When are you seakayaking?
Many are of the opinion, that they don't need all this equipment and deal with the safety training, so ask yourself when and why are seakayakers dealing with all that?
When you are out on the sea or an ocean?!?
When you are paddling along a coastline or an island?!?
Basically you are seakayking when you cannot reach the nearest land safely by swimming after a capsize!
As soon as you won't be able to swim back, you are dependant on your kayak for your rescue and this is exactly what seakayaking is about.
A basic feature of a seakayak besides being long and not too narrow for dealing with waves and long distances, it has its two or three watertight compartments.
So after a capsize, only the cockpit gets flooded with water and the rest of the kayak stays dry so that it provides a lot of buoyancy even when loaded for overnight trips.
With this buoyancy it is possible
1. To get the water out
2. To climb back in the kayak
3. Continue your trip
There are in fact a lot of different techniques that arm you to deal with a lot of situations that could occur.
Please see these pages for more info.
However they need some regular training to work efficiently, especially if you are dependent on the self-rescue techniques when you go out alone (which is a considerable risk you should be aware of).
But to get back into your dry kayak from a swimming position by help of another paddler is very easy and with some training can be done in less than a minute, even when both are swimming.
So a capsize shall always be regarded as a part of this beautiful sport and not something unusual and dangerous!
Because you can have so much fun when you don't have to worry about that any more!
You can ride big waves, play with currents and go for quite long overnight trips.
From the >Basic strokes (forward, turning, breaking, edging) you'll also learn something about better methods of maneuvering your kayak ( >Rudders ) or the best method to prevent any capsizing, the high and low brace (>Braces)!.
By the way: Although I love to roll, this is not regarded as a safety technique in seakayaking!
You never know that your roll will work in a specific situation, so although you can roll in 30 different rolls, you still have to worry about re-entering when it did not work.
But the best part about seakayaking is not the safety training or doing lots of cool strokes, it's the overnight trips and experiencing nature first hand!
>Planning of trips is also a very important topic, especially important if you take over responsability for kayaking activities.
Picture: North Sea, Germany, wreck of 'Pallas'
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