Expedition wet rescue at Aurora Paddlefest

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Expedition wet rescue at Aurora Paddlefest

Post by kiltie_celt » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:45 pm

I went to the Aurora Paddlefest in Aurora, Illinois today. The paddlefest is a two day event put on by the Illinois Paddling Council, City of Aurora, and the Chicago Area Sea Kayakers Association. There were numerous vendors there with various brands and styles of kayaks available for demo paddling. Also they were offering various classes like Intro to Kayaking, Intro to Canoeing, etc. I took a Coastal Kayak rescue class. Since I was the only guy in the class I got one-on-one instruction. We decided since the Expedition is so different from many hardshell kayaks that it would be best for me to learn these methods in my own boat and thus learn its own idiosyncrasies. We tried a number of methods of getting back into one's boat from a wet exit. The two that really worked the best with the Expedition were the paddle float self-rescue and the cowboy self-rescue.

If you look on youtube or somewhere you'll see plenty of paddle float self-rescue videos and doing it with the Expedition is pretty much the same. However, the videos I saw of the cowboy self-rescue were all referred to as a sea kayak cowboy self-rescue. They all show the kayaker kicking up onto the stern of the boat behind the cockpit. In my experience today that didn't really work that well with the Expedition. Because it sits higher than other kayaks and is wider it tends to want to shimmy away as you try to swim or forcefully kick yourself up onto it. What I found that works best is to come directly behind the stern and holding onto the grab handle, kick with your legs and launch yourself forward. You can then grab at the stern rigging tie-downs and finally the back end of the cockpit to pull yourself forward enough to get into a position where you're seated and straddling the boat with your legs on both sides. Then you simply inch forward until you can get back into the cockpit.

We tried a wet exit re-entry and roll self-rescue but I just couldn't get it. The AE AdvancedFrame kayaks are so wide and stable they just don't want to easily roll. I've seen the Youtube video of someone doing a roll with the smaller AE kayak but in that video he was moving forward as he performed the roll which I think helps somewhat since he also had forward momentum working with him. I might be able to finally get it using a paddle float but I think I'll wait for some pool time to give that method a try. Until then I'll stick to wet exits and self-rescue if the need arises.

On another note, my kayak was the ONLY inflatable boat there. No outfitters brought any with them even though one, Erehwon Outfitters, just started carrying the Expedition, Air Fusion, and Convertible. They hadn't gotten any demo kayaks yet though so both guys from there were practically begging me to let them try my Expedition out. I'll be going back out tomorrow for more paddling fun so they'll get a chance to try my 'yak then.

There were also at least three or four other guys who really liked the design of the Expedition and thought it was MUCH better than they thought an inflatable would be in their minds. All of them are also dieing to get a chance to try out the boat tomorrow as well. All of the talking I'm doing about AE kayaks and their virtues maybe Jeremy should send me a couple AE stickers for my car :D

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Post by sonar » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:10 pm

A nice post giving details on your method of self entry..

Yes I also have also seen the video on youtube where the guy does a full roll and as you say was going forwards at the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Aq2VnI ... re=related

Another something I would Like to try at a later date.

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Post by diemonde » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:20 am

With the inflatables from AE you have less risk to get in incidents like with normal kayaks. So instructions that go for normal kayaks really don't go with AE kayaks. Ask someone to bend to left or right to the waterline from a normal kayak and a AE kayak. With AE they will be dry :-)

A roll: it is possible but I strongly advice against it. Even in a normal kayak a roll is difficult and when you do it wrong it can give injuries even a dislocated shoulder. And swimming,paddling or cowboy back into your kayak with a dislocated shoulder: well good luck.

Best is to be good at the cowboy rescue and to forget anything else. It's better then using a paddle-aid. Think about it. Would it be better to be half out of the water getting it warm trying to get in or keeping cold while blowing air in your paddle-aid?

The best rescue-aid for regular kayaks are sponsons (but they look lame and so everyone wants to do macho eskimoroll and other rescues). The great thing is: with your AE kayaks you already have sponsons!

In studies into the lives of Eskimo researchers question the use of a roll as they found prove of the use of bags with air (probably made out of bladders or skin).

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Post by sonar » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:05 am

A way eerrr in doors has started to use as self rescue is a short length of rope tied to the large seat buckle.

The end that is not tied has a loop tied in it so as she can place her foot in it this gives her the extra boost required to at least get back on the Kayack.

The rope is tied to the oppisite side you like to get back in the Kayack

And when not in use it sits behind the seat out of the way.
The rope is NOT long enough to get tangled up in and again floating rope has been used with a small bit of copper pipe as the foot brace something to stand on with out the rope going tight around her foot.

See here.
http://www.advancedelements.com/phpBB2/ ... =5484#5484

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