SOF + Wet Exit?

I’m considering building a SOF at some point, except I’ve seen videos of people cramming themselves into these things with difficulty, and it makes me wonder what happens should you need to wet exit? Is it not a problem or just “not done”? I understand the Inuits didn’t exit because it was certain death in the frigid waters.

As long as I have a paddle I know I can get back up, but still…


its much easier getting out than in NM

Adrenaline, water, and gravity usually make it much easier to get out of a capsized kayak than to get into an upright one.

Getting Out
It’s not that hard to get out if you stay calm. Since you already know how to roll and if you feel comfortable under water you should be ok. It will take a little longer to get out than it would in a big cockpit. You do not have to make it such a tight fit getting in. There is a happy medium somewhere between getting in and a snug fit once you are in. Lots of people make up the extra space between the masik and their legs with a piece of removable foam. That can be shoved in once you are in the kayak. I have many friends with s-o-f kayaks and we can all wet exit, even in kayaks that fit well.

Actually easier than getting in. NM

Mine was painful
and a bit dangerous, but mostly very painful on my knees during a wet exit. A rasp on the leading edge of the masik took care of that. A SOF (or most any boat with an ocean cockpit) really does require you to pull the boat off of you like you would a pair of tight fitting jeans, unlike keyhole cockpits which I basically fall out of.

good point
You’ll never accidentally fall out like I have out of larger cockpits. You have to want to get out.

But then aagin if you build your own you can customize the fit for an easier exit.

Getting out
won’t be a problem. Getting back in (in deep water) now that’s another thing. :smiley:

Getting out can be an issue…
If you are in a very tight fitting boat and are in breaking waves trying to exit it can be a problem. Legs tend to get caught as the boat is moved around by the force of the waves, and you have little control of your body due to hydrodynamic forces. A wet exit in a pool is trivial. A wet exit in a washing machine in a tight boat is another story. Best to practice so you know how the boat behaves when it is being thrashed around and you are trying to fight the outfitting to get loose.

Not all SOF have small cockpits
You could always make an SOF of modern design which has a cockpit mere mortals can enter without losing shin skin:

Even if your interest is specifically Greenland boats, the cockpit and coaming can still be customized. I can’t deal with the tight wiggle needed to get into an ocean cockpit.