Kayak Safety Briefing Part 3
When things goes whrong: What to do in a Capzising situation
Check out our two previous posts for basic safety, kayak adjustments and paddling techniques to avoid that situation. Also try not to capsize in a first round, trying to use good kayaking tecniques and habits.
How to avoid capsizing.
First of all, capsizing is not very common.
Most capsizing (about 50%) happen when you are getting in or out of the kayak, so on the shore. The best way to avoid this is to keep your center of gravity low, and our guide (or a friend if you are out on your own) will help keep the kayak stable while you maneuver.
About 40% of capsizing happen due to careless shennanigans: like throwing water at your mates with your paddle, racing or trying to push someone. You should try to maintain a proper sitting position in the kayak at all times.
So avoid all sudden movement and take it slow at first.
If you encounter big waves, stay calm and paddle on! You will stabilize yourself by paddling, either forwards or backward. You can also help this by putting your paddle flat on the water for support.
If you do Capsize:
Our guide will explain this process out of the water so everything is very clear.
First, the group has to stay together during this maneuver.
Once you capsize and hit the water, the spray skirt should come loose, the water pressure does this. If for any reason this doesn't happen, lift your knee to push it out. And as a final resource, if the other two fail, run your hand around the edge of the spray skirt until you find the handle, and pull it out. Now the important part: get out of the kayak!
If you are in a double kayak, check to see if your partner is out. If they're not, give them a hand.
Get a hold of your paddle and hold on to your kayak.
The guide will come over to you and take your paddle so you get your hands free. Once he has a hold of your kayak, swim over to the front of his kayak and hold on there, patiently.
The guide will empty your kayak and place it parallel to his. When he tells you to, head over to your cockpit. While he holds on to your kayak, he will give you a count of three to get on your kayak. You have to this by facing the rudder and getting on the kayak staying on your stomach, put your legs in first, and once you are in, turn around and take your seat again. Remember to keep your center of gravity low.
Well adventure friends, that is the end of our kayak safety series, we hope you enjoyed it and found it very useful.