Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: Swimming skills
In Response To: Re: Swimming skills ()

: In reading the posts, I was unsure about one point. Is there ever a time that
: one should abandon their pfd and swim?

Let's imagine one and see how you feel about it: "you've capsized, and lost your kayak in an out flowing tide that's taking you to sea, with nothing but your PFD. The PFD keeps your shoulders high and dry and you can't really swim in it. If you weren't wearing it you feel you should be able to swim sideways out of the tidal out flow and then reach shore." Would you take your chances swimming, if it were evening and it soon would be dark, nobody knowing where you are?

I probably would, but then I'm a swimmer since early childhood and a pretty confident one to boot. I'd try to keep the PFD though, have it floating behind me attached with one of the straps. The spray skirt I would ditch, however, regardless its eventual value.

Swimming to catch the kayak might be easier, but if the paddle is lost also, and no spare, well... And if I caught the yak, then I'd need the spray skirt, and that is the real problem item when swimming...

So do you see how difficult it is to find an answer to your seemingly simple question?

But WHY on earth don't people learn to swim? It's easy, it's fun, it's good training for the whole body, soft on all the organs, yet a hard work-out can be had.

Let me finish with a nasty, and totally unfair declaration: People who don't want to learn swimming are TOO DARN STUPID TO DO KAYAKING ANYWAY!! :D !!

Now I'll run for my ABC and flame shelter, and not come back out for days.... :)