How to Get Back in Your Kayak
Paddling out on the river in a kayak may seem easy enough, but what happens when you fall out? Whether you try to take on advanced rapids, you’re hit by a large wave, or even if a large gust of wind comes your way, there are many reasons why you may capsize when you kayak Las Vegas and need to get back in. However, as with other aspects of kayaking, there is a proper technique required to get back into your boat safely and smoothly after you fall out during Las Vegas kayak tours.
Get Back into Your Sit-In Kayak
Kayaks come in various shapes and sizes. If you are kayaking near Las Vegas, it’s essential to know the proper technique for righting your kayak and safely re-entering the boat. Kayaks generally come in two forms, which are sit-in and sit-on-top. A sit-in kayak requires more skill and technique to the right once it has been capsized. When you are in a sit-in kayak, your body is usually enclosed by a skirt within the boat. The skirt may also be sealed. If you roll the boat, however, it is easy to release the skirt if it doesn’t come off on its own so that you don’t get trapped underwater. When you do capsize with a sit-in kayak, the biggest issue is that the boat will fill with water. Once you flip the boat, you will most likely need to bail it out manually. In order to get the kayak right-side up again, you’ll need to complete a wet exit or an Eskimo Roll.
One of the key tricks to righting a capsized kayak is performing the Eskimo Roll. The Eskimo Roll is a safety technique that helps a beginner to seasoned paddlers alike return to an upright position after flipping the boat. To master the Eskimo Roll, it’s a good idea to practice intentionally rolling the boat and then turning it right-side up again. Before you practice rolling, ensure that your surroundings are suitable for safely and effectively practicing a Las Vegas kayaking roll. To start, move the paddle so that it is alongside the kayak. Once the kayak has flipped upside down, change the paddle’s position so that you move it upwards towards the boat’s exterior. To flip the kayak right-side up again, swing your hips over to the right-hand side of the boat. You may need to wiggle a bit to stabilize the boat once it has turned right-side up again.
The Eskimo Roll helps you turn your boat right-side up again after it rolls. But what happens if you fall out and you don’t know how to get back in using the Eskimo Roll? Fortunately, there are other ways to re-enter your kayak. First, you’ll want to locate the boat and swim towards it. Then, position yourself close to the boat’s cockpit. Stay beneath the kayak if it is safe to do so, and grab onto the cockpit’s edges. If possible, try shifting the boat’s weight to one side. Use one arm to push the boat until you can get it to turn right-side up. Once the boat has turned right-side up, you can try getting back into it.
Turning Over a Sit-on-top Kayak
If you are new to kayaking, a sit-on-top may be a safer option in general, and it’s usually easier to get back into a kayak of this style. While kayaks that you can sit in can be used for a variety of uses, sit-on-top kayaks are generally purely recreational. They are built to be sturdy and secure in the water. While some people think that kayaks, in general, appear to be unstable in the water, that is not the case with sit-on-top kayaks. These kayaks have deep, flat hulls and are generally challenging to flip. If you do flip a sit-on-top kayak, however, it’s usually easier to get back in than it is with other kinds of kayaks.
Sit-on-top kayaks in Nevada are easy to stabilize with your legs. Sometimes, your boat may even come with foot supports on both sides that make it easier to position yourself in the middle of your boat, allowing you to use your feet for more stability. If you flip over in a sit-on-top kayak, you will naturally fall out of the boat. Even though it means you will have to get back in, that may be a safer option, as you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the kayak upside down. That is especially true if you are a beginner kayaker. Therefore, it is relatively easy to survive a roll in the kayak even if you are not a seasoned kayaker or experienced swimmer.
Be Aware of Weather Conditions
The current conditions you experience when you are kayaking and ultimately fall out of the boat will significantly influence how easy it is for you to get back into your boat and keep paddling. If you are paddling on a calm, flat lake to start with, for instance, it will be much easier to get back into your boat than if you are battling ocean swells. Kayaking at sea inherently comes with more risks and dangers than kayaking on calmer bodies of water. Even though kayaking conditions may be more perilous out at sea, having a stable sit-on-top kayak will make it more likely that you can get through the day’s or the evening’s kayaking adventure without an issue.
If you regularly kayak in rough waters, it’s a good idea to get some kind of safety training before you start seriously kayaking in Nevada so that you can better help yourself, and fellow kayakers, if you get into trouble when you hit tumultuous seas or strong currents. While Las Vegas kayaking in calm waters is generally safe, kayaking in waves, currents, fog, and other maritime hazards makes the sport riskier. When conditions are riskier, the likelihood of falling out of your kayak increases, too.
Preparing for Kayaking
No matter your experience level on the water, it is always a good idea to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or a life vest. You should wear a PFD or a life vest no matter where you plan to kayak, your experience level, or how long you intend to be out on the water. Since anything can happen on the water, your best bet is to prepare for the worst case and know how to respond accordingly.
When you flip over unexpectedly while kayaking in Nevada, it may be natural to react with some degree of panic and uncertainty. However, staying calm is your best bet for returning to the kayak quickly and safely. If you panic after falling out of your kayak, you can quickly become fatigued faster than usual, jeopardizing your chances of getting back into the boat and safely back to shore. Whether you have a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak, you should strive to get back in the boat as soon as possible to avoid having water leak into the compartments and the hull.
Contact Blazin’ Paddles today for more information about kayaking Las Vegas and safely getting back into your boat after rolling.