Skills days

I’m currently building in self rescue/rolling days into my paddling…hopefully I can improve a lot before next season.Few pics and video.

how quick should a reentry take? (i.e paddle canada ACA BCU)

Feel free to comment

Ways to think about it
I read the blog, and am not sure how you are planning to target your time spent. Things to think about -

A paddle float re-entry becomes fairly useless in decent conditions - when you get over a couple of feet - because the cockpit will keep filling up with water as you get yourself in. For that your better bet would be to do a re-entry and roll or a fast cowboy. There’s no reason you can’t take advantage of the paddle float on the end of your paddle for the re-entry and roll if needed.

An assisted rescue will work in significant conditions, the limit being the rescuer’s ability to control their boat to get the overturned craft.

So, from what you want to achieve, I am not sure that killing yourself to get a faster paddle float re-entry is your highest priority. You may be better off spending that time on getting a roll, getting proficient at the cowboy and learning to handle your own boat better in conditions for assisted rescues.

If you feel the need to time it, as in
speed is the primary goal, I would spend your time working on the re-enter and roll. It is faster, requires far less energy, and is in my opinion safer. If you are not rolling yet you are right to get comfortable with your float and cowboy re-entries in the conditions you plan to paddle in. I commend you for taking the time to work on this as too many people like to just paddle and spend too little time thinking about when things don’t go to plan. Odds are once you are comfortable with rolls and re-enter and rolls if you come out of your boat, it is likely to be for not so good reasons. It may be at this time that you will be glad you spent this time on float and cowboys. Don’t forget assisted rolls as they will come into play more if someone is injured (avoid this in the bigger stuff). Your work now builds confidence, and confidence leads to more pleasure and advancement of skills. Over-confidence might also get you a all expense paid trip to the after life. :slight_smile: Bill

Check out this video
Paddle float reentry.

This is about as efficient as it gets for a PF reentry. Notice that the paddler is not spending a lot of time on his belly in that precarious position. He rolls right over and puts his butt in the seat. Most of the time is spent getting out the PF, blowing it up, attaching it and un-attaching it. I agree with others that the reentry and roll is the way to go for a solo reentry but PF stuff is necessary to know. I like to put myself over the back deck with the PF and swivel on my belly into a cowboy position and slide in from there avoiding being on my belly trying to turn around to get in. That also works well for rudder boats where people think the only way into a cowboy position is from the stern.

Not disparaging the PF option

– Last Updated: Aug-29-09 9:48 AM EST –

Just to be clear, I am not dismissing the value of having a competent paddle float self rescue. But I got the sense from your post and your blog that this was basically solid, and you just wanted to make it faster.

If your PF self rescue is shaky enough to need more than speed improvements, yeah that should be up there in your priority list. At the least, it gets you used to balancing on your deck. That's a necessary skill for the cowboy.

roger that
My whole plan is not to use only these two skills.It was just the skill yesterday.I have not been kayaking for long (2 years)this being the first year I have put any thought into the self rescue techniques.As I don’t usually paddle with people. I spent good money the other day to have the instructor not show up till we had a hour left to our 3 hour roll clinic.needless to say while I understand the roll the practical application is moot with the lack of hands on and critique I received.

However I will be doing the cowboy re enrty next.And that is a good idea of putting the paddle float on re entering and rolling.I had not thought of that.I’ll add that in.

The kayak roll has become the bane of my existance.I figured paying for a class would help.While I did get up once im still a bloody mess.I really am not understanding a few things that i’ll have to sort out in the next few weeks.

Don’t get frustrated
It took me embarrasingly long to get a roll - well over a year - and my paddling companions saw me blow two in a row last night on even my good side. It’d been a while since anyone had seen that. So - it can take relatively minor things to send that south.

Sometimes you just need a different coach.

I’m glad to hear of others who took a while to figure it out.Im starting to plain get discouraged with it.I have about 2 more weeks I figure of river play before it gets too cold.then hopefully I can get a pool session in over the was too bloody cold here today to practice.

I def need a coach of some sort.I have only been given about a hour of instruction.I got the hip snap downpath,keeping my head low but theres something wrong with my paddle side of things.

one thing I noticed . . .
In your blog you mentioned wanting to learn a cowboy re-entry, so that if you lost your paddle you could reenter, and THEN get your spare off the deck.

I get a lot of help from a paddle in my hands if I’m monkeying around on top of my boat. If you’re in any waves you’ll probably have much more luck with a cowboy rescue if you get your spare paddle FIRST, and then clamber up on the kayak. That way it’s available for bracing while you lift your legs into the boat.

By the way, I’d say 18 seconds is pretty fast for a paddle float rescue. Go work on something else! :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks nate.Good point on the paddle.I think however Im going to move it back closer to the cockpit just because even under nice conditions where my paddle just fails,i dont think i could grab it where I have it now.I think I’ll bring it back close to my whiskey hatch.

the cowboy seems pretty good for rougher weather as well to me.Do you guys agree? I was watching some videos here today (as its too freaking cold to practice)and saw a good video in rough conditions.

If you’re fast and have good balance, you might be able to pull off cowboy (sometimes called rodeo) reentries in rough water. If you’re out of the boat in those conditions, assisted is best followed by reenter and roll.

The only thing I like better about the cowboy reentry is that I can usually empty the boat first, whereas after a reenter and roll I got some pumping to do. In waves, I’m likely to end up with a cockpit full either way.

If you’re ever in Rochester let me know, we practice this stuff all the time.

re entry and roll with the paddle float and just rolling with the float on.No trouble getting up but had problems doing it sans le paddlefloat.

Can anyone see my issue just from the video?

Is it this one?
You are in a boat with a red deck, and you are going what appears to be a left side roll with a voiceover of a little kid at the first bit. Yes?

It’s not too easy to tell anything with the distance and you coming up on the opposite side from the camera. If I had to make a guess from the limited view available, I’d say that your hip snap is happening when the paddle is beyond 90 degrees to the boat and, if the paddle float weren’t on the end of it, the wet blade would have dived.

It’d be useful to be able to see what your setup position looks like on the side you are coming up on, where you are just before you execute the roll.

Rolling with a foam float in your hands (no paddle) might be a good next step. That will teach you to rotate more, and end up laying back. The float on the paddle is very forgiving, and allows you to pull a lot on the paddle - so you don’t always work on rotating fully, and keeping your head in the water, and body close to the back deck when you come up.

Just a thought. I’m far from qualified to be giving others advice on their roll, but this is something that worked for me when I got instruction. (and besides, it’s the internet, so anyone can be an expert :p)

Thanks nate
Good suggestion with the float.And again I think your right on the internet experts…never know who your talking to.I think I’ll get some other kayakers in the group to give me a hand up in georgian bay when we got tripping.


Re float on hand - great exercise. In fact it is one to which I should return… inflatable takes setup time that a foam float doesn’t, but you can gradually let out the air.

And also to what Nate said about having someone there. Lots of things show up in person that won’t be so easy to spot on a video.