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Hve any of you ever wound up in deep water? If so, how hard is it to get back on, or in, the kayak? Do you have to get the kayak to shallow water? This has been my biggest concern when considering purchasing a kayak. I'm a pretty hefty guy and I wonder what would happen if I fell out of the thing. Just how stable are they? I saw a photo of a guy standing up in one on the Virginia board
not to long ago.
 

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Hve any of you ever wound up in deep water? If so, how hard is it to get back on, or in, the kayak? Do you have to get the kayak to shallow water? This has been my biggest concern when considering purchasing a kayak. I'm a pretty hefty guy and I wonder what would happen if I fell out of the thing. Just how stable are they? I saw a photo of a guy standing up in one on the Virginia board
not to long ago.
Don't fall out in deep water:nono: My Son has two of them and I have gone once. I was in deep water at Black Hills in Germantown BUT very calm water. I don't think I would be getting back in if I fell out:eek2: Had a PFD and would have to pull it to shore. SHORE is the key word here. Don't get to far from it:clapping2: I'm a BIG guy also and my kayak was a low rider!!.............Gary
 

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My experience is that it depends on the kayak and how athletic you are. I have a sit-in that I swamped once. It was not too difficult to get in, but I was in calm water. Also, it took about 15 minutes of pumping to clear the water from the boat. It would have been nearly impossible in the surf or with any big waves. I believe that most around here use the sit-on type for fishing. If you are unsure, do your research on which kayak best works for you and the intended purpose. I kinda wish I'd bought a sit-on so I could feel confident fishing from it, but mine is great for tooling around the backbay areas and inlets. Try to get them to let you test them in the water before purchasing, and maybe take some lessons as msl149 suggested.
 

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This topic has been discussed a lot on the Tidalfish kayak forum. The key safety points are to always wear a pfd and to wear clothing and gear in cold conditions that would help you survive in a cold water encounter. Many serious paddlers practice their self rescue skills in warm water conditions-that is something every kayak fisherman should do.

I agree with others about considering lessons unless you have some experienced friends to go with, and using SOTs that you can climb back on helps self-rescue. I have both sit-in and SOT kayaks, I enjoy paddling and fishing from both.
 

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One test is to go to a swimming pull, deep end, pull yourself up on the edge of the pool into a sitting position without use of a ladder. I believe doing that in a kayak is two or three times harder, kayak will be moving, choppy water, balancing the kayak and yourself. There are some tricks you can learn, such as using your paddle, wedging it across your kayak and using it as leverage. Most kayak shops will let you demo kayaks, some like Easton Cycle and Sport will rent you a kayak then if you buy deduct rental cost. If you can get the kayak into a swimmming pool and flip it over it is a good place to start.
I really enjoy kayaking and kayak fishing. I am 48 years old, weigh about 180 and feel very secure in a kayak. I started on the creeks and rivers on the Eastern Shore and worked my way up to fishing on the Bay. Always wearing my PFD. I did kayak on the Pacific Ocean last spring, thought I knew it all, had my wife with me in a tandem, hit the first wave and we flipped the kayak, after that I listened to the three 20 year old guides who taught us proper techniques. Lessons are always good.
I started fishing in a sit-in touring kayak, for strictly fishing I went to a sit-on-top, don't have to worry about getting swamped if you make sure all your hatches are secure, I find it easier to use rod and reel, reach tackle, get fish in the kayak, clean the kayak after a day of fishing etc. Going to get wet anyway from reeling in the line, and having fish flopping around so having the holes in a SOT that allow water to drain from the kayak is good.
 

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I think the best thing to do would be to demo the kayak on a lake or calm water and practice getting back in. A sit on top kayak is definitely recommended for fishing and for rough water. They are typically more stable and at least if you take a wave over the bow, the water will drain out of the scupper holes. I heard of a self rescue practice being coordinated at SPSP a few years ago and it may be a good idea to do this again because this seems to be a common question.

