First capsize

Today I went out for the first time in my new boat. I used to have a Pungo 120 and purchased an Eddyline Nighthawk 16. I guess I kinda had some bad habits from the pungo. After an hour or two on the water it happened. I don’t know exactly how, but the next thing I know I am swimming.

It was shocking at first (cold water plus unexpected). Luckily I had on my wetsuit and a partner nearby. I proceeded to do the paddle float reentry for the first time. I must admit I had some trouble with the first reentry and rolled the kayak over again. Eventually I got it, not as easy as it should have been.

I then proceeded to work on my re-entries for the next half hour or so. It was fun and eye opening. Thanks for listening.

Keep on.
Being as stubborn as to reentry several times after an accidental capsize is a sure sign of a will to paddle.

Capsizing on a new narrower boat is a must, so do not overworry.

I have capsized five times unintentionally and every one has encouraged me to learn by trial and failure, new basic skills until they sticked.

Although some paddlers friends claim never to capsize, the longer I play this sport the more I see them going down with a surprised look. As for me, I am sure I shall capsize more in the future.


It’ll get better . . .
I have a Nighthawk 16 too, and it was a little twitchy at first - but wait until you get it in some rougher water. I have had more near capsizes in flat water than I ever have on rough. In fact, I’ve never felt like I was going over when in rough water. (Even the one time I did actually capsize, I didn’t FEEL like I was going over! It happened very suddenly while landing in surf.)


Yea, I always say…
my day is coming. not so much that I am expecting it it’s just I know it’s goona happen. AND when it does I do not want to be suprised. I have been so lucky - yes LUCKY!

Two Suggestions
By the way, I am a Night Hawk 16 owner as well.

When doing a paddlefloat re-entry, and your belly is on the rear deck, make sure that you lean on the side of the paddle float.

Also, when you are ready to rotate your body and return to your seat, rotate in the direction of the paddle float.

The Night Hawk encourages her owner to have good technique :slight_smile: Lou

What were the conditions?

My first and, to date, only capsize happened a few weeks after getting my new QCC700 about a year ago. It happend in a beam wave which was breaking almost at shoulder height in about 4 feet of water. I posted the experience here and was slammed by a couple of posters for making a big deal out of it. At the time, it was for me. Now, I am not so concerned about it, and you will also get to this point with just a few play sessions with your boat. I have been in very sloppy and confused water and heavy chop in high winds since and have not even come near to going over yet in those conditions.

In the words of Ranger Webber
of the National Park Service, “If your not getting wet, your not learning”


Thanks for the responses
Thanks for all the responses. Like I said, I am sure I have many technical flaws from using the pungo (being able to get away with it). The nighthawk is not so forgiving.

It’s good to see fellow Nighthawk owners here and I am printing out the paddlefloat re-entry details you so kindly posted. Thanks again.

Capsizing is no biggie…
just roll back up. It’s so much easier than trying to climb back in that boat.

A word class tap dancer told students
If you aint falling sometimes, you ain’t dancing hard enough. Get your reentry down on flat water then get you roll too.

I capsized in fron of Derek Hutchinson in a class on flat water. You’ve never seen such a careful set up for a roll in your life.

Others say…
Sea kayaking is a dry sport :wink:

I’m surprised on one’s noted that old adage up to now…!

Taking a dump -er, capsizing -is ALWAYS a surprise. If it isn’t, it’s just “practice”.

At any rate, we all should practice in increasingly agitataed waters to get a feel for the real thing when -when indeed! -it happens.

It’s something that makes you a better kayaker in the long run, and gets you more comfortable with time and experience, as you


-Frank in Miami