'Guide-approved' tips for launching kayak in rough conditions

CPS

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Oct 27, 2020
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BC
Hmm. I guess I've been launching in rough water all along without knowing it.
 

AM

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Jan 30, 2006
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Vancouver
To be fair, he’s not really launching in waves, just on a rocky shore. And his technique is the next step in the progression for those who are first taught to enter the kayak with the stern on shore and the paddle behind the paddler to act as an outrigger. I hate that technique, so I appreciate that he’s showing people something better.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
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May 15, 2005
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well, stern/bow on the shore is nfg as stability is always negative, but paddle outrigger is a great tool in the quiver - in rocky situations there often ain't no bottom to stand on.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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in rocky situations there often ain't no bottom to stand on.
If you landed there, you probably had to swim in? Perhaps a slower speed variation of the 'Speed Launch' would work?

I've seen videos of expert paddlers tossing their boats into the water and then following them. Wouldn't work so easily for a loaded boat, I guess.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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And his technique is the next step in the progression for those who are first taught to enter the kayak with the stern on shore and the paddle behind the paddler to act as an outrigger. I hate that technique, so I appreciate that he’s showing people something better.
In even small waves, a lot of beginners will capsize when getting their legs into the boat if the boat is side-on to the waves (since they probably won't have their paddle ready with a brace or scull) . And if there's a capsize, his technique will put that beginner head/shoulder down to the rocks with the boat washing over them.

Steve Ruskay shows a nice sculling stroke to stabilize himself while swinging in his legs.
sculling.JPG


That's a skill I should practice more - just swinging my legs in and out of the boat while on the water, using brace/sculling for stability. It's one of several points of failure when I try scramble/cowboy entry into my boat.

In most situations, I like a (kayak) stern-first launch, straddling the kayak. When I 'push off', my butt is heading in the same direction as the boat, so it lands in the seat quite naturally.
 

Roy222

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Jun 2, 2009
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If you want a god laugh watch me try to make a graceful lnding in calm water in my fancy sea kayak.
The girl watching really laughed her you know what off when I confidently approached the dock and did an expert wet exit.
 
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