No thanks. I’ll keep practicing the re-enter and roll. I don’t know if it’s my boat or my body but I’m no good at that cowboy stuff.
A lot easier with a low Greenland style stern deck and that large keyhole cockpit on his Cetus. Not to mention that guy is, what, 25 or 30 years old?
I have practiced many of those drills. Learn them at Oceans 15 in NC. My North Shore Buccaneer is the same width as the Cetus MV at 21.5 inches wide, but has an ocean cockpit so I can’t pull my legs in an out without having my butt on the back deck. This adds to the difficulty in balance and requires a paddle blade in the water. Note how in the video he uses his paddle. On the other hand the Shearwater Merganser 17 I built has a large enough cockpit I can pull my legs in and out while seated, and is 23" wide, and easier to do these drills on. My understanding is these drills are for gaining balance and familiarity with the boat so as to attain better control. At almost 67 my low back and right knee don’t love me like they use too so like willowleaf suggests some things get harder with age.
PS It is fun to play on the boat like this.
Great video, thanks for sharing.
Notice how he keeps his head up and centered while performing most of the moves. Looking down into the cockpit is a good way to throw off your balance and make going for a swim more likely.
PS It is fun to play on the boat like this.
Absolutely! And the exercises help when you need to get up onto a high dock from the kayak. I did the last bit of attaining the top by rolling my body diagonally away from the edge of the dock and could then easily hop up to standing position.
But for me it is fun only in noncold water, no matter how suited and insulated I am. Just more variations on cooling off in hot weather.
What I want to know is how he managed to get up and down that back deck without snagging the loop from his skirt on something. Even with the paddles stowed well, I learned that I had to run the skirt loop onto something on my PFD to not get stuck. One of the reasons my spare migrated to my front deck. Easier to grab anyway, and it makes the cowboy work better for me. It may be partly because I have to come in from further back on that deck than he did for a cowboy. I need the advantage of the less weighty part of the boat for my weight to get the stern down enough to get clearly over it.
The other thing in this video that merits caution is how easily he flips his kayak clear of the water to empty the cockpit. At my size, with a PFD and everything, the boat simply does not go up that much no matter what technique I use. I got down about as much as the boat goes up. So my solution is boats whose cockpits don’t grab water too hungrily to start with in a capsize, as long as you make it back in on the first try.
But yeah, people really should go out and climb around on their kayaks. It’ll help the balance and make getting wet a lot less daunting.
I’d just like to be able to sit in the cockpit and move my legs in and out of the cockpit. Flexibility and skinny elude me in my old age.
What I want to know is how he managed to get up and down that back deck without snagging the loop from his skirt on something.
Went back to the video to see what type of loop and at 35-36, noticed he also has some sort of cordage running across the skirt. Maybe to pull it off from the sides?
Can’t be comfortable sitting on those paddles, even if only for a brief moment.
84 days until spring.
@Rookie Looks like he has used loops on the side that were put there for whatever you need (maybe original intent was a chart case). Were it the same heft as the strap on one of my whitewater skirts, I would say it was for pulling the skirt if the loop solution is not available. But it is just a thinnish cord and it is tied off in the middle. So I suspect it is a couple of lines he was using to keep something to the skirt deck that he removed for the purpose of this video.
Sitting on the paddles is not particularly uncomfortable. The pump if it is on the back deck is a bit more of a bother, but as long as you are not trying this in shorts the lumpiness isn’t an issue. Everything is already wet so you slide around more easily.
If you haven’t scurried around on your deck yet you really should as soon as the weather allows. At your size it is a lot easier than for the bigger guys. One exercise, not shown here, is to go end to end in the boat. Come out of the cockpit and go as far as you can to the rear without capsizing, then turn around at that skinny point and come back into the cockpit. Then do a similar thing going forward, go as far up as you can then come back to the cockpit. It has been too long since I did this regularly myself, something to fix this season. But my recall is that I usually didn’t do the turn around part when scrambling the front half of the boat. No reason you can’t though, it’s just fun and games anyway. Just do it where you won’t exhaust yourself getting the boat somewhere you can empty. like near shore. If you are doing it right you will capsize a few times, because you should be taking it to the edge of a capsize to find your limits…
The other thing in this video that merits caution is how easily he flips his kayak clear of the water to empty the cockpit.
His emptying technique is actually a little dangerous. When you go all the way to the front, there is a risk that you at some point lose contact with your paddle or your boat.
If you look in the video, he actually doesn’t keep a grip on the boat while he moves from the cockpit to the front and back. It can be defended in a harbour, but the risk is that you grow a bad habit so you do it the same way in wind or waves were the boat may suddenly disappear. For instruction use it is a big no-no in my book.
