Beam seas; newbie needs advice

There’s a fantastic new DVD out by
Wayne Horodowich on bracing. He shows how to practice it on land first, then sitting in the water without a boat, then sitting in your boat in calm shallow water, and finally in conditions.

If P-net doesn’t have it (they usually carry all of Wayne’s videos), you can also get it from Wayne’s site, the University of Sea Kayaking.

I just got a copy and I think it’s fantastic. I do have to disclose though, that Wayne is a friend and I have appeared in his ABC’s of the Surf Zone video.

short version
dozen paddlers go 12miles from island to island in SanJuans. One paddler isn’t up to the challenge, gets seasick capsizes three times and is rescued three times in about three miles. A tow is involved with assistance for the victim and both capsize, 3’ waves.

Seat time and guide’s advice

– Last Updated: Aug-02-08 11:29 PM EST –

You just have to get used to letting the boat move under you without stiffening up yourself, and there really isn't much cure for that but seat time. Just seek out gradually more challenging conditions so that you can ease into it rather than getting all your angst up at once.
If you have done wet exits and re-entries, you can also go into shorter wavelets near shore and practice capsizing in them and doing a re-entry. Nothing like taking a swim to relax you.

BTW, not sure that engaging the thigh braces is necessarily helpful when you are trying to relax in the situation you describe. To recover and do a brace yes, but my sense is that for starters you are trying to learn how to avoid needing that correction. For learning to let the water move the boat around without overreacting, it may be more effective to let your legs lie loose along the bottom of the boat. But try all of the above and see what seems to work best.

"You just have to get used to letting the boat move under you without stiffening up yourself, and there really isn’t much cure for that but seat time. "

On big adventure-type bikes (think KTM 950), the only way to ride one in deep sand is to get up off the seat as soon as you start moving forward. That allows the bike to move underneath you at will while you’re looking far forward. Sit down, look at road just in front of your front wheel and you are going down. Some of the advice given here sounds similar manner - except for standing up of course - look at the horizon, let the kayak move under you, keep your hips loose…