Kayaking Technique Forum

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

: Randy

Yes, the 2 brothers drowned, but from the sounds of it, they were completely unfamiliar with kayaking. And I believe there is a distinct advantage a swimmer has over thrashing in a PFD. The gist of this thread is really the Q, is swimming skill a PRE-requisite for sea kayaking? I maintain that it is, and that although pure luck gets some folks through, it is only luck. There is just no way I would endorse taking a beginner out on any water (unless it is less than 4 feet deep) without this skill. When swimming can be learned in less than 2 months, why in G-d's name would anyone skip out on this trivial time committment to "get paddling right away?"? To save a couple hours of lessons over 8 weeks? I just don't get it. If you can't swim, don't canoe, don't kayak, don't sail, just stay off of the water. This is elementary school stuff, what I have been taught since I was a 6 year old. I stand by my advice on this board, no swim-no kayak. Plain and simple. The rest is foolishness.

Not that I have any strong feelings about the subject....:)

Good points!

: One incident report on Blackstone Bay, from an old

: I was in Prince William Sound that day. Two "swimmers" made it to
: shore, but the other "swimmers" drowned! The shore was
: reasonably near, it wasn't so much a case of "good swimming
: skills" rather cold wet boaters thrashed enought to get to ground.
: Had the others stayed with and on their kayaks they may well be alive.

: Like any issue, the extreme positions are right only in
: almost-never-to-happen situations. Of course, being able to swim helps in
: any water sport. And of course, just about any living person with a PFD
: would figure out how to pull themselves thru the water with their arms
: toward their objective, whether they were a "swimmer" or not.

: Without the correct dress, the PFD helps locate the body. Without the PFD,
: you may get to be organically recycled and/or you may get to find out if
: there really is an after life. Maybe another thread could be "Could
: there be an after life without kayaking and water?" : )

: Safe paddling to all, may you never have to swim, only if you choose to.

: Randy