Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Discussion of safety equipment and use.

Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby Magilla Gorilla » Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:36 pm

Roberta - you mentioned that with the inflatable type PFD you can self inflate it to a minimum. Is that by pulling the tab that releases the gas a bit at a time to fill the vest? Sorry never used an inflatable type before as I have the type 2.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby arpie » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:06 pm

..... you mentioned that with the inflatable type PFD you can self inflate it to a minimum. Is that by pulling the tab that releases the gas a bit at a time to fill the vest?...

Hi MG

NO! Don't use the TAB - it releases the gas in ONE GO!! You need to get the mouthpiece out of the area where the Gas Bottle is - and just blow it up manually, to a degree that you feel comfortable with! You may need to undo the velcro tabs to release the bladders if you want it fairly 'high' ...... as the gas bottles will 'explode' it full of gas that forces the velcro tabs apart.

Next time you are out with someone with an inflatable PFD, just ask if you can check it out! :wink:

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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby Magilla Gorilla » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:50 pm

Thanks Roberta - ok must be like the way the flight attendants teach you on board the plane, blow on the mouth piece to further inflate :lol:
Would you recommend the following:

- in estuaries or canals wear the type 1 pfd
- in dams wear the type 2 pfd

I got the Ultra Trek and I do find it bulky to an extent but I want to be safe. I can swim and the pfd offers a piece of mind.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby arpie » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:38 pm

...Would you recommend the following:

- in estuaries or canals wear the type 1 pfd
- in dams wear the type 2 pfd.....


That is entirely a personal preference. I prefer the inflatables. Others prefer the others. Try them all & you will quickly find out what suits you!!

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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby arpie » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:46 pm

Here are PaddleguyJase's videos on self rescue ....


and another one ..... yes, if you have a pool - test it in the safety of your own home!!


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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby Occy » Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:43 pm

Thanks for that Roberta, very instructive stuff. And without in any way wanting to cast aspersions on inflatables all I would say is that no one in those clips was wearing one. Yet several still had considerable difficulty righting their yaks least alone getting safely back on board.

I know this will ruffle some feathers (it has in the past) but I make no apology for suggesting inflatables are a second rate option for kayak fishing. If you think I'm wrong I'de love to hear from you. But be warned the suggestion comfort trumps safety will get the attention it deserves i.e. ridicule.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby tonystott » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:41 am

I won't bother repeating my views regarding inflatables vs. foam-filled, but will say that in my opinion, a far more important feature which should be part of every PFD is a pair of thigh straps.

These make an incredible imporovement to the effectiveness of the PFD, as it ensures that the PFD does not ride up around your face, effectively tending to submerge your head amongst any wave action present when in the water. Without the straps, a PFD has to be worn quite firmly tightened, potentially making it uncomfortable enough to discourage wearing it in the first place, a potentially disasterously choice.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby Magilla Gorilla » Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:50 am

tonystott wrote:I won't bother repeating my views regarding inflatables vs. foam-filled, but will say that in my opinion, a far more important feature which should be part of every PFD is a pair of thigh straps.

These make an incredible imporovement to the effectiveness of the PFD, as it ensures that the PFD does not ride up around your face, effectively tending to submerge your head amongst any wave action present when in the water. Without the straps, a PFD has to be worn quite firmly tightened, potentially making it uncomfortable enough to discourage wearing it in the first place, a potentially disasterously choice.


Hi Tony - valid point you make there with the thigh straps as I have the Ultra Trek 2 and even sitting in my yak, I can feel the PFD riding my to my neck/chin. To fix that I tighten the straps and now I feel that I dont really want to wear it as it is uncomfortable. That was why I am starting to look at Type 1 PFD as an alternative.

What brands are out there that offer thigh straps?
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MG
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby tonystott » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:10 pm

Any sailmaker would be able to add straps and buckles.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby Plakkyboat » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:14 pm

Wearing my foam filled PFD loosely for comfort...Guilty
Considering thigh straps...definitely...so I can can continue wearing it loosely.

Inflatable PFDs are in my humble opinion a suitable alternative to a stuffy foam filled type, provided you aren't kayaking alone, near rocks, in rapids or through surf.

Wearing an inflatable vest is the norm for scuba divers but then scuba diving alone is absolutely not the norm.

If you are knocked unconscious unexpectedly with an inflatable PFD how are you going to inflate your pfd then ??
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby tonystott » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:13 pm

Let's have a look at this "if you are knocked out you can't inflate your PFD". This is of course correct.

However, get knocked out using a type 2 PFD and you may not get turned face up, so you are in similar doodoo as with an inflatable, except that they will find the body easier.

So you should not use anything less than a type 1 by that logic.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby dru » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:51 pm

That's right, PFD2 v inflatable PFD1 is the same result if you get knocked out. There is more to it than that though. My suggestion is if you use one practice your re-mount with the thing fired off in anger. IMHO if this was winter in Sydney, this bloke would no longer be living.

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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby tonystott » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:46 pm

Got your point Dru, however, I can't help thinking that the bloke was going to be in trouble whatever PFD he was wearing.

I wonder how many people worry about the limitations of PFD2s in the event of being knocked out...
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby dru » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:32 am

Hey Tony. Really respect your POV, albeit we have differences here. Mate there are injury problems on a yak which are simply high risk. Being knocked out is one. There are others. Can you imagine giving CPR in a yak in broiling seas? Now there's a picture that gives me goosebumps. Not the only one. Broken bones and a major bleed are equal on the list in my mind.

I look to the likelihood of the risk of being knocked out on a yak. We are, generally, not dealing with things like booms, or simply moving around a rolling deck, where slipping, falling, hitting your head are real risks. Just not on a yak. You have surf and white water where this risk is higher. I would look to a helmet before I started compromising my recovery and re entry drills. But for now I approach these risks by keeping clear of surf and white water. I guess there is always being run over by a stink boat.

Honest mate, how many guys relying on an inflatable have tested re entry with the thing fired off?

Wrt to the vid, my suggestion is we should be a little kinder in our assessment of the bloke. He had practised re entry, just not with the inflatable fired. He had a plan. He was geared up with stirrup etc. he implemented the plan... And hit a pretty big snag - the inflated inflatable. In short, how many yakkers are actually more advanced in their preparation than this bloke? I don't think he was a candidate for a Darwin. And Im grateful he shared the experience.

What I want in a PFD is comfortable and safe paddling, I want it permanently "inflated", I want one set of recovery drills, I want to be able to practically train this recovery. Sports style PFD2 work for me. Actually my PFD is to European standards and doesn't fully meet the Aus codes. It doesn't need thigh straps to stop riding. (Straps adjust belt style around the hip) And most important it gives full motion for paddling, even when racing.

Imo there is a place for inflatables. But that place is not paddling on a yak.
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Re: Kayaking safety hints/requirements

Postby Kayakkaz » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:15 pm

Skee Kayak Centre from Mullaway NSW owner Karen Dallas is an Australian Canoeing Flat water and Sea Kayak Instructor. She runs courses for improvement of stroke correction for an efficient and effective paddle technique, surviving the surf zone and safety and rescue. Courses can be designed around what you want to learn. Get a group together and contact Karen - email: skeekayak@bigpond.com to improve your confidence and broaden your kayaking horizons
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