First time in kayak today!

-- Last Updated: Aug-16-16 8:49 PM EST --

I'm the one with the Prijon Catalina 15 footer and I just tested it out today in about 4 foot of water so I can see what I am getting into. It IS NOT stable! I flipped first thing and it was quite scary, even in 4 foot of water. I founf out that if I got nervous and tensed up, it would become very unstable. Relaxing and breathing really helped 'catch' it before tipping. Didn't tke long before I felt pretty stable in it. Still to, it is intimidating and I know now I will require some pro instruction on how to survive a tip and roll it upright. However, it was fun to be finally in the water with it and I can tell it's going to be some serious fun once I am confident I can correct a tip situation myself. I'll be practicing that until I can do it without thinking...then I will head out on a maiden It felt really fast tho...I can tell it wants to skim the water.

Here are some pics of me inside it and other shots. These are on my twitter page.

Thanks all! Guess you have to cut and paste the photo links...not sure how to load them on this forum.


– Last Updated: Aug-14-16 9:41 PM EST –

Sounds like you will get the hang of it soon.

The site is not set up to allow you to post photos on the forums so you do need to post links to an image site. You also need to edit out the "s" on the "https" prefix. Your links don't work as you have posted them, however, with or without the "s".

I suggest posted your photos to Flickr, which is a free photo storage site run by Yahoo. You can create an album of them in there and paste the link here.

Loose hips avoid tips
Congrats on getting on the water with your new boat!

With good instruction and lots of seat time, you’ll look back on your first day and laugh.

Have a great time on your journey.

you will be surprised
how fast you get used to it. But go ahead and start towards a good deep brace and a roll sooner rather than later. The boat will support those skills and they are fun.


Lesson number 1 :

I hope you don’t mind me correcting you, but we all did it when we first started.

You are holding the paddle backwards !

Jack L

Oh yeah, the paddle
I had not looked at the photos, got the impression I couldn’t see them.

With that kind of paddle, the longest edge of the blade is always on the top. And any curvature is open towards the paddler.

another suggestion
I was able to see your pics (don’t know why that did not work last night.)

Good looking boat. To keep it that way, don’t haul it upright. Even though you have foam blocks you still risk oilcanning it on a hot day when the sun softens the plastic. Flip the boat over and carry it upside down. The deck is at less risk to caving in than the hull and even if it does get dimpled it won’t affect the performance. Also keeps the boat fro filling with water in the rain and makes the load a little more aerodynamic. You will probably have to move it forward a bit so that the leading edge of the cockpit is just behind the front foam block and the hatch clears the rear one.

Noticed the upside down paddle too – like JackL says, we all did that at first, common beginner mistake. I still have those “duh” moments.

Wishing you the best and a lot of enjoyment on the water.

Sure you’ll need some instruction to get the most out of it. But seat time will get you past the tippy sensation before you know it.

To big
It was a lot more tipsy than thought. I am wondering if I may be to tall and top heavy for it, that wouldn’t help the tipsyness of it. Looking at the pic I am up out of the cockpit pretty tall.

Honestly it was pretty scary to be sitting kinda trapped and having such a tipsy boat. I was only in a few feet of water with the deeper water a mere 30 feet away. It was pretty intimidating going torwards the deep water, so I back paddled away…I chickened out.

I really thought that with about 10 minutes of sitting in it I’d be hauling ass through that lake, but nah…I knew as soon as I sat down in it I would require some hands on instruction. Not that good of a swimmer and thoughts of flipping in the deep water upside down, kinda bothered me.

I’m going to keep at it… I can tell that as soon as I get brave and get some safety instruction…I’ll be cruising. The kayak feels like a dart…it feels like it would be fast.

Thanks for the tips… I’m going to carry it upside down on the car then…I try to avoid direct sunlight as much as I can while car topped.

This sounds stupid, but it works…
…pretend there is about 3 feet or chain coming out of your tailbone, continuing down through the boat into the water…and there is a large heavy anchor attached to it…then keep your hips loose, breathe deeply and rack up a hundred or so hours of seat time…by then it will be winter and you can find an indoor rolling class with your local whitewater group.

Learn to re-enter on water, pronto
Go somewhere asap to learn how to re-enter on the water. You have to get over fear of capsize to relax. It is no big deal, and no badge of honor to avoid capsize. Most people start capsizing quite a bit when they start stretching to learn new skills.

If you are going to push your balance you are also going to get wet, and it is much easier to do that when the water is still warm. You won’t like it if you decide to start this in late October.

This sunday
I’m going out and purposely flipping this thing…over and over and over. I have an NRS bilge pump that works great and an NRS PDF that fits great. First I am going to jump in and test and feel how the PFD floats me…Just so I know it will work. Then I am going into about 10 feet of water and flipping it…flipping it hard…going to get wet. I want to practice wet exits, uprighting and getting in. I watched good youtube videos on the subject.

I believe once I get used to flipping and going under…I’ll be way more positive about actually paddling this thing from shore. Sure later I want to learn eskimo roll, but right now I need to just get out of this thing fast when it tips over.

Of course dad and someone else will be there to help if things go wrong. I just need to get over the fear of tipping, but honestly I’ve alway been afraid of deep water…funny yes…I know. Anyways…this sunday afternoon…it’s gonna happen.

Do you have a paddle float?

– Last Updated: Aug-19-16 10:11 PM EST –

Dual chamber, preferably.

If so, study this video and then give it a try, starting out in water not over your head then eventually in deeper water.

You'll be considerably more at ease once you know you can get back into your boat.

Yes, start out in shallow water with a partner that can yank you up if trouble happens. I am all for getting comfortable capsizing, but you don’t want to learn first in deep water. This is true x 10000 if you plan on capsizing in a skirt.

One more thing
Have your dad zip up that PFD so that it stays on him.

Prijon Catalina
The Prijon Catalina is a pretty nice boat. I’ve been kayaking about 7 years. Not an expert by any means but I keep working on my skills. The first time I got into my kayak I dumped it. I managed to get into it eventually but it seemed very tipsy to me. It took some getting used to.

Even now, most of time when I dump the boat it’s getting in or out of it. I’ll do it hundreds of times without incident and one time something is different.

View videos of self rescues and try to practice them. Hook up with a local paddling group or kayak shop. Many of them run skills sessions or have mentors who will help you. Sure, you can learn on your own but training with others is not just fun, it helps with not developing bad habits and having to unlearn and relearn the better or right technique.