Man overboard!

Has anybody actually turned your kayak over just to see if you would be able to get back in. I was reading in a book where the author thought it would be a good thing to do as a teaching tool.I told my fishing buddy I thought it would be a good idea. I just haven’t had the chance to do so. My buddy tells me every once in a while “well you ready to dump yourself yet” I’ll say not this time and he chuckles. I guess it would be a good idea but I think you would want to do it in a controlled enviroment like maybe a swimming pool. I think the idea would be to reveal to yourself what would happen. It would show you the good thing and the bad things to do.You would want to get all the expensive fishing gear out and make sure everything was closed up. Dose anybody have any ideas on this lets hear them.

Yes. Do It…

– Last Updated: Aug-06-10 6:40 AM EST –

it's always good to get some self rescues practice in every season. Summer is a good time given warmth of water.

I practice in the ocean, before and/or after going out for my trip. I usually practice with whatever equipment I use for fishing (especially if it's secured, e.g. milk crate, rod holders, etc) on the boat. This is the only way to find out if these are in the way in a self rescue. For example, I can roll my SOT (with thigh straps) when the fishing rods are not on board and leashed to the rod holders (just to the back and side of me). But, when the leashed rods are there, they are in the way of a paddle sweep. On a re-entry scramble, these are not in the way (the rods are dangling at the side of the boat).

My Scupper Pros came with no perimeter lines or side handles. I add these because to allow, first, the ability to hang on to the boat on a capsize and, secondly, to help flip the boat back over (especially the side handles - I am small so I like to scamble on top of the hull, grab the far side handle, slide back into the water while pulling the boat right side back up).

Go practice. Don't assume you can do it when you need to self rescue for real.


I have flipped kayaks intentionally in controlled environments with assistance nearby in case it was needed. And I have flipped kayaks and canoes unintentionally in uncontrolled environments but still with assistance nearby in case it was needed.

I recommend getting out and flipping your kayak in a controlled environment with assistance nearby. It gives you a great deal more confidence and is a good learning experience. You will learn that getting back into a floating SinK is very difficult and requires specific practice for one thing.

funny you mention this
I know for me I want to know just how far I can push my kayak before it tips over and then how easy it would be to get back into it. I’m going to try it in my parents pool just to safe and to have the knowledge on what I need to have happen to get back in my yak if somehow I ever fell out or flipped it over.

Now mine is a sot but still would like to know just what the capabilities are with my yak.

Do it.
Have someone keeping an eye on you. It wouldn’t do to bonk your head on the side of the pool and no one know.

Try it a few times in just a swim suit, but once you get comfortable flipping yourself over, try it with your full paddling outfit on.

I have put on my waders, my dry top, my PFD, my shoes, and tried to swim in a controlled environment. It’s not easy, but now I have the confidence that my waders won’t leak and fill up (I use waist high and interlace them with the tunnel on my dry top) and that my PFD will do it’s job and keep me afloat. At one point, I discovered that if I held onto my paddle that I can “assume the position” (feet first, head upstream) and use the paddle to move myself through using my PFD as the boat. It feels funny but it gets me where I needed to go. Probably wouldn’t work in rough water. But you learn a lot. So do it.

Interesting ideas
I watched a video on youtube where this guy was trying to get back into a sink after he purposely flipped it over it was almost comical he worked and worked and had someone help him and they finally just quit filming. I watched two fellows in person flip a sink they were playing but I watched to see how much trouble they had. I noticed that the boat when it was flipped took on an enormous amount of water so much so that after several tries they gave up and swam it to the boat ramp about 100’ away. I have lean a good ways to see the stability of my SOT and discovered that it would be difficult to flip it however things happen and in an emergency bad things suddenly get complicated in a hurry. Also if you try and your not fully committed to the flip your mind won’t let you go beyond the point of no return. A lot of things could happen for the worse like being intangled in leashes and things that are in the boat. So in light of all the good ideas it would be a good thing to try in a controlled event and also with the equipment to see how bad the normal equipment hampers you. Thanks for all the comments you never know if someone reading this may pull a good idea from it that will help some day thanks again!

