Friday, March 28, 2008

Bombproof?

Some good discussions on rolling and rescues the last couple days. With the boater that ended up in the Chippewa River the other day it tends to spark some talk. I'm not one to say whether what he did was right or wrong, but what I did see was a man floating in the river ... unable to save himself. It looked like a recreational boat on the photos, typicaly they are without a spray skirt, and pretty tough to roll for most people. Proper clothing, and minimal self rescue skills would have made it a none event.
But what about the paddler that takes kayaking a little more seriously, and learns the skills.

Now a dedicated paddler with an average seakayak should be able to get a roll going, if they want to, and are persistent.
Now you've learn how to roll, is it bombproof? Now learn the offside roll, are you bombproof yet? The Inuit people devised many different types of rolls for just about any situation ... can you roll if you lose your paddle? One of the common paddling injuries is a dislocated shoulder after a poorly done high brace .. can you do a roll with a dislocated shoulder? I know a few people who probably could, but I'm not one of them. I don't think there really is a bombproof roll.
Many times when a person can roll, the other rescues tend to get forgotten. I think the number one self rescue a person should be proficient at is the re-enter and roll, even if it's with a paddle float. It's the fastest way out of cold water. You end up with a boat full of water, that is a bit unstable, but that's why you have that pump on the deck ... right? If your with a group, raft up and pump! In fact, a re-enter and roll is faster than the T-rescue. Spend 60 seconds in 38F (3C) water and fingers don't work so well. In cold water, its all about getting back in the boat as fast as possible.

7 comments:

Alex said...

Those with "bombproof rolls" haven't met a big enough bomb yet. With that said, I hope at this point, my roll is reliable through smaller explotions although I'm sure if a nuke landed on me (monster keeper hole), I'd be swimming like a rock.

I still practice reenter and rolls each week although I probably only practice paddle float reentries a couple times a year (when teaching them at symposia). I figure if I can cowboy scramble, I can do a paddle float rescue. :)

Alex said...

Wow, did I really spell explosions "explotions"? It's been a long week.

Silbs said...

I think of the conditions in which I might not only tip over but fail to roll and have to wet exit. If I now re enter and roll or even get myself back in with a paddle float, I am going to be in the same conditions in which I flipped, but with a boat load of water. I will be unstable, unlikely to stay up and likely to take on water as I try to pump. Rolling, of course is primo as the skirt never comes off. Still, Alex's point about a bigger and better bomb out there is an excellent one. So...I don't go there alone.

Rodger said...

I am a big fan of the re-entry and roll. I don't completely agree with the thought that whatever conditions caused you to capsize will still be there causing you more of a problem with a now more unstable boat. That isn't always the case. Sometimes what caused you to capsize may be a passing condition such as a boat wake, eddy line, etc.

Ron said...

Thanks for the comments. Many times when someone goes over, it's while being distracted. The paddle may be stuck under a bungee, while the person is attaching something, or trying to reach something on the back deck. Then the "bombproof" roll you've worked so hard at, for some reason doesn't work because you can't retrieve the paddle, or the capsize caught you by suprise, and you went under with only 5 seconds worth of air in your lungs.

DaveO said...

Or maybe you're even trying to turn around and grab your skeg line.....I had a Greenland paddle break on a high brace and went over on flat water. I think claiming to have a 'bombproof' roll is a bit arrogant in any case.

DaveO said...

Or maybe you're even trying to turn around and grab your skeg line.....I had a Greenland paddle break on a high brace and went over on flat water. I think claiming to have a 'bombproof' roll is a bit arrogant in any case.