While we would all love to have a dry exit from a kayak, sometimes wet exit is all you get. Knowing how to handle a wet exit is important.
This will be a quick guide on how to wet exit a kayak and re-entry.
Wet Exit… What Is It?
This is when your kayak tips over. Unless you know how to roll, you have to do a wet exit from the boat. This is one of the very first skills newbie kayakers need to master. At the end of the day, the steps for a wet exit should be second nature to you.
How Is A Wet Exit Performed?
A wet exit involves several steps.
- First, as you are tipping place one hand on each side of the kayak to stabilize yourself. You will also need to try and hold on to your paddle, as well.
- Now that the boat has tipped and you’re underwater, release you’re spray skirt. If you are wearing one.
- Just locate the release rope, which is usually at the front of the compartment. Tug on the rope, and the skirt will release.
- Once released bring your knees to your chest and push yourself out of the kayak.
- Your life-jacket will bring you to the surface.
How Do I Save My Stuff?
Try to grab what you can without losing a grip on your kayak and paddle, but maintaining contact with those two things has to take priority over anything else. You don’t want to find yourself literally up a creek without a paddle which is another good reason to have a paddle leash.
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Now, How Do I Get Back in The Kayak?
If you are kayaking alone, swim to shore with your paddle and boat. Or, if you know how, perform a self-rescue in the water.
There are two options for your paddles.
- If the water is fairly calm and you have a paddle float, you may use your paddle for leverage help get into your kayak. A paddle float is a small flotation device that slides over one of your paddles.
- If the water is too rough or you don’t have a paddle float, then you’ll need to flip your kayak over. Once this is completed stow the paddle inside the compartment or lay it along the top of the compartment in the paddle clip to be used for later. You will need it for balance.
Make sure you know how to flip you kayak over. This is done by grabbing a hold of one side and gently turn it over. The kayak will upright itself. If you have a paddle float, keep float in the water and lay your paddle over the top of the kayak. Swim to the back of your kayak, hold on to the far side of the boat.
Since you have a paddle float, you can wrap your feet around the paddle and climb on top of the boat. If no paddle float, you will need to use your arms to pull yourself up on the boat. Once the paddle is not in use, stash it inside the compartment. Swing your legs around into the compartment and lower yourself onto the seat.
If you are with a partner, things can be easier. First have your partner brace the boat with both of your paddles, then assist you as you climb up on the back of your kayak. Next swing your legs into the compartment and lower yourself onto the seat.
Wrap Up On A Quick Guide On How To Wet Exit A Kayak
Tipping over can happen to any kayaker, therefore knowing how to wet exits and re-entries are skills for any new kayaker will want to learn.