Spray Skirt Release
By Christopher Cunningham
OK, so you’ve put off learning how to roll your kayak. A lot of paddlers do. If you’re going to rely on getting out of your kayak to resolve an accidental capsize, you need to make sure that you have a bomb-proof wet exit. In theory it’s pretty simple and in practice it should be simple too: release the spray skirt and curl out of the cockpit. It’s not often that something so simple will go awry, but to be absolutely sure you can exit the kayak you should prepare yourself for that rare occurrence.
Your best tool is going to be presence of mind. You may be in an uncomfortable position—upside down and underwater—but it only takes practice to get used to that. If you get hung up, take your time, sort things out and you’ll be in good shape. Doug Lloyd, a devoted extreme-condition kayaker, can prepare you to take care of any unpleasant surprises in his April 2003 article “Entrapments and Exits”.
By Christopher Cunningham
Keeping it Together
In July Melissa joined a weekend outing to the San Juan Islands with the local sea kayak Meetup group. The trip turned out to be fairly relaxed and loosely structured. From the base camp small groups headed off in different directions. Melissa headed out with two other paddlers, but when the water got choppy one headed back to shore. Melissa paddled ahead into the waves thinking her remaining partner was keeping pace with her, but when she turned to check on him he was far behind. She was on her own in conditions rougher than she was used to.
It’s one thing to head out alone when that’s what you intend to do and when you have the requisite skills and equipment to take care of yourself. It’s quite another when your paddling partners are an essential part of your safety net. It’s easy enough for kayakers on a well organized expedition to begin to drift apart. For inexperienced paddlers on a casual outing with no particular goal it is even easier to wander off in different directions. Keeping your group together starts with an understanding, if not a spoken agreement, that the group will stay together. Keeping within voice range is a good idea. As conditions worsen and the ambient noise grows louder, voice range shrinks accordingly and so should the distance between you and your companions. If you take the lead you have to be comfortable looking over your stern. In calm water it may take only good flexibility in your back and neck, but if your kayak is being buffeted by waves you have to be able to brace the kayak as you turn. Kayakers bringing up the rear need to not feel bashful about using a whistle to bring the group closer together.
While Melissa is an assistant organizer in the Meetup group, there was no designated leader in her group of three. In a small group you can assign a leader or all share in the responsibility of keeping the group together. There are a lot of things to capture your attention while kayaking—that’s what makes it interesting—but being mindful of your partners will keep you from spacing out when the space between you grows too large.
For the latest on Melissa’s first year as a sea kayaker, visit our blog at www.seakayakermag.com.
Sea Kayaker Store
October ’10 Issue
- Black Water: A paddler’s perspective on the Gulf oil spill. by Scott B. Williams
- An Immovable Object: A curious kayaker makes his way to Tremble Island in the middle of British Columbia’s Nakwakto Rapids to see if the island does indeed tremble. by Tom Howell
- Lost at Sea: A lone Tsunami Ranger has a close call on the Oregon Coast. An experienced paddler finds himself in a struggle against fog and waves. by Michael Powers
- Aftermath of an Accident. by Saul Kinderis
- First Aid Navigation. by Joel McNamara
- Kayak Reviews:
- Greenland T by Tahe Kayaks
- Borealis XL by Pygmy Boats
2011 Sea Kayaking Calendars – Order Yours Today!!
Want to put some of the events of 2010 behind you? Purchase the 2011 Sea Kayaking calendar and start the future off with a blank slate or fill it in with all the kayaking
symposiums you ever dreamed of attending!
Same great deal as last year, just $13.99.
Order at seakayakermag.com!
NEW DVD – Essential Kayaking Strokes
By University of Sea Kayaking with Wayne Horodowich
"Getting your kayak to your final destination is a combination of using the correct strokes
and manipulating your kayak with your body. This video provides you with a comprehensive list of strokes and a detailed explanation of how to perform each of those strokes efficiently."
Wayne's passion is teaching with an emphasis on instructor and guide development. He has over twenty five years of teaching kayaking to paddlers of all levels. Some other instructional DVDs by USK’s Wayne Horodowich are; ABC's of the Surf Zone, Bracing Clinic, and Capsize Recoveries and Rescues Procedures.
Essential Kayaking Strokes DVD - $29.95.
Visit Seakayakermag.com/Online Store to order these products and more online. Or order by phone 206.789.9536; fax 206.781.1141 or mail to PO Box 17029, Seattle, WA 98127
(Email orders not accepted).
Psst – In case you missed it…
Digital Editions of Sea Kayaker are now available!
Check out the sample.
Purchase digital editions of the 2010 issues through the Sea Kayaker online Store!
One of a Kind
I built Persephone under the mentorship of Mark Reuten of Nomad Boatbuilding, a very talented boat-builder, artist and craftsman. She is built almost entirely of clear Alaskan yellow cedar. Wonderfully fragrant wood, even after three months of travel it still smells delicious when I put my head inside the kayak. The only other wood used is uniquely pink and yellow-marbled western red cedar for the slats that run full length for seating and to make loading and unloading gear easier.
Persephone is a replica of an 1845 collected specimen held in the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in Leningrad cataloged as MAE 953-76. We lofted the dimensions up from the line drawings made by David W. Zimmerly in 1975.
Click to read more
|photo by Sandy LeDuc
From the Advertising Department
Kick-off The Calusa Blue Way Paddling Festival with Us
By Paul R. Riek
Advertising and Promotions Manager
On October 29, 2010 Sea Kayaker magazine, in conjunction with the Prawnbroker restaurant in Fort Myers Florida, will be hosting the kick-off of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival.
I’d like to extend an invitation to all Sea Kayaker magazine readers to attend this wonderful destination festival. This is a beautiful area to visit. What could be better than merging a great vacation spot with a paddling event?!
The 5th annual event celebrates The Great Calusa Blueway, a 190-mile paddling trail, which meanders from Bonita Springs to Pine Island Sound and the Caloosahatchee River. The Festival will have canoe/kayak races, a kayak fishing tournament, paddling clinics and demonstrations, seminars, family activities, archaeological and environmental events, guided tours, and more celebrations along The Great Calusa Blueway.
|Paul R. Riek (ugly shirt)
Sea Kayaker magazine
Betsy Clayton, Lee County Parks and Recreation
For those concerned about the Gulf oil spill, area surrounding the Calusa Blueway has not been affected at all by the oil and NOAA has projected that the chance of any oil reaching shore is less than 1%. The water and the beaches are clean and as inviting as ever.
Last year I was very pleased to have quite a few people come up to me, some traveling from as far away as Ontario, and say that they were made aware of the event through the ads in Sea Kayaker magazine. It is my sincere hope that we will continue to see more Sea Kayaker readers taking advantage of this great opportunity. Stop by and introduce yourself to me at the kick-off party!
Sea Kayaker magazine, independently owned and operated since 1984