wet exits


I paddle an SOT, but have a question for those of you in SINK’s. If a SINK paddler was doing mostly recreational paddling and/or light touring, and did not paddle solo, would they be a relatively safe paddler if they were skilled at a wet exit and re-entry or do they absolutely need to learn an eskimo roll?

I have talked to quite a few SOT paddlers who paddle an SOT due to claustrophobia, which is something I hadn’t considered.

Just curious, so I thought I’d ask…



for all of these thoughtful replies. I really appreciate it…

My dad is thinking of getting a SINK and I am paddling tomorrow with someone who is new to SINKs and kayaking, and she really wanted to take a SINK out in the ocean/bay with me tomorrow. I encourgaed her to rent an SOT and dress for the water, until she has more experience, just in case something weird happens. Maybe I should learn more about wet exits and re-entries for when I am paddling with others who may need my help??? I joked with this woman and told her I work as a nurse-midwife and know CPR, so would feel obligated to save her!

BTW…my Dad used to be a great mountain climber and a national champion swimmer, so he will probably have no trouble learning to roll, and staying calm enough to do one if needed. I have always been hesitant to need to rely on one, as I figured I could learn to do it, but I think I might feel afraid, and that fear might impede my success if I found myself in a situation where it was really required (like maybe this would be fun in a protected/learning environment, but it would scare the heck out of me in big water:)I know staying calm is the most important skill I have in an emergency, so I want to be calm if I am in one!



I did take a 5 hour course here in local waters on self-rescue and assisted recsues and into to the surf zone for SOT’s-and I didn’t wimp out-I made myself get in the water and practice:) I guess what I was wondering is are assisted rescues similar for the two different boat types, or should I take the time to learn about paddle floats and other things that would make it easier for them if something happens?

It seems I will sometimes be paddling in a mixed group, as some of my paddle acquaintances have SINKS. I guess I made the mistake of thinking that self rescue for SINKS meant rolling, but I realize now that wet exits & re-entry and assisted rescues are the norm for lots of paddlers, depending on boats and abilities, etc.

I want to be able to help whomever needs my help:)

Thanks for all the thoughtful posts.


assisted rescues for SOT’s
As someone else has already pointed out, they are quite similar for both types of boats-which I now know as well, except for helping to empty the SINK of water if needed.

In my class we briefly reviewed basic strokes, asssited, and self rescue. Flipping the boat over and knowing about how far to position yourself over your SOT on your belly before becoming upright were useful to have some idea of ahead of time. Also, having a PFD on made it so much easier. I always have mine on, but it really did reinforce for me, and hopefully many others how helpful they can be!

We also learned a bit about braces, using thigh straps on an SOT, and introduction to the surf zone (launching and landing in small waves/swells) I have since added strap eyes and thigh straps to my Scupper for use in the ocean.

I would like to better understand how to actually use braces. Frankly, the concept was introduced, and we practiced, but I did not feel like my body really knew what it was doing, if that makes any sense. I have to rely on a lot of physical skills in my work, and I like it when my body can perform on automatic pilot, so that my mind can pay attention to what is happening, and not trying to do something. I would love to take another class on braces and the surf zone, have paddling parteners who would like to practice this stuff together. Probably time to practice rescue technique in deep water again too:)

I suspect I will also take an intro class for SINKS so I can at least learn assisted rescues. I am certain I will someday paddle in a situtaion where a rec boater will need some help.

I really appreciate all of the thoughtful posts-and the silly ones too!


has an inie and paddles an outie

& what should we do about those weird tan lines???

for the suggestion!


that looks sorta fun!