self rescue sling--- duh!

I kept trying to figure out where I could get some one inch nylon webbing and then a sewing machine to sew it into a loop. Well I did not have to look farther than the rack I carry my kayaks on.

I was out practicing self rescue, wet exits and rolls today and the $11 strap with the cam buckle worked just fine for a sling. The good part is the metal buckle keeps the strap from floating on the surface. When you wrap it around the both sides of the paddle, it is the easiest way to re-enter. I did with with and without the sling and with and without the paddle float. Actually, I neglected to secure the buckle on the float and it slipped off.

I think I will keep one of these straps in the cockpit, jammed between the seat and hull. If not for me if I get tired, but for someone else that is struggling on the reentry.

Rescue Strap
I had a 24-inch scrap of webbing and just tied it together with a square knot. I keep mine where I can get to it fast - in a pocket of my PFD.


My sling is a fourteen foot
piece of 1 inch tubular webbing that I bought at REI (any climbing shop will have it).

Instead of sewing it, just tie a knot in it. You can adjust the length very easily with another slip knot.

totally tubular
Does it float? Makes it a little difficult to step into if it does. Thanks for the tip, I will check it out.

Just took a rescues class
with Wayne Horodowich from Univ of Sea Kayaking, and he uses the nylon climber’s stuff too - the tubular stuff. From what I undeerstand, it doesn’t float - but you do need to knot it to the appropriate length for whomever you’re rescuing. The only concern with that is, if they’re swimming in cold water, getting them to figure out, then knot it in the appropriate spot might be a bit of a challenge.

The rescue stirrups you can buy usually have a buckle that you can slide. Foot goes in, if the buckle is up on the deck of your boat, you can adjust it until you get a good catch with your foot. It might be more efficient if you’re going to be a group leader or something, to have something that’s easily adjustable.


North Water Rescue Stirrup
North Shore makes a nice rescue stirrup. It’s 14 ft, an adjustable length, and a clip (and it’s well made).

Is Wayne teaching in the Seattle area?
Last I heard is that he moved up that way.


It does not float

If you are not leading trips,
I would keep the sling already set for your height if you need to use one.

I don’t use one for myself (although I would if I had lost the use of one arm), having a long sling (14 foot), allows me to use it on many different sized boats and paddlers.

Tying the knot in it becomes very easy. With experience, you can usually guess pretty quickly where you need to tie the knot for a particular boat and person.

I spoke with Wayne
at the Southwest Kayak Symposium as well as taking a full day guiding class from again.

He told me he has taught several classes in the Seattle area and yes he has officially moved there.