about kayak flotation?

So I got my first small boat, a used Dagger RPM, a week or so ago.

I’ve been collecting odds and ends for it (new backband, skirt, paddle) and messing around in the pool at roll practice.

One thing I was wondering about, especially since we are about to go out and try real water on Friday, is kayak flotation. Do I need it?

I know when practicing my wet exit, that boat holds a lot of water. At least when I pull the plug and heave the darn thing up on the pool apron, a lot water comes out.

I can imagine when there is moving water and no convenient way out of it, a lot of water in the boat might make it really hard to wrestle.

So, flotation, geekery or necessity?


– Last Updated: Mar-14-09 1:49 PM EST –

Unless you want to part company with your boat the first time you capsize - it may not be rescuable without them, let alone the risk to you if it goes end-up. If you look at ads it isn't uncommon to sell those boats with the float bags, but they may have been moved to another boat or just been too beat to be safe.

You can get float bags for that boat from any paddle shop that handles WW boats, or a ton of sources online. I think the RPM just takes stern float bags (you get a pair) and the front floatation is covered by the bulkhead, but confirm that when you talk to whoever knows what they are about at the vendor's.

Yeah, I’ve had to try to push kayaks
to the bank with my boat when they lacked flotation and were full of water. Much, much more difficult than when they are properly bagged. Other paddlers may express sour feelings after they have chased a water-loaded kayak once or twice.

Float bags good
The higher your boat floats the less likely it is to get pinned, and it’s easier for your friends to rescue it when you’re swimming.

First thing you need to know is that safety is not “Geekery”, make sure you and your kayak will float when you go under, its not cool to have a serious mishap about flotation as happened just recently in Kentucky…

thanks guys
I wasn’t really sure and since no one - previous owner of the boat OR anyone at roll practice said anything about flotation, I wasn’t sure if me/this boat needed it.

And I was a little embarrassed to ask, hence my post here.

No need to be embarassed
That gets missed a surprising lot. And to float bag or not is not at all embarrassing compared to how foolish you’ll feel if you have to get rescued a lot… just hang onto that paddle and keep smiling. At least you’ll retain some dignity for anyone watching (or laughing) on shore.