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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...

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