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Technique


1. Kick your feet and haul your chest up onto the stern


3. Shimmy forward until you’re over the cockpit


The Simplest Self-R


BY ALEX MATTHEWS DITCH YOUR PADDLE FLOAT AND DO THE SCRAMBLE


>> SO YOUR ROLL HAS FAILED you and now you’re treading water beside your boat. Maybe it’s time to try the scramble. The scramble self-rescue must be too obvious, because it often goes untried and unpracticed. The scramble is exactly what it sounds like: a rescue that has the swimmer climb back on top of their boat and slide back into the cockpit without the aid of any other paddlers or rescue gear. While it is quite a balancing act, the scramble is also really fast, and with a little prac- tice, easier to perform than you might suspect. First, flip your boat back upright. If possible, lift the bow at arm’s length to scoop less


water into the cockpit as you flip it over. This requires a firm grip on the bow with both hands. The weight of the kayak will likely push your head underwater, so be ready! It may be easier to simply flip the kayak upright as swiftly as possible to minimize flood- ing, and then pump the remaining water out once snugly back in the seat. To re-enter, approach your boat from the side, at the stern. While keeping a firm hold


of your paddle, secure a good grip of the cockpit rim with one hand and reach across the boat with the other. Now dynamically pull yourself up, chest down, onto the stern deck. A powerful and well-timed kick of the legs will help launch you up out of the water onto the back of the boat. Once up on the stern deck, stay as low as possible and throw a leg over the kayak so


that you’re straddling it with your head toward the bow. Draping a leg in the water on either side of the boat will help stabilize you, as will staying low. Slide forward, keeping low, and get a grip on the front of the cockpit rim. Pull


yourself forward so that your pelvis is over the cockpit opening. Then, quickly drop your butt down into the seat. Once your backside hits the seat, your centre of gravity will be far lower and you will


26 | | ADVENTURE KAYAK early summer 2007


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