I don’t like leashes
I call them “brown bag strainers”.

  • Big D

Come on out to Falls Lake or Jordan Lake
We practice self rescue and assisted rescue all the time. It is fun to do it while the water is warm.

Just shoot me and email or Join up at

you just need a better
butterfly roll! :wink:

Unplanned practice
Last Sunday afternoon me, my wife, daughter and her boyfriend went out to Randleman lake. My daughter and her boyfriend wanted to try out the kayaks. I took mine and my buddies and rented a double sink. I put the boyfriend in mine and my daughter in my buddies and I rode the sink. This was the first time the two of them had ever been kayaking and it showed in their paddling. After a while getting used to the boats we were off they wanted me to lead out so I stayed close to shore. we were enjoying ourselves paddling was emproving then all the sudden out of nowhere the boyfriend flipped my yak. He looked at me like I was going to scold him but I just wanted to help him out of a tight spot. He did one good thing though he didn’t pannick which helped things a lot. I reassured him that it could and eventually would happen to anybody. He seemed to be no worse for the wear. After several attemps to get back in failed I told him to get in with me and we towed my yak back to the ramp. His failure to re-enter was greatly hendered by the amount of water the kayak took on. He actually did get back in but with the first paddle stroke he flipped again so I told him to just get in the double I was in. I knew that he could swim underwater fine but to stay afloat would make him pannic but he had a lifevest on so he didn’t. He learned something and I did as well. I was surprised at how much water entered my yak and after the water went past the critical amount It was no longer possible to re-enter not to mention navigate with any kind of stability. My yak being a SOT I considered it to be a closed cell a float as it were but this changed that thought. I think that you would have to re-enter as soon as possible to keep from getting the critical amount of water in the yak. Causes for the large amount of water probably came from the front hatch cover being loose or maybe the large crack under the seat. I was glad that he did not get hurt and that he was a good sport about it and he did say he wanted to come back and play with the yaks so all is well thank God!!

Do it. And I can speak from experience here. I’m primarily a sea kayaker and whitewater paddler and have a good combat roll. But out on a recent fishing trip with a friend, I was using my SOT fishing kayak and had it completed outfitted for the salmon fishing I was doing. Having the need to relieve myself, I decided to get out of my seat, lean forward and pee in my footwells through my scupper holes. I was about a mile offshore and very quickly, I was in the water before my brain had time to process what actually happened. My boat managed to turn completely over with my equipment dangling from the rod holders, etc. I had no problem flipping the boat and gettin back in, but it took longer than I’d expected. Probably because I was attempting to deal with gear floating/sinking.

So yes, practice. Definitey a smart thing to do.

Curious thing
Most male drowning victims are found with their zippers down. Tinkling is dangerous aboard a small boat. Next time, take a Gatorade bottle with you. Carefully marked, of course so as not to confuse the contents. Tinkle into the bottle and then dump it while remaining seated.

  • Big D

Curious thing
Most male drowning victims are found with their zippers down. Tinkling is dangerous aboard a small boat. Next time, take a Gatorade bottle with you. Carefully marked, of course so as not to confuse the contents. Tinkle into the bottle and then dump it while remaining seated.

  • Big D

I’ve used that method, but unfortunately, I didn’t have one that day!

A time to swim and a time to go!
I usually try to take a bottle of drink to drink then use to wiz in then pour it out a little ways from the boat the further the better. I had forgotten to take out my anchor and I was afraid he might get tangled in it but he did well. I guess I kind of baptised him. I guess you take for granted some of the movements you make that don’t cause problems until your in a crisis. Good luck and be careful.

At least once a year
when the water warms up, I take it out in deep water, but close to shore, turn it over, right it, then get back in, to make sure I still can.