Wednesday, September 07, 2011

"Sla om-training" - Capsize drills

Picture of the BCU Canoe and Kayak Handbook, Pesda Press- Wales, 3rd edition.
-> Excellent learning guide - a must have for every paddler!

Earlier this evening I hosted a kayak training on capsize drills for KV Wyrda. It was on special request of several members of the club after an incident on a club paddle a week before. At that club paddle one of the paddlers capsized (on the calm flat water around Woerden). The incident wouldn't have been so impressive for him (and for the rest of the group) if he wouldn't have got stuck in the cockpit: he capsized and didn't manage to get out of the kayak. Fortunately it ended up all well, as he finally managed to swim, supported by the other paddlers of the group, half sitting in the capsized kayak, to the embankment of the channel. But this could have ended much worse if he would have been alone and or if the embankment wouldn't have been so close nearby.
Well, the group was seriously startled, suddenly confronted with the risks of the sport - even on the calm placid waters around Woerden. Lessons to learn: (1) don't paddle alone, (2) practice the wet-exit, (3) always wear a PFD.

Lesson 2 is what we exercised this evening: how to get out a capsized kayak: key elements to make this more easy are:
- stay calm, don't panic (easier said than done ;-)
- stay in the boat until the kayak is completely capsized;
- feed the boat of your legs (like taking off a pair of trousers).
The training was a confidence booster and good fun for all.

Regarding the first lesson I admit that I am the bad example in our club. Sorry: I do paddle solo regularly. I shouldn't? A calculated risk? Now about self rescues?

1 comment:

David Somers said...

What caused the entrapment? Was it the skirt, foot pegs, or something else?