be nothing more than boasting your own skills.

One point made above was a good one: wakes are a good place to practice, since they come and go. Even if you capsize, you can then do your rescue after they pass, in much calmer conditions. But have someone with you, preferably a more experienced kayaker, or a friend in a boat. The trouble with power boats is that if one makes wakes that throw you over, the next one may well arrive before you have recovered/rescued yourself, and he will have that much less of you to see, and simply run you over.

So, if you are and feel like a rookie, don't get carried away with the enthusiasm that some people turn into bad advice. Proceed one step at a time, and build those skills carefully.