Rescue Stirrup - how do you use?

just saw this while browsing on MEC’ website. I’m going to gather that you shorten the stirrup off the float so it gives you added bouyancy to get a ‘legup’ into your boat if you’re ejected?

see here for the device I’m talking about:

(gotta love tinyurl!)

best to learn and teach proper technique

– Last Updated: Aug-26-06 11:32 PM EST –

and do without the stirrup. However when paddling solo with a dislocated shoulder it could save your life.

Edit a stirrup is added to a paddle flat rescue, but I've yet to meet a person who needed to use a stirrup after practicing a paddle float rescue properly for 20 minutes.

I don’t see the difference between…
…a paddle float vs a float stirrup. sure the way they are used is different, but they basically do the same thing - get you back in your boat. but of course, you are right, you should know how to do it right, first, but that is how it is in all cases. you must achieve a balance :slight_smile:

Adding another piece of hardware

– Last Updated: Aug-28-06 10:23 PM EST –

should always be questioned. For me a paddle float enables an easy pee off a boat in moderate swell, an lunch break in same and an easy way to get back into a dry boat and avoid pumping, (if you can raise the bow out of the water and dump the water with a slanted bulkhead).

Reenter and roll with a paddlefloat might save a paddler's life if they are in conditions and too tired to roll.

I have taught a paddle float rescue to lots of people, including women with little upper body strength and remarkable obstacles. Only seen a sling needed once and she got it on the second lesson. Kick you feet to the top, keep them there, then just slide your chest over the deck. If you're thinking "pull-up" your're not thinking right.

After I made myself a bunch of stirrups, I tweaked by paddle float re-entry and didn’t need one. However, the individuals I knew who used stirrups had had surgeries or amputations or other serious medical concerns ( and only paddled on calm waters). Also, I’ve used a stirrup to get back into a high decked rec boat.

Stirrup re-entry
Think about using one of the 1 inch cam buckle tie downs for a stirrup. I have a paddle beener that will fit over my paddle shaft loop the strap under the boat and around the paddle. You can adjust it with the cam and keep the cam down to keep it from floating up. I have practiced with it but doubt I will ever need it. I have seen large paddlers struggle with a paddle float re entry and think that it is a good method for them and injured paddlers.

.I still don’t understand how it works.
of course, that is relative, I don’t understand how a paddle float works either. I know how it goes on your paddle, but being only in the water once, we never learned. I have plans to go down to Vancouver and enroll my brother and I in some courses that will teach us basic paddling, rolling and rescue, so we have an idea.

I’m a sponge…just sometimes I ask questions that some may percieve as stupid.

Great idea

– Last Updated: Aug-27-06 12:41 AM EST –

Get some know how from a real person. Better than getting a bunch of questionable ideas from experts on a message board. Maybe your instructor would know how to use a stirrup. I do not.

well, there’s an oldagae I like…
it goes along the lines of something like this, ‘necessity breeds invention’, so at some time, this stirrup was needed and was created. now I wonder what it’s use and application are. just because it’s new and different from the old and familiar paddle float, doesn’t mean it’s bad, wrong or not useful. it has it’s place somwhere!

you could say why fix a wheel when it’s not broken…and that’s true, but what if this makes the wheel better :wink:

Stir Up

– Last Updated: Aug-27-06 6:05 AM EST –

is utilized for those with insufficient flexibility, balance or strength to get on the back deck from a paddlefloat or an assisted rescue.

The less dependence on more gadgets and such for rescues the better because it involves more time and more chance for mechanical failure and other complications (maybe entanglement). If you're a group/tour leader taking out-of-shape folks/tourists out into the ocean, by all means have a stirrup (and two experienced partners ready) to get that out of shape swimmer back on to deck and into the boat.

I think it's good to read as much as you can (from good books with illustrations) to get an overview, and then take the lessons. Things will click better when you get there. Sometimes, without having tried or taken lessons, the questions and answers in a forum like this are just plain confusing because you won't really have a clue what you're asking and what folks are answering. Alot of this has to do with imprecision related to nature of bulletin board back and forth.


Sing pretty much
answered your question , I am working w/an outfitter in water that is 45 F , so explaining a paddle float rescue or sometimes even a T-X can be too long for some inexpeienced folks or physically challenged . I have also used it numerous times on flat warm water (Hudson River) , always carry one . Have made em out of line as well as webbing .

Can be put around the cockpit combing while you steady the yak OR can be put on a paddle shaft and paddle placed underneath both yaks , either way works . Sometimes current will take the stir-up away from the person’s foot , there is always a drawback to most everything .Get some good instruction on how to rescue yourself an others . Be safe , have fun .

The secret revealed
There are two or three designs of stirrup. Each has to be used in conjunction with a paddle float or someone else holding your boat to stablize it. The most basic stirrup is simply a length of webbing closed into a loop. You put the loop around your cockpit combing and use the free end that’s floating in the water as a stirrup to step up into the boat. If you tried this without stablization, the boat would immediately flip. Body Boat Blade carries a design of their own made by North Water–an actual stirrup on a straight length of webbing, that fastens onto the far deckline of the rescuing boat. A stirrup is typically a rescue device for those who can’t get into the boat by any other means.

cool part of using a paddle shaft under the stern of the 2 yaks just before the cockpit is , you don’t have to steady the yak as the paddle an stirrup hold it in place and steady yak from the pressure underneath .Until of course the person is in the yak , another down side to it is gettin tangled in it once yer in the yak .

