[kaya-ooyook] 'He who rolls up with his paddle in his kayak after a capsize
Self rescue
When you look at the partner rescue techniques and the ones provided here, it becomes immediately clear why going out alone is a much greater risk you always should consider!
These self rescue techniques are much more dependent on regular practice and your own abilities then the partner rescues.
So of course you should have practiced these often and in various conditions before you rely on them on the water.
Also you will have water inside your cockpit after these rescues, so you should be comfortible with this for a paddling trip back to land, where you can get it out.
After my experience it is unpractical to get the water out before re-entering and best solution is to have a built-in pump which you can use with your legs or feet to get the water out while you can grab your paddle for support.
Especially if you go out alone in winter, you should be able to perform one of these maneuvers within two minutes in zero degree (C) water and have some additional equipment ready, e.g. neoprene gloves as your hands can get too cold to be of use within several minutes.
Paddle float rescue
This rescue uses a flotation device called 'paddle float' which should be able to hold your weight.
When you are capsized, you attach this one to one of your paddle blades and inflate it. Make sure that you cannot loose it and that you are able to deflate when back in your cockpit.
Then you place your paddle with the shaft behind your cockpit, the float extending to one side.
Get next to your kayak behind the paddle, e.g. kayak is infront of you, upright and bow to the right. Get yourself in a position that the paddle is on your right hand side.
Grab firmly the cockpit and paddle shaft with the right hand.
Get your right knee ontop of the paddle. It should support your full weight. If it doesn't your float is too small for this technique, get a bigger one.
Use your right leg to get your torso on your backdeck, head facing aft.
Now it is important that you always have some weight on the float to prevent capsizing on the other side!
Get your legs inside your cockpit, while staying low to reduce wind resistance and keep a better balance.
A tricky part: change hands to keep the paddle in place and rotate yourself in your cockpit in a sitting position.
Deflate the float, store and resume trip.
Re-entry and roll
In my opinion the best method for self rescue!
If you cannot roll that well, just use a paddle float for the rolling part.
When you are capsized, leave the kayak upside down.
Bring your paddle alongside and hold with one hand together with the cockpit.
Now bring your legs in the upside down cockpit.
When ready get air and dive down to get yourself seated firmly in your own cockpit upside down.
You need to really sit well as otherwise the roll will not work or become difficult.
Grab the paddle you already have in one hand and roll up!
Close sprayskirt and continue paddling.
(Cowboy entry)
This is a well known method, which I don't support as a real alternative to the two above.
It says you can get in a sitting position on the backdeck of your kayak and work your way forward towards the cockpit where you take your feet in and close the sprayskirt.
In my opinion this is far too dependent on good weather (low wind and waves) and combination of your skills and your used equipment.
I know that this works fine for some paddlers, but I don't see this working on a wider scale.
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