That won't happen to me

Kayakers from time to time experience the occasional boat wake from an inconsiderate boater who comes too close to us. This is just a fact that we have to accept when using the same waters as powered craft. These wakes can sometimes catch us by surprise and swamp our craft and even throw us in to the drink. I have seen the experienced kayakers roll their kayak unexpectedly and they all say “I never thought that would happen to me”.  If you are going to be in water deeper than four feet, then you need to be proficient at righting your kayak and reentering it.

A kayak loaded with fishing gear is not easy to roll back over without using the right technique and maybe even harder to get back into depending on your strength build and skill.

The easiest way to right a loaded sit on top kayak is to kick up and droop your body across the hull so that your abdomen is resting on the hull, then reaching out and grabbing the opposite side of the kayak and holding on to it drop back into the water bringing the side you grabbed with you. Believe it or not this does take some practice.

Once you master this skill you will most assuredly want to get back into your yak. So to do this you will once again kick up hard as possible and get your belly over the cockpit area basically lying across your kayak. Be careful here you do not want to grab your kayak and pull it towards you as this will cause it to roll and hit you in the face. Then it is just a matter of rotating your hips until you butt is in the kayak, and then you can sit up and swing your legs into the kayak.

This sounds simple; however it is not, you must practice this! This technique will save your life especially in the winter when there is a danger of hypothermia. My motto has always been prepare for the worst then if something unplanned happens, you will live to tell your tale.

Here is a video of Dohrm Crawford intentionally rolling his Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 and getting back in. Notice the exceptional stability of the Native Watercraft Slayer, Most kayaks are not this stable and are harder to get back in to.

Good luck, may your kayak and lines stay wet and your butt stay dry.

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