Kayaking Technique Forum

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swimmimg is best, water comfort next
In Response To: Re: Exceptions...sort of ()

: Then there are "non-swimmers" or "not-much-of-a-swimmers"
: like Randy who have developed a great deal of water-sense, and kayaking
: abilities.

: Not only does the ability to swim mean simply that, it also implies a certain
: level of water-sense and comfort in the liquid medium of which we cannot
: breathe. Some people can develop those skills and technically still
: not be able to swim, but they probably go through a significantly greater
: amount of effort and time to get to that experience level than they would
: have by learning to swim. I don't think Randy is in the norm, and I won't
: encourage others to go that same route. I've never met him in person, but
: I have great respect for his knowledge and experience, so I'm not knocking
: him--I just can't encourage others to pursue the same approach to
: kayaking-without-swimming.

: So, I would say there are two kinds of "non-swimmers". Those who
: swim like stones, and those who have some water sense, but lack the
: ability to efficiently propel themselves through H2O. Still, I'd prefer to
: know how to swim.

: Shawn

Well put. I've taken lessons, practiced, had life saving courses, etc. and am still an incredibly inefficient swimmer, don't float unless actively paddling. A mile offshore with no flotation and I am a goner.

David is right in advising learning to swim, a small investment to have more protection and options.

I'd just hate to see someone miss all the joys of kayaking if they are not good at swimming or don't realize there are ways to partially compensate for it.

I can't keep my body up in the air but have greatly enjoyed skydiving, flying small planes around Alaska, done some limited aerobatics, vertical ice climbing. But I have taken the time to learn how to protect myself in those situations. I think we can teach that in kayaking too.

However, I have added a few more pounds of body fat the last few years (may help my floatablilty) and am heading back to the pool to practice some of those things David recommended.