I used to do a lot of canoeing and I can tell you getting back in a kayak is a lot easier and it's great not having to bail anything out. Leash your gear or loose it, don't get stuck in your leash, and above all wear your pdf. There are a lot of good youtube instructional videos out there that you should check out and see if you think you would be capable. You can also use a step cord, people keep them in a pocket in their pdf. It's basically just a loop on a piece of paracord that you use to put your foot on to help you get back in. The easiest way is to basically reach for the other side and pull yourself up into the beached position, then pick your feet up and turn your backside into the seat.

When my dad decided he wanted to go out on the bay I made him go out in pants, shoes, and long sleeves and flip himself till he could get on quickly. He hated it me for it, but it made him feel a heck of a lot more comfortable out there. I figured I can't reproduce the conditions on the bay, but I can make it harder by adding more weight and drag to his body. Anyway, it's not that scary and there are a lot of big guy yaks like ocean kayak big game, wilderness systems ride 135, cobra fish and dive, etc.

If you have any other questions, let me know if I can help!
 

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I've done some deep water self-rescues. As the others mentioned, practice is key. Redfish's suggestion about a step loop is a good one. I have my wife keep one handy when she kayaks with me. Climbing back in (for me) is a combination of pulling with one arm (across the kayak), pushing myself up with the other (on the near side of the kayak), and kicking like hell. You can also push yourself under a little, and pull and kick as the pfd's buoyancy pushes you up. Joe (Friday) climbs back in from the stern, but you can't do that with a crate in the back. Also, I recommend using a pfd that is smooth as possible without a big bunch of pockets and buckles on the front, which all the fishing pfds have. I found those kind of things can get hung up as you try to climb back in. Another good exercise is to figure out where the tipping point is for your kayak. I had a Native Manta Ray that didn't flip until I submerged the gunwale. I would probably fall out before it flipped. Another thing is you have to be aware of your surroundings and turn into waves that might be too big to take abeam.

You can find yaks stable enough to stand in (the Wilderness Systems Ride is a good example), but they won't be quite as fast. Lots of people start off with a nice, stable barge then upgrade to a sleeker yak as they get more comfortable. I know several people that use the Ride and really like it. I used to fish out of a Hobie Outback, and I only felt close to flipping/falling out once in about 6yrs of fishing from it several times a week. That was when I took a big wake almost point blank from a 40ft that sped through a no wake zone. Even then, I don't think I was as close to falling out as I felt I was.
 

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as with anything in life you need to keep your wits about you! be aware of your surroundings, most flips happen when your not paying attention. reaching around to get some thing out of the back and loosing balance or like 1 guy i know got yanked over by a cownose raydoh. the best thing to do is keep your head centered in the yak and when getting something from the rear turn your whole body to the side with your legs over the side (SOT), most people turtle when reaching back and losing balance:nono:
 

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Bebopper,
How much do you weigh and where do you live? In May, when the water becomes warm, there will be opportunity for self-rescue practice organized by some of the forum members before you buy your own. I want to know the size of kayak you may need for self-rescue

joe
 

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I'm a 300 lbs kayaker. I have 3 "sit-in" and one "sit-on" kayaks and I can self-rescue in all of them. I have to agree with everyone here. PRACTICE! Always wear your PFD (I use an inflatable) and carry a hand operated high-volume pump. A bailing sponge is a good idea to but only for "clean up."

I've taken each of my kayaks out into water just over my head and alternately dumped out on purpose and purposely swamped them. I started in calm water to get my technique down and then practiced it on a windy day in white caps.

Because I practiced I'm fairly confident that I can self-rescue under most conditions in which I'll find myself. I've only had to do it for real once and didn't have any problems.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
 

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if you have any balance what-so-ever, it is simple to get back up on a sit on top kayak. If you work a job that uses your muscles, or balance or anythingi of the type you will be okay. if you have a sports background you will be okay. its not hard, and i dont thinks theres a need for a lesson... just go try it with a few friends
 

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I'd be happy to participate with this event Joe. I have 3 kayaks that I can bring. I think my ride 135 would be a good size to practice on for him from what it sounds like. Where are you located?
 
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