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  Adding wind and waves to the equation
  Posted by: Kocho on Feb-08-13 9:34 AM (EST)

You can find a place with strong on-shore waves and some wind and practice rescues there. Make sure there are no hazards. Adding some textured water to the self-rescue makes a lot of difference. I've practiced in such conditions (where I would acrually be likely to capsize in the first place) and I can tell you I ran into unplanned problems in the 15 minutes that I practiced, several of which each might have been the end of me had this happened off-shore in cold water. I'm not going to go in details here, but suffice it to say that I could not pop my skirt the normal way for whatever reason (the shape of the cockpit makes it difficult in some cases, so I had to pop it open in an alternative way, which is something you should practice for with a parner next to you anyway), the second was that my paddle float work was less than stellar (kept falling off the paddle due to a silly mistake on my part), and third - my pump frifted away in the strong wind and foamy waves and I lost it alltogether.

I must emphasize that the specific boat I paddled was a BIG part of my problems. It was unstable and hard for me to roll at the time compared to other boats I owned. First of all, I would pretty much never have capsized in similar conditions in my more stable sea kayak. Second, had I capsized in my other sea kayak, I would have almost guaranteed rolled back-up uneventfully. Not with this particular boat - I would capsize and my roll was not bomb-proof in it. Then the boat was hard to re-enter, and once in, too much water inside despite dual bulkheads - makes the boat too heave and hard to handle in the chop while pumping. And, by the time I finish pumping all that water - I was exhausted or would capsize again because the boat was unstable...

So, you have some plusses with your particular boat - it is stable: unlikely to capsize, easier to re-enter. It holds more water and in a self-rescue will take longer to empty (even if you manage to spill out most of the water before you reenter, which is what you should try anyway). I still think, your boat is safer than the fast sea kayak that I mentioned above gave me trouble... Focus on practice and reading and watching instructional videos if you can't get first-hand instruction. And bomb-proof your roll: it is a lot of fun to roll in a few different ways, not to mention it can be the dffference between just getting your head wet and getting in trouble if you can't roll up...

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Sport Cases (Electronics)

Paddling Jackets

Sport Gloves

Reflective Hull Decals

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