Kayak Self Rescue Techniques

One of the most difficult things about kayaking is doing a self rescue to get back into your kayak if you roll over.

Believe it or not, but most folks out on kayaks actually can’t get back into them if they rolled over. This is a very precarious position to be in. No one wants to be vulnerable to the possibility of a rollover.

Fortunately there are a few tools that make re-entry into the kayak much easier. In particular, stirrups or rescue ladders designed for kayak self rescues fills the need as a solution for many.

How to use self rescue stirrups.

The following video demonstrates the use of a simple stirrup rescue technique. However, in this case is seems that this particular self rescue uses both a simple stirrup as well as a paddle float. More about the paddle float technique later.

“Simple Stirrup Self Rescue” – YouTube video by Randi Kruger

The next video, below, demonstrates a more efficient use of a simple stirrup self rescue technique. In this video the stirrup is used to right the kayak as well as for re-entry. This technique actually looks somewhat easy to do.

“The Kayak Self Rescue Ladder” – YouTube video by waterbugnj

Paddle Float Self Rescue

Paddle floats can also be used to perform self rescues. The following video demonstrates the use of a kayak paddle float for self rescue. This technique looks doable as well, but my preference is the stirrup technique.

Watch the following video demo and explanation of how to use a kayak paddle float for self rescues.

“Kayak Paddle Float Self Rescue” – YouTube video by Paddling.com

In the video clip below NORTHSEAKAYAK demonstrates a few different techniques for using a paddle float.

“NORTHSEAKAYAK – The Paddle Float Self Rescue” – YouTube video by NORTHSEAKAYAK

My Opinion: The stirrup/ladder technique is my favorite because it offers help with entry as well as righting the kayak while performing a self rescue.

Images Source: YouTube Clips 1, 2, 3, 4

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