Face-up paddle float self rescue, wow.

Well I’m impressed. Our club spent yesterday afternoon practicing self and assisted rescues in the smallish waves piling up on a sand bar about a half km off shore. One of our members demonstrated the face-up paddle float rescue, and I just had to try it. Piece of cake. Almost too easy. And fast, only one or two waves passed under me while getting back in, as opposed to a half-dozen during a conventional paddle float rescue. If there’s a downside to this method, I don’t see it. Anyone else tried it in real conditions?

Hadn’t heard of it, so…

– Last Updated: Sep-17-07 12:25 PM EST –

... I looked it up. Here... http://discoverysailing.org/canoe/solorescue.htm

Coupla questions...

* will this work without securing the paddle under the bungees? The face-down version will because you can place your inboard hand on top of the paddle shaft where is crosses the deck and/or coaming, and you can apply some weight/pressure on that hand to keep the paddle in place. It's a bit harder than with a bungeed paddle, but not that much.

* can you do the face-up version by hooking your outside leg under the front of the coaming and rolling up and into the cockpit, the way a "leg hook" assisted re-entry works? That rolling motion, once mastered, is almost effortless, whereas the two-legged approach pictured seems to require good strong abs to get both legs up and into the cockpit. I know paddlers are supposed to have strong abs, but not all do. The disadvantage of the hook and roll is needing to roll back over in the cockpit, keeping pressure on the paddle float side.


Thanks - great variation!
Thanks for sharing the link and thanks magoo_ns for the post. That’s great and I can’t wait to give it a try. It’s amazing how many things like that are just not being taught or is public knowledge especially with the clumbliest of all rescues - the old paddle float.

It looks like you might need some good straps behind the cockpit to hold the paddle. I wonder if it can be done just holding it?

I’ll give it a try without the straps
I don’t normally use the behind-the-cockpit straps for face down rescues, but seeing as how this was a 1st attempt I rigged my paddle securely. I’ll try it freehanded, which would be my preference anyway.

Anyone else tried it without straps?

Thanks David, for posting the link.

The real problem
with paddle float rescues is they don’t work in real conditions.

"Moosehead Muscle"
Abs? what’re they?

I don’t carry any extra weight, but ripped I ain’t.

It was surprisingly easy to get the near leg in first, then the off leg. From there it was just a matter of applying pressure on the elbows and sliding onto the aft deck. My Prijon Catalina is probably about average as far as rear deck height goes, although she does ride nice and low in the water when I bear down.

lots of variations
I think you can do pretty much any assisted rescue technique with the paddlefloat. I think the heel hook looks easier than the face up, but I don’t like the face up assisted rescue, personally. Actually, I haven’t tried the heel-hook paddle float rescue, but I watched a beginner, who couldn’t even do the standard assisted rescue do it.

any shoulder issues?
I looked at the pictures and wondered how much risk this rescue offers (if done poorly while learning) to the shoulder with the arm extended out the paddle shaft like that? We are learning not to get the arm extended and out away from the body whenever possible after hubby really tweaked his shoulder doing high braces. Thanks for the post! Another tool in the safety bag.

my problem
I haven’t done a pf belly up but everytime I tried it as an assisted rescue between two boats it didn’t feel good whereas some women prefered it 100%.

Thank you
Wow! Thank you – that looks like another good tool for the arsenal! Thanks for posting it.

Doug Alderson
I thought I recognized that CD Slipstream!

Very cool, thanks

Saw a guy try this today…
…in a Capella 160 poly (red) today at a local lake…

It didn’t appear to be going very well for him.

Great concept though, I may give it a try sometime… looked like fun.

Tried the face up paddle float rescue yesterday during a skills clinic at Lake Sebago with the Yonkers club. It worked all 4 times I tried it, 2 on each side. It felt quicker and less strenuous than a standard PF rescue. On one of the later tries I got a little casual and managed to tip the boat enough to get some additional water in the coaming while sliding in. I was working in my SOF Coaster with a Greenland paddle. I think it would be easier in a composite boat with Euro paddle, which I’ll try next time. Because of the quickness, this is my solo rescue of choice in flatwater - I agree that it should be tested in rough conditions, but I don’t see why it would be worse than a face down rescue.

seems like if you got it down fast
this would be another good arrow in the quiver

shoulder issues
this is from my viewpoint only…Yeah,I’m a bit overweight (212# )but the rotator cuff injury in the left shoulder created some hellish times with the standard paddle float rescue.Especially if I had to hold the paddle shaft to the coaming while locking the leg over.

Did he…
…have on an orange jacket and a mango colored pfd?

Face up paddle float rescue
It seems to me that if you go to the effort of inflating the paddlefloat, why waste the time if setting up the paddle with bungees instead of just going for the re-enter and roll. I have had beginners that could not do a traditional paddlefloat re-entry learn the re-enter and roll with paddlefloat easily.



– Last Updated: Oct-02-07 3:15 PM EST –

I can't do a inverted reenter and roll, but the face-up reentry worked like a breeze, so that's why it's useful to me. Also, it might be useful to be back in the boat with the paddle as an outrigger to stabilize yourself while pumping out the boat.

can they do a reenter and roll
without getting water in their boat?

not getting water in your boat seems like one of the main advantages of a paddle float rescue to me

Sounds like a 100% practice oriented question to me. How are they managing to wet exit and right the kayak with no water getting in prior to doing the p-float rescue?

Odds are if they’ve capsized and come out - there’s already water in. If they manage to empty that before doing a p-float rescue - and get no more water in while doing it - they’re on such calm water that I’d have to wonder why they’re in need of rescue to begin with.

I have done R&R in my SOF - and even with the low rear deck ended up with very little water. Not really a fair comparison to most kayaks though as it paddles fine with water in it even if it completely full. I can also just rig a GP and hop up on the rear deck and slide in the same as I would get in to launch. Doing that in chop it would ship water, and would be harder in waves, but I’d R&R then anyway (assuming I came out). In my sea kayak, I can wet exit and right the kayak with little water in it, but a good bit of water will get in if reentering on my side - and will have to be dealt with after as it past a certain point it really messes with stability in that kayak in any waves. Less water gets in if I go in with hull totally inverted, and put skirt on while inverted - but again this is more of a controlled practice type thing that a real world self rescue.