Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Incredible Kayak Videos

YouTube is a wonderful thing! Just go there and search for whatever topic you want, and you'll probably find a useful instructional video that someone has provided for free. This is especially true for sea kayaking. Here are some YouTube videos that I recommend, and find very useful:

Eskimo Roll: Everyone asks me, do you know how to do an eskimo roll? And, no, folks, we are not talking about sushi. This is a technique to right yourself if you capsize, without getting out of the kayak. It is the quickest and best way to recover from capsizing. It only applies to sit-inside kayaks, and works a lot better if you've got your spray skirt on. There are many YouTube videos that feature the eskimo roll, but the one I've linked to above shows it at such slow speed, and from the perfect angle that it really takes all the mystery out of the technique. Be sure to practice the move under controlled conditions with a buddy.

Surf Launch: Most of my put-ins have been on boat ramps and docks, but I've recently started doing surf launches, and this video will prepare you for the fun and challenge of a surf launch.

Kayak Sailing: I have a friend who tells me to bring an umbrella in the kayak, so when the wind is going my way, I can open the umbrella and ride the wind. That's one way to do it. This video shows a kayaker using a special sail designed to go with the kayak. The advantage of the sail is your hands are free to paddle and steer. The umbrella is the poor man's way to go, or maybe a kite?

Scoop Rescue: This is a great technique for helping another person get back in to their kayak. It can be used with someone who is injured, has hypothermia, is exhausted, or if they are perhaps a complete novice.
  • Also, see the Hand of God rescue, which is very similar.

Kayak Surfing: This is a great video. The instructor watches others kayaking in the surf, and he stops the motion to tell you what they good be doing better. But it also shows you how much fun sea kayak surfing can be!

Seeing Wildlife:
  • This is a great video of seeing whales and dolphins feeding.
  • Imaging seeing these orcas right next to your kayak.
  • Hopefully, you will never have a killer whale land on your kayak, but if this does happen to you, I hope you watched the first video of this blog entry, and you know how to do an eskimo roll (so that you don't have to get out of your kayak and dangle your feet in the water).

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