In this session I join the members of local, NZ East Auckland Kayak Fishing Club (EAKFC), in the pool for some SoT kayak self-rescue practise. Although they have been kayak fishing for some time, for many of the member’s this is the first time they have attempted trying to get back on their kayaks. I commend the club committee and for being proactive with safety in organising this session. The pool is a great place to practise before heading to the ocean
“ wow! it’s not as easy as it looks on you tube! I am so glad I did this pool session !” EAKFC member after trying to get back on his kayak in a warm pool with no gear on his kayak.
Safety on water is paramount and as the sport of kayak fishing continues to grow, kayak fishermen are coming to the sport with kayak experience spread out from none to very experienced sea kayakers…for the large majority it is little or no experience. Opportunities like this are important to gain confidence and skills…that said I highly recommend doing an official full course with a reputable organisation, you will gain invaluable fundamental skills. Early in my paddling took a course and can’t speak highly enough how important that course was to impart knowledge and confidence through into my paddling today.
At the pool we had a variety of kayak models on hand to trial which was ideal because each had its own strengths and weaknesses…for example the wider, heavier kayaks with poor side handles (or none) were harder to flip back over in one technique than the lighter narrower kayaks. High centre consoles proved a problem when getting your body position wrong upon entry, putting the paddler in a top heavy position risking another capsize. The paddle float rescue proved essential for a few members to get the feel for re-entering efficiently, they then removed the float and got back in with confidence.
Special mention: to Jo & Jeff for each winning a RAILBLAZA rod holder II. Jeff won his by proving he could SUP the Barracuda fish pro the full length of the pool (Jeff is 6ft.3+ ) & Jo for being the first in the water to practise and the last out of the water. Thanks to RAILBLAZA for offering the prizes. Thanks also to Dave from Fergs Kayaks Wellington for the loan of the Harmony Paddle Floats…
Techniques demonstrated in the pool and covered in the video as follows… Note this is a quick basic outline for the pool session… in a session with an instructor out in the ocean safety is covered in greater detail…like locate your paddle, identify the dangers ( rocks, tackle, gaffs etc…), …the list is too long to cover here.
Righting capsized kayak
- Option 1 – reach under, take hold of each handle and, using a push pull action, right the kayak. Some of the kayaks did not have adequate handles, were too heavy (even without fishing gear) or were too wide for this method to be effective.
- Option 2 – kick yourself onto the capsized kayak reach the other side and pulling back letting your body weight do the work. The trick here with the wider kayaks is not to tackle it from the widest point of the kayak.
Getting back on – his is covered best in detail on the video but if you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to clarify
- Un assisted
- Paddle float assisted
- Paddle float and sling/stirrup assisted