Post by Alex McGruer
Here is a contested point.
What do you think of paddle floats?
Useful, life safety necessity: Waste of space, dangerous psychological
crutch giving the illusion of safety?
I hope a couple of people will get into this because it is truly worth
a public debate.
I find it useful at the pool. The reason I say this is that I
haven't had to do a wet exit out on the water. I practise it at the
pool in case I need it out on the water. If you don't practise with
it, you won't know the quick efficient way to use it when the time
comes for real that you have to use it. It is nice to say , " I have a
good roll ", I do . I am very confident in my roll that I also
practise at the pool every week. I live by the rule that if you don't
use it you will lose it. You don't know when that time will come when
you are on the water and in a split second a funny wave will knock you
over even though I consider my braces very good also. " YOU HAVE TO
COVER ALL THE ANGLES ".
Consider the worse case senario. Even though you don't paddle
alone, some of us do even though it is not reccommended. You fall
behind the group because you are checking something out that caught
your eye. You are close to shore (cliffs) and a wave rebounds off the
cliff and catches you unaware. You are over before you realize it.
Here is the big crunch. When you got knocked over so quickly, you
didn't get time to take the good breath. You only got time for a quick
snap breath as you are entering the water, but you got water too. Now
you start to cough. Try coughing under water, it doesn't go well. Can
you roll while you are coughing ???? Maybe???? You may have no choice
but to wet exit. Your fellow paddler looks back but he doesn't see you
because there is a rock between you and him/her. The paddler thinks
that you are up ahead with the other paddlers.
Now you are in the water. I hope that you remembered to hold on
to your paddle if you hadn't tethered it. ---- and hold on to your
boat too WHILE YOU ARE COUGHING VIOLENTLY. It will take you a little
while to cough the water out of your lungs as you sit in that cold
water. Now that you have beat yourself out coughing and holding your
boat in the churning water because of the rebounding waves how are you
getting back into your boat ? Think fast as the water is cold. Can you
do the pool trick, climb on top of your boat and go from rear to
cockpit ? I have trouble doing it in the pool let alone doing it in
really moving water. Can you do a reentry and roll ? That isn't easy
in a pool unless it is well practised. I have seen some very good
paddlers doing it at the pool. Geez!!!!! It is getting cold!!!!. I
can't understand why the group hasn't come back for me yet. ( They are
spread out and don't realize that you are in the water. They think
that you are somewhere in the group. They are enjoying the beauty.)
Oh YES !! My paddlefloat!! Best outrigger there is for a " lone
" kayak ( if you know how to use it ). This is NOT, I STRESS NOT the
time to figure out how to use it. The water is too cold; it will take
too long. If you have the air type like I have it will take time to
blow it up. Miine only takes a few breaths on each side, it is a big
bag and gives a great float( use that time to think your way through
the steps that you practised in the pool and brought it to just a few
efficient steps. " Hey, as much as the boat is getting kicked around
it is pretty stable because of the outrigger that the paddlefloat and
paddle make . I am so glad that I had practised this at the pool and
made it so efficient. It didn't take long to get back in the boat ".
" Now where is my top map so I can figure out how to get home.
Got to paddle to warm up. Don't want Mr. Hyperthermia to visit. Geez,
did we chose a lead and sweep before we left ? Oh ya, I'm the sweep. "
I hope it brings on some debate