K2inCanada's Blog

July 23, 2017

Life Savers

Filed under: Canada — K2 in Canada @ 8:18 PM

PFDs or Personal Flotation Devices are supposed to save lives. When we started sea kayaking I was always wearing my full PFD. When we started racing kayaks, the full PFD was in the way of going fast and we switch to a small, inflatable one that goes around the waist only and all the bulk is behind you. We did lots of remounts in our surfskis during TNRs, and never had problems getting back in. Over the last couple years our paddling has decreased, I switch back to a full PFD for “safety”. Used it all winter long in the surfskis and we did go out into some big winds and waves. I always felt safe with my “big” PFD. We never fell in. Last Tuesday, during the TNR, they made us remount for the first time this season. Jeff and I were in the double, both wearing the full PFD. We were cocky too and started 1min behind the field as all the fast people were down in Oregon for a big race. We almost caught up to the front as we got to the remount at Jug. We got out fine but had a really hard time getting back in. It was flat calm. My chest kept getting stuck in the cockpit and I could not move far enough over the boat to get my ass in. We eventually made it, but it took two attempts. Pretty bad in calm conditions. I was embarrassed! Tried again one more time after the race and it was not much better. We finished way back!

Today, we took the double out into English Bay. It was blowing 15knots and whitecaps were out. Both of us were wearing our inflatable PFDs again around the waist….I felt safe! But I do need to practice with the big PFD!



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