caught in a storm

We recently had quite a severe wind storm come through our area, and watched it cross the small lake we live on. Exciting to say the least! I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d do if I were on the lake. My question is, what would one do if caught in a big water crossing and a storm came up unexpected? Do you stay in the kayak, get in the water? What would be the best course of action. ( the best would be to know what the local weather report is before you start, I know ). Any thought’s? LJB.

Paddle or Die
Seriously, paddling keeps you stable and keeps you warm. Then get to shore as safely and quickly as possible.

paddle, fast
paddle like a bat outa hell to the nearest shore you can land on. thats about it

I’d get in the water a swim for it.



we’re purposely going out ‘in conditions’ tomorrow to practice surviving strong wind/seas. it actually can be FUN.

we ran our @$$e$ off out in Georgia a couple weeks ago. B I G electric storm. double YIKES. no practicing for this kind of weather.



Maybe you should take wind direction
and wave condition into account rather than trying to get to the “nearest” shore. The “nearest” shore is the one you can get to safely. I have been in high winds where the only thing to be done was run downwind, even though the shore was nearby.

Yeah I’d probably end up swimming sooner or later too.

Is anybody going to give this guy a serious answer?

Everybody in the water…AGAIN?
For christ sake, steve, didn;t you make the same suggestion in trinidad?


Try to stay pointed into the wind and waves. Try to stay upright. Try to stay “aero” like on a bike.

I was at the coast when a squall came through. I was indoors at the time and thought the old house was going to come down. I’d guess the wind blew at 60 mph for 3 or 4 minutes. I thought the same thing. ‘What the hell would I do if I was in the middle of the sound in this?’

Keep paddling, and keep …

it happened to us once in the ACE basin in South Carolina, and the wind blew up so strong that I think without paddling/bracing as each wave hit we would have been over within a short period.

I think the key to survival in most cases is: DON’T PANIC !

If there is a lot of lightning around, but no rough water and you are hours away from land just figure if the Man upstairs wants you, He is going to take you no matter where you are.

Enjoy the show!



thanks all,
I’ve had similar thoughts. Rough weather really shows us how very small we are and sometimes out of control. Thanks for your input.

Once again, I guess the bottom line is paddle safe. LJB.

don’t panic?

– Last Updated: Nov-12-05 11:26 PM EST –

i'd have to say that this is both interesting and germane advice not often given. while we all espouse training and practice till the cows come home, what we often learn with time and experience, is just what we can endure if we just don't panic. kinda like the concept of lost. i say concept because getting or being 'lost' is more of a head space than an actual place to my way of thinking. if panic starts to set in you are lost. if not you just temporarily do not know your exact position.

anyhow, kind of a tangent but none the less, i think that was a sharp comment and tend to agree. what to do is actually the harder question to answer however, it's what not to do- panic- that is crystal clear.

well you know what I
I should have stated it more clearly but I did mean by nearest shore you can land on, by eastiest to get to, because as you said “nearest” shore can be relative due to wind, wave etc.

yeah but…
with the shark population what it is in N California I didn’t get many takers, now did I?


did you get any of the pics from Mike Z?


You will be …
“caught in a storm” when the current changes directions and the wind now opposes it. Consider always what the wind and water will be doing.

Augustus Dogmatycus


Head for shore
We were stranded last weekend. One hour from the car. May as well have been on the moon. The solo canoe couldn’t fight the wind and got dumped four feet up a sandy beach. Thank god it was a sandy beach and not a jagged rocky one. We found shelter and hung out for a night. Our wives were frightened and furious. The storm put 1,000,000 people out of power.

It sucks, but it’s better than the alternative.

Wind storms often come with some lightning. Out on the lake is the wrong place to be.

Storm Kayaking
Kayaking in storm conditions is one of the branches of extreme sea kayaking. Several skills are desirable, if not essential, in such circumstances. These include rolling, bracing, and kayaking at any angle to wind / waves. One other thing to consider: paddling into the wind obviously is slow-going, but it is more stable. Paddling with the wind /waves is fast, but definitely requires more skill, especially surfing ability. The best bet is to know your own comfort level, and only go out after checking the marine forecast. Also, you can train for storm kayaking by going out in conditions, but in a safe situation (high winds, where the wind will blow you onto a sandy beach, for example). Surfing skills can be aquired gradually, starting with small, easy waves. Learn to roll, and once you get it, do it in progressively more challenging conditions.


Been caught in both wind and lightening.
The lightening came out of a squall line moving very fast and was on me in seconds. And I did exactly like above."Well Lord , if you want me, you got me."I was in my first boat, an Acadia, and it got a lot of rain in it, but that was all.

We hade two storms converge behind us coming in one day with strong wind against an outgoing tide. Spooky , but great surfing.