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Help! My Kayak Tipped Over! How Do I get Back In?

June 18th, 2011 by Michael in Kajak Fishing with 0 Comments

Re-entering a Sit-On-Top KayakDrawing of a capsized kayak.

How to Re-Enter Your Sit-On-Top Kayak

Sit on Top kayaks have come a long way and really compliment kayak fishing, they’re faster, more stable than the older models. Most people will never tip their kayak and with some kayaks it’s almost impossible to do so but we at KFS strongly recommend that you practice re-entering your kayak before you ever think about kayak fishing.

Of course you should practice without all gear with you but keep in mind that you should consider how your gear could hinder reentry onto your kayak. First thing you need to do if the kayak has flipped over is get it right side up, one way to do this is to reach under and grab one side of the seat and pull toward you and this should spin the kayak around. Another method is to reach over the hull of the kayak and grab the other side (handle or seat strap) and lean back and this will turn the kayak over.

Upper body strength will aid in getting you back on but mostly it is about finesse and technique. Different kayaks have different areas that might be better to balance on and also to grab while you leverage to pop back on but that is why we are practicing it and learning what method works best your kayak.

You should always practice in water that is just below your head and then work up to deep-water reentry. Here is a reentry step by step on a Prowler 15′.

  1.  At this stage you should be just getting into a position that is feel comfortable to pop up.
  2.  Here the person is grabbing the side handle, this is working with this kayak but might not work on others. You should try to get some weight on the opposite side to better balance the kayak. Allow the kayak to tip toward you. Let yourself sink deeper into the water and allow the buoyancy of your PFD and your pulling to pop you up out of the water.
  3.  Now is where you should make your move and generate some power, this can be done by grabbing and also kicking with your feet.
  4.  Once you have come out of the water, pull yourself to the opposite side until your chest is over the gunwale, but most importantly… your butt/hips are over the cockpit. This may feel a little unnatural, but you will get used to it.
  5.  Once you have centered the middle of your body over the cockpit, roll yourself around until you find yourself in the sidesaddle position.
  6.  The completed re-entry! Now that you are sitting sidesaddle, just swing your feet inside the yak and you are done!

After you go through once you will newfound confidence on the water, chances are you will never have to use what you learned but it is nice to know you can.



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