How to get into an inflatable kayak after falling out

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How to get into an inflatable kayak after falling out : When kayaking, it sometimes happens that you tip over: you then undergo desalting. If you do not master the eskimo roll technique (turning around with your paddle without leaving your kayak), you will find yourself splashing around in the water next to your boat.

how to get into an inflatable kayak after falling out

You then have to get back in your kayak. There are several techniques and methods for this that we will discuss in this article.

The techniques to get into an inflatable kayak after falling out

  • The first, “cross recovery” is the most effective but requires being at least two kayaks. It is recommended to master it.
  • The second, recovery from the rear, allows you to go back up alone in your kayak but requires calm weather, poorly formed sea and a stable boat.
  • Finally, equipped with a paddle float, you can go up in more unstable kayaks or with more wave if you have the right equipment.

Lovers of inflatable and sit-on-top kayaks , although the techniques below work perfectly there are simpler methods for reboarding that we will present in a future article.

Recovery in cross or “t” in sea kayak

It is recommended to sail at least two kayaks when possible. In case of desalting, you can then set up a cross recovery which takes its name from the shape that the kayaks take during the technique. The principle is as follows:

  1. You overturned and fell into the water. Collect your  paddle and keep one hand on your boat.

I – Secure the situation and if necessary, empty the kayak

  1. The other kayaker approaches you. Pass the front end of your boat.
  2. Move to the front end of your partner’s kayak and hang in a “hung pig”, legs around the hull and cheek glued against the bow (the side of the kayak). This position protects you from a possible shock in the event of a wave and above all brings stability to the other kayak. Hold your paddle and wait here.
  3. If it is a closed kayak, your partner takes the front point, puts your boat perpendicular to his (we arrive at the famous “cross of recovery” and lifts the kayak on its own deck, about 1 meter.
  4. He turns it over to empty the water.

II – Prepare to get back on board

  1. He puts it back in the water, parallel to his own kayak but inverted (the front point at the rear).
  2. Then slip into the water between the two kayaks
  3. The kayaker who remains on board leans over the empty kayak, in front of the coaming or the seat and holds a hand firmly on the port and starboard hull to stabilize the boat.

III – It is then the ascent in the kayak

  1. At this point, put your paddle perpendicular to the kayaks, behind your seat. This further stabilizes the raft.
  2. Using your abs, then slide one leg into the kayak, another on the deck of the other kayaker and lift the glutes by leaning in particular on the paddle (if it is a carbon paddle or removable , prefer a support on the boat ). Then sit right behind your seat on the deck of the kayak.
  3. All you have to do is bring the second leg back into the boat and slide forward to get back into your kayak.

You are then ready to go. It eventually remains to empty the boat using a sponge or a pump and to catch again before resuming your ride.

How to go back alone on your kayak?

The previous technique requires at least two kayakers. But if you are alone on board , there are still methods to get back on board your kayak. The first is the rear ascent.

Successful ascent from the rear

To do this, however, three conditions must be met. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that this is not a totally infallible technique:

  • The boat must be stable. Generally, it is a wide kayak like a sit-on-top or an inflatable kayak but the larger fiberglass kayaks will do the trick.
  • The sea must be lightly formed or the body of water must be calm. This method is difficult to apply in water.
  • You also need to be in good physical shape and have a sense of balance.

How to do ?

  1. Once in the water next to the kayak, you must first secure your equipment to prevent it from drifting. Turn your boat over, then grab your paddle and attach it to your kayak with a rope. You can use a  hands-free paddle leach when you get back on the kayak. If your kayak is too full of water, it may overturn. Empty it a little with a pump, a scoop or a sponge.
  2. Slip into the back of your kayak and climb on your stomach on the deck, head forward, one leg on each side of the deck to ensure the stability of the boat.
  3. Crawl towards the coaming (the seat).
  4. When you are just behind, close to the center of gravity of the boat, stand up so that you sit “on horseback” on your kayak.
  5. Slide one leg, then the other then the rest of the body.
  6. If necessary, empty the water from the kayak, catch up and resume your paddle.

Note that the featherweights can go up directly from the side of the kayak without crawling over the entire rear if the boat is stable.

Ride in a kayak with a paddle float

The paddle float or paddle float is a device that we will slide on one of the paddle blades. Its role is to bring buoyancy to it. This will allow you to use it to lean on the paddle.riverstones inflatable float paddle

Inflatable paddle float

What is a paddle float for?

The paddle float can be used for:

  • stabilize the boat by attaching the paddle perpendicularly like a trimaran hull.
  • Learn the Eskimo roll. The paddle float guides the paddle out of the water and offers better support.
  • Ride alone in your kayak

Even in the event of more rough sea or more unstable kayak, it is generally possible to go back on board alone, provided you have to think of taking a paddle float with you. We recommend this inflatable model which takes up little space on board.

How to use the paddle float to go back on board

The principle is to hang your paddle perpendicular to your kayak with the paddle float on the same side as you to lean on your paddle. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. In the water, collect your paddle, secure it (hang it on the boat) and empty your kayak a little if necessary.
  2. If necessary, inflate it (there are also foam floats, more bulky) and hang it on your paddle.
  3. Chock the paddle behind the seat back. In several kayak models, there is a gutter provided for this use. If you have hanging systems such as Velcro or plastic wedge, fix your paddle for more stability. Let the handle stick out well on the side where you are.
  4. Stand at the top of the seat, look back and lean back, one hand on the paddle, the other behind the seat in the middle of the boat to hoist yourself up and start inserting your legs up to your knees in the kayak.
  5. Turn slowly so as not to lose your balance and slide into your kayak.
  6. As usual, if necessary empty your kayak, try it again and off you go!

Some tips for getting into an inflatable kayak after falling out

Mastering one or more of these techniques is essential to avoid moments of galley drifting next to your kayak. It’s a security issue, so simplify them with these few tips.

Learn and repeat these recovery techniques by the beach

Ideally, you never want to fall off your kayak. But sometimes, surprised by a wave or by making a bad gesture, we turn around. And this obviously never prevents! Better to master these techniques perfectly. For this, we recommend that you repeat them in a controlled environment, by the beach or if possible, in a swimming pool. You can choose your season to avoid learning these methods in winter !

Reduce the drift of your boat in heavy seas

When the wind is blowing and there is a bit of swell, the kayak can drift quickly, which makes the boarding phases more difficult. One tip is to leave a small kayak grapping like this with two hooks open on the lifeline of the boat. In the event of the kayak overturning, the anchor falls automatically, preventing the boat from drifting.

Use a loop as a step for easier reassembly

If for you, the time to hoist your body in your kayak is physically difficult, a little tip can simplify your task. Keep with you a small cord in which you tie a loop. If you desalinate, you can hang it on the side of your boat at the lifeline to slide your foot there and use it as a step.

Some tips to conclude

Knowing how to get back into your kayak is good (and even essential!), Not falling into the water, it’s even better! Before going out, always remember to check the weather conditions and the tidal coefficients. If the sea seems too heavy, it is never too careful to cancel the trip.

Likewise, do not hesitate to work on push supports, paddle techniques to avoid turning over.

Finally, the ultimate method to get into an inflatable kayak after falling out remains the Eskimo roll. Do not hesitate to work this technique in calm water, with a paddle float to start and ideally an experienced kayaker.

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