Kayaking is an enjoyable and relaxing sport that draws large numbers of people of all ages, shapes, and sizes to the nearest lakes, rivers and streams in their areas during the warmer months of the year. However, it is more than possible to kayak at all times of the year as long as the weather permits it and the water is not frozen. While kayaking is often a safe and relatively stress free sport to engage in, as with any sport or situation that involves bodies of water, there are still several precautions you should be prepared to take to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. If you happen to be paddling or kayaking with children, it is even more important to be aware of basic safety principles and techniques so you can not only take good care of your life but look after the younger members of your kayaking group. One of those situations where both you and any youngsters around you should know how to take care of yourselves is the all too common scenario of deep water re-entry. This article will discuss some principles and safety practices of deep water re-entry so you and your children can practice them the next time you are out in your kayaks on a still body of water.
If you ever plan to go kayaking or fishing in bodies of water that are deeper than you are all, you will want to make it a priority to be comfortable with getting back into your kayak if you happen to fall out of it while on the water. Learning to do this can save your life. If you have children who go out with you onto the water in their own kayaks, this is a skill that you should have them learn as well on the off chance that they also fall out. A great time to learn such a skill is during the summer when the water is likely to be a bit warmer, but you can practice it at any time of the year as long as you take the proper clothing precautions.
The first step is to find a body of water that will be deep enough for you to submerge yourself if you fall out of your kayak. Good places to try in your local area are small lakes or ponds that contain still water and where you will not have to watch out for larger vessels or heavy sea traffic. It is essential to have another person in a kayak close by so you can get help if you need any. You should perform a dry run beforehand, keeping all of your important equipment on the banks of the water so they will not be in danger of getting lost. Take yourself, your paddle, your kayak, and your personal floatation device along with you. When you perform the exercise, leash your paddle down so it doesn’t float away. You will also want to try a re-entry with a fully loaded kayak later on once you become comfortable with the procedure in an empty kayak.
The first step is to flip your kayak over. You can usually do this in most kayak models simply by rocking from one side to the other with as much effort as you can muster until the kayak flips over. Once you are in the water, the next step will be to re right your kayak. You can do this in a number of ways depending on how and where your body strength is distributed and the particular type of kayak you are trying to flip and re-enter. Perhaps the simplest way is to press one side up as hard as you can and flip the kayak over, but this method will not work in kayaks that are designed to be more stable. Another way is to reach to the far side handle of the kayak while reaching underneath the kayak and pull that side toward you underwater while simultaneously pushing the side closer to you upward. You can also try this way over the water if this method doesn’t work. Once righted, push yourself up into the kayak.