Push your butt up so you are sitting on the hull of the kayak. Put your legs out to the side both at the same time so you can stay balanced. You are now straddling the hull, put both feet on the ground and stand up . If the water is a little deep or to help you balance try backing into shore, when you scoot your butt up the shift in weight will firmly ground the back of the kayak and make it easy to balance and stand up.
I use the same technique when there is a beach, but usually there is just the river bank and no beach. I think there should be a way to use my paddle to brace myself somehow, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.
Put the paddle behind you so that the shaft lies just behind the cockpit coaming and one of the blades lies on the shore. Use your hand that is furthest from the shore to hold the cockpit coaming and the paddle shaft. Use your hand that is closest to shore to hold the center of the shaft. Wiggle, wiggle, ah say wiggle your butt up onto the shaft, and then wiggle, wiggle, ah say wiggle your butt along the shaft toward the shore. As long as you continue to hold the shaft to the cockpit while at the same time keeping your body’s weight on the shaft, the blade on the shore will not slip away from the shore. Once your body is far enough along the shaft for you to pull a foot out of the boat, stand up on shore quickly with one foot, and use your other foot to keep the boat from drifting away.
The same procedure in reverse can be used for entering a kayak.
Watch out for slippery rocks – alge will make them very slick. Put your helmet and pfd on before you carry your kayak to the shore, so that you will have some impact protection if you slip and fall.
Another more strenuous approach to performing a dry exit is to land the boat adjacent to a low dock, pull your upper body onto the dock, roll onto your side such that your legs bring the kayak up onto the dock above you, continue to roll your body so that the kayak ends up sitting on the dock with you in it, and finally step out of the kayak. Extra points for barking like a seal.
If you have steep banks where you frequently land, set a deadman anchor back from shore and dangle a thick rope from it down to the water. When you wish to land at that spot, clip the boat to the rope so that it will not drift away once you are out, use the rope to help you climb up the bank the way Batman and Robin climb buildings, and then haul the boat up with the rope. If the boat is heavy, read up on pig rigs and high angle rescue (which is something you will need to learn if you get into white water paddling).
Practice a sweep repeatedly from bow to stern and back again.
Practice a high brace.
Practice a sculling high brace, sweeping from bow to stern and back again repeatedly with the blade in the high brace position. This is the stroke that you will use in the screw roll. Focus on spreading peanut butter on toast, without crunching the toast and causing your paddle to dive down. Play with the angle of the blade to see what gives you maximum support. Make long strokes, so as to minimize down time while you are transitioning from sculling forward to sculling backward, for if your blade is not skimming along the surface, its it not helping you.
Keep practicing the sculling high brace. Bend as far forward as you can, trying to kiss the fore deck. Bend as far back as you can, laying on the back deck. Practice a little while, go for a paddle, then practice for a little while, then go for another paddle. Don’t over-do it, for the high brace position is hard on shoulders for folks not used to it.
Now put on a diving mask that covers your nose and eyes and stow your paddle up on the dock (you won’t need it for a while). Grab onto the side of the dock with one hand, and lay your body out on the water until you can put your face in the water between the boat and the dock. Just lay there floating on the water, still grasping the dock with one hand. Rotate your head when you need a breath, but do not lift your head out of the water, and then relax and go back to counting stones on the bottom. After doing this for so long that you are about to nod off, start moving your body (while you are still float in the water looking at the bottom) so that your head gets close to the for deck, and then so that lay back toward the back deck while your boat is half over or upside down. Practice this until you feel graceful.
Being graceful is not enough. You must also be sexy, so add a sexy hip snap while you are holding onto the dock and moving your body from bow to stern. Start your hip snap when you are about halfway through the bow-to-stern movement. Keep your body floating on the water – do not lift your body out of the water. Use your hip snap to rotate the hull so that in flips right side up toward the end of the bow to stern body motion, such that at the end of the movement, you will be floating on your back looking up at the sky, near the back deck of the boat, and the boat will be right side up. Practice this until you are graceful and sexy, enjoying floating on the surