Exiting a capsized kayak

Fortunately, getting out of a capsized kayak is nearly automatic. However, little practice is needed to hold the paddle or kayak without losing it.

If you need to practice eskimo rolls, braces or other things, where getting wet is unavoidable. You ought to know a way to move in underwater or swim along with the kayak.

You don’t need to be an expert in diving to come out of the capsized kayak, because it takes only a few seconds. Check whether the water level is deep enough so that you won’t be slamming your head to the bottom.

  • First it probably a great thought to work without a spray skirt, still now we are going to see how things are executed with the skirt.

Confirm that the spray skirt’s handle is reachable. And then thrust your knees close against the deck to able to sit close even after the kayak capsizes. Hold the paddle with usual grip and breathe in and bend forward to the side untill you capsize.

    • First be calm and adapt to the situation.


You can get help from your friend and keep your paddle among your hands and your stomach it will help the kayak to float in place. Bang the bottom of the kayak to attract the other paddlers and start waving your hand over the surface. In case your companion is quick enough, he can bring his kayak’s bow to your reach and you’ll be able to drag yourself by holding it. This technique is called assisted Eskimo rescue.

But if you don’t have the time and patience to hold up for your friend’s entry you have to get out.

  • During that time if you feel to exit the kayak, put the paddle safely to your lap, get the spray skirt’s handle and drag the skirt off.


If you left the handle in the spray skirt, you can take off the skirt by grabbing immediately from the edge of it and pull it to the side.

  • Put the paddle safely between your hands and push yourself to either side of the kayak by holding the cockpit coaming. Attempt to keep your head as close to the surface as possible, so that you won’t hit your head.  Leaving the kayak in a heavy weather may create problems so better you should keep your feet inside the cockpit.
  • In case you are pressured to swim with the kayak, it is an amazing idea to hold the kayak upside down. This will make the inside air to protect the kayak from sinking and don’t let the waves to splash extra water inside the cockpit. In case you lost your kayak or paddle first you must reach your kayak and then you should find the paddle.  The cause behind this is the waves and the wind will easily push the kayak further, but maximum the paddle will stay at its place.

The perfect way to swim with the kayak is by pulling it. For this, you should grasp the kayak from its bow and put the paddle to the same hand. The swimming method would not truly a matter.

Swimming with the kayak is difficult even at the coolest climate and it is very hard if there is any land nearby. So it is important to learn some other technique to protect yourself from danger. One good idea is that you must never leave your kayak even it might be half sunken. The kayak will keep you above the surface and it will be easy to find the kayak out of the water. Holding the kayak is safer than to be alone in the water.

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