If you ever plan to fish in water that’s deeper than you are tall, you’ll want to be comfortable re-entering your kayak in the event you fall out. The summer is a perfect time to give it a shot.
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Go to a deep enough body of water, neighborhood ponds or other small lakes are good places to start. Make sure you have another kayaker nearby to assist you if needed. Do a “dry run” first, with all of your valuable fishing gear and electronics safely on dry land. All you need is yourself, a kayak, a PFD, a paddle. Be sure to leash down your paddle and/or pedal drive during this exercise too. It is also a good idea to test out how different it will feel re-entering with a fully loaded kayak after you’re comfortable with an empty boat. Step one is to flip your kayak. This can be easily accomplished on most models by rocking side to side as hard as you can and forcing the kayak over. Next you will want to work on re-righting your kayak. There are a few methods to this depending on your particular physical attributes and the model of kayak you’re trying to enter. The least complicated way is to just “power press” one side up to flip the kayak. In more stable kayaks this won’t work. The other option is to reach under the kayak to grab the far side handle and pull it underwater towards you, while pushing up on the near side. If that doesn’t work you can always scoot on top of the inverted kayak, grab the far side handle and pull it over that way.
Once you have your kayak righted you’ll want to push your torso and stomach up into the kayak. From there you turn your hips so that your butt falls into the seat. Pull your scuppers to drain the water that’s accumulated in your cockpit and you’ll be good to go after that.
Remember to always wear your PFD, especially when purposefully falling out of your kayak.
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