Try it in the water

– Last Updated: Aug-27-06 9:34 AM EST –

You just have to get wet for some of this to make sense. When you go to the lessons, ask them to show you how to use a stirrup. As above, the stirrup actually goes around the boat or the coaming primarily to make it work, but there are a couple of ways to do that and one of them uses the paddle shaft as part of securing it around the boat. But since the working part is under the water it's darned near impossible to figure it out from pictures.

The best way to use a stirrup…
1- Take the stirrup in your right hand.

2- Walk over to a trash can.

3- Remove the lid with your left hand.

4- Drop the stirrup in the can.

5- Put the lid back on.

6- Walk back to your boat, put it in the water and go out and work on your rescue technique until you don’t need worthless extra gear like stirrups.

Seriously, in a real rescue situation, a stirrup is at least as likely to compound the problem as it is to provide any real benefits. IMO, they’re a really bad idea for several reasons:

1- They encourage terrible technique. For a standard paddle float self-rescue, you should be on your stomach in the water with your feet at the surface. This allows you to kick/slide yourself up onto the aft deck with a minimum of effort and does not require much strength. The worst position to be in is with your body vertical in the water, which requires you to lift most of your body weight in order to get onto the deck. Stirrup require you to be more or less vertical in the water.

2- They put excessive stress on the paddle. The poor body position combined with the pulley action of the stirrup puts a lot of stress on the paddle. Even if you’re using a stirrup that doesn’t wrap around the paddle (combined with rescue rigging to hold the paddle), hauling most of your weight vertically out of the water puts a lot of stress on the paddle. If your paddle breaks, what do you do? The heavier the paddle and the higher the aft deck, the greater the problem.

3- They don’t work in when you need them the most. Sure, it’s easy enough to put your foot into a stirrup properly on a dead-flat-calm pond, but try it sometime in the kind of conditions that are likely to cause a capsize. That’s a whole 'nuther ball game!

4- They are an entanglement hazard. In rough water, it’s very easy to end up with your foot through the stirrup. Even if you get your foot onto the stirrup properly, you’re quite likely to have your feet go under the boat. Getting entangled in a stirrup in rough conditions is very dangerous! What happens if a wave rolls your water-laden kayak over on you when your foot/leg is tangled in the stirrup? It’s not hard to imagine many ugly scenarios.

Rather than relying on a flawed idea that requires extra equipment, you’d be much better off to work on your technique. If you can’t use the standard method, have someone show you the “heel hook” method of re-entry. It’s easy and doesn’t have any of the disadvantages of stirrups. In fact, it may actually be better overall than the standard technique.


Back in the saddle again
Think of a horse saddle and trying to get up in it on a horse that is as tall as you. While I agree that it is best not to need it, paddlers go through phases of abililties. If I were leading a group of unknown paddlers, I’d through a 1 inch web tie down in the cockpit in case someone needed a boost. Like I said earlier, I ahve seen folks struggle with a paddle float and 2 experienced paddlers were unable to assist this large person back into their boat. A stirup, beach or crane were the best options.

All that sort of assumes you think…
… that everyone belongs on the water regardless of their physical ability to perform basic skills.

While I realize that’s the PC thing to think - and so is widely popular here - I simply can’t agree as it’s unrealistic and unsafe.

Basic rescues, performed properly, do not require a great deal of strength or skill and there are enough variations to work for a wide range of people and kayaks. People who are not capable of doing them (or don’t/won’t work until they so) and insist on paddling anyway are putting themselves and others at risk unnecessarily. How PC is that?

Friends don’t let friends paddle unprepared, or beyond what they can safely handle and learn from. Three people not being able to get one of them back in their boat is letting them paddle beyond their capabilities. We can all get into trouble out there, but group-think and excess gear dependence breeds a false sense of security that really changes the odds for the worse.

Before anyone gets off on a tangent - I’m not talking about special needs/adaptive paddling done under tight supervision - I’m talking about a general lack of fitness - which seems to be ignored too much. Maybe because paddling’s a sit down sport and most groups lily dip? Great, until someone’s in the water…

(Raising blast shields now…)

it seems like boating is a minefield…
…of opinions, likes and dislikes. I dislike fanboys, who only swear by one thing. everything has a purpose, and just because a paddle float came first doesn’t mean it’s the end all and be all.

I was just curious to know how it’s used. I mistook the bag on the top of the stirrup to be a float, not something that wrapped around the coaming of your boat to hoist yourself into with.

thru the thoughts given, I now can imagine how it works. until I learn how to get myself back into the boat with a paddle float tho, I won’t condemn the stirrup, it could very well save someone’s life because you did have it.

like it’s said about a PFD, why worry about the price, this is your life we’re talking about!

Paddle float rescue sucks too…
Slow, complicated, awkward and a worse option the worse the conditions. I recommend anyone get skills beyond it so it can serve as sort of a last resort. The float is useful for many other things too though.