Kayakers-advice for a newbie please!

(14 Posts)
FallenCaryatid Wed 23-May-12 06:22:15

I'd practice with a club as a family TBH, I sailed a lot as a child and a teenager with my family both inshore and offshore and inexperience is very dangerous. DS kayaks and is trying out for 3* but last summer was too close to the shallows when he rolled and got his head stuck temporarily in the mud upside down.
Don't think shallow is safe, silt is dangerous.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 23-May-12 00:49:55

I'd be taking the Dcs for lessons too. There are many different types of rescue, and you need to know about all of them. If your child is trapped upside down in a kayak, do you know what to do? What about if they are unconscious? Or have fallen out of their yak and can't get back in?
You also need safety equipment. Everyone should have a good knife, probably a whistle, and at least one of you should have a throw line, a towing strap and the training to use them.
Personally, I'd be getting sit ons. Much less chance of getting stuck, and usually longer and more stable.
Don't get me wrong, I ADORE kayaking, but situations happen!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 17-May-12 20:26:28

<daydreams back to her days of slalom canoeing>

ItsAllGoingToBeFine is bang on, rescue situations can arise very quickly and water can be very cold even in good weather, especially deep lake waters. Make sure you are rescue confident before venturing far. A panicking capsized canoeist can quickly capsize a rescuing boat.

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 20:25:18

itsallgoingtobefine I'm naturally a cautious person and more likely to underestimate my skills but I welcome the warnings! Dd2 (10)is probably better than me and dd1/2 are both much better swimmers than me. I prefer the water where I can see the bottom.

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 20:21:48

Y I prefer the edges. Had a scary experience in the middle of the lake with high winds!
Though Coniston is pretty calm , no dealing with big boats like on Windermere.

Have just checked out the canoe club website and no courses at the moment. You'd think there would be more in the lakes but I've never found much for adults. Kids are doing more in the summer holidays. would love to be a kid again now I'm not so wimpy

WorkInProgress Thu 17-May-12 20:19:51

We have some inflatable kayaks from Decathlon and got paddles and life jackets there too. We've had fun paddling around lochs and even in the sea. The kayaks are very sturdy and easy to store too.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 17-May-12 20:18:52

1* is a very basic "encouragement" award. Your family, your call, but don't overestimate your skills/underestimate how fast things go wrong.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 17-May-12 20:17:22

Stick close to the edges then a capsize won't be such a big deal. The middle of a big lake can be a pretty scary place. Remember the worst case scenario (assuming no injuries) is an "all-in" ie everyone out of their boats and swimming. It can happen remarkably easily. Don't go into water where you are not happy to deal with this scenario.

Also remember boats blow pretty fast in the wind, empty boats blow really fast, and swimmers hardly blow at all.

After all the dire warnings : have fun :-)

Canoes are in my opinion (a kayaker) a lot harder to handle especially in a wind, and a lot harder to rescue (esp if you are rescuing using kayaks)

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 20:14:48

Part of the problem with the club classes is they are actually 30 mins away in the opposite direction to work etc so can't fit in the regular attendance until the days change ( they change summer/winter).

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 20:12:58

I did the one star last time but then was ill/pregnant/Ill etc up until now.

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 20:11:04

Will be lakes. We live 5 mins from lake Coniston and I've been round and round it but obviously this was a couple of years ago.

This is why I've asked my friend to give me some practice & see how rusty I am now!

When I did it before I did do a rescue, wasn't deliberate but I coped and knew but may have forgotten what to do.

I'm likely to rejoin the canoe club & do the awards through them but for now I want to just paddle about.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 17-May-12 20:07:03

Pyranha do good basic kayaks. Loads of places sell the gear. Brookbank canoes is a big one I can think of off top of head.

TBH you may be better off finding a local club. That way you can use their kit, and you can also improve your skills under qualified supervision. This would also give you the opportunity to actually go and do some fun kayaking i. E where you push yourself a wee bit, but with the knowledge there is someone there to rescue.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 17-May-12 20:04:07

I don't mean sound patronising but where are you planning on kayaking. Are you confident performing rescues?

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 20:02:24

I did some kayaking a few years ago quite regularly supporting a group of students so I did the lessons alongside them. I've only done it twice in the past couple of years in organised one offs.
I would like to restart as something we can do as a family. Dd1/2 have kayaked with guides and other groups and I'm going to go out with a friend to get some practice before we go out together.

I am potentially getting 2 basic kayaks but need buoyancy aids/paddles. This is where I need help! Need them for me & possibly dh , dd1(12) and dd(10).

Dh would like a canoe for us to use with dd3 but I'm not good in one and he is totally inexperienced so I think this would be a big ask?

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