When I was new(er) in sea kayak, I actually lost my boat using this technique because I lost the paddle, tried to reach it and lost grip of the boat. Another member of my group had to retrieve my boat and get it back to me.
You are talking about when he is moving along the side of the boat? I didn’t notice it but yeah, anyone who doesn’t keep a hand on the perimeter rigging while doing that will lose their boat. Not if, just when. My rigging may tend to be a little loose, but it is easy to hang onto if needed.
I have seen your experience, where in even a little wind the boat gets away from the paddler unbelievably quickly. Until you see you don’t realize how fast that can happen. I do not understand why everyone does not go out with a spare paddle. At least you can lose a paddle to stay with the boat if needed, get back in then go try to get what is probably your best paddle.
I also usually unloop my short wrist leash and put it around before stuff like this. Can’t remember how long it has been since I used it in regular paddling, or for that matter that I let go of my paddle. I did once several years ago, only time I can remember. But in a moment of the right dimensions it could save a lot of grief simply by not having to worry about losing the paddle as easily as without it.
I personally found that having $450 paddles tends to greatly improve the ability to hang onto them.
If you haven’t scurried around on your deck yet you really should as soon as the weather allows. At your size it is a lot easier than for the bigger guys. One exercise, not shown here, is to go end to end in the boat. Come out of the cockpit and go as far as you can to the rear without capsizing, then turn around at that skinny point and come back into the cockpit. Then do a similar thing going forward, go as far up as you can then come back to the cockpit.
Sounds like fun; my LV boat is at the pool so that would be handy to practice over the winter months.
Last April when I picked up my new boat, I brought it home and tried Nigel Foster’s balance exercises of paddling while sitting on the back deck, feet in the water, then feet out of the water, and finally moving your feet from the water into the cockpit and paddling while your feet are on the seat. Lifting my feet out of the water and moving them to the seat was more challenging (wobbly) than the first two exercises but it was a good way to get acquainted with the kayak.
One of these days I’ll get the courage to try standing in the cockpit.
You are talking about when he is moving along the side of the boat?
Yes. As opposed to just staying at the cockpit and turning over the kayak from that spot.
The latter will not drain the boat as efficiently, but there is less risk of losing the kayak.
His emptying technique is actually a little dangerous
First of all, I agree. If I’m ‘forced’ out of my kayak (failed rolling, help from others not available, etc), then conditions are extremely severe. Under those conditions, I’m going to get back in as quickly as possible, worry about emptying after in the boat.
However, to (possibly) answer the question:
how easily he flips his kayak clear of the water to empty the cockpit.
Have you tried the sculling, with paddle braced on shoulder?
I’ll have to give that I try, next time the water’s warm enough for me.
Years ago I used the same technique (one armed sculling, paddle braced on shoulder, while operating the old chimp pumps that the Nordkapps used to have - pumping water out of boat in heavy conditions-note: while in boat, sprayskirt on)
Note, he starts the sculling somewhat prior to his pushing up the bow so he has a bit of something to push against.
I have tried sculling, lots of ways. But I don’t have enough strength in my shoulders to get the boat lifted with one arm. And that was in really good paddling shape, upper body gym time etc. I have gone thru periods of being quite strong for my size. But 130 pounds is 130 pounds.
I found when messing around with my solo canoe - final discovery was that it was not solo rescuable unless I added proper float bags because it was so light and sunk when I got back in - that I could scissor kick up at the right moment and get a little advantage. But in terms of safety, concluded that my best bet was a boat like the NDK’s that scoop very little water and being OK paddling with some water in the cockpit if needed. And having a roll as a possible first choice. Can’t say anything good about my left side these days, but I seem able to get the right back OK each season.
I have done rescue practice with people who seem to feel that every inch of water has to be gotten out of the cockpit to proceed. It is not so, and there are times that insisting on getting dry creates undue risk. But it usually takes a coach coming up and telling them that. It can be difficult for newer folks to accept this.
I am no longer nimble enough to bring both legs into the cockpit while sitting in it. My method is to never tip!
What Celia said.
"I have done rescue practice with people who seem to feel that every inch of water has to be gotten out of the cockpit to proceed. It is not so, and there are times that insisting on getting dry creates undue risk. "
Agree totally. My experience is that it’s not at all difficult to paddle with significant water in the boat. You get it out when you can safely get it out. No huge hurry.
Learn to stay in your boat your much better off. Here is me showing how to stay in your boat. Float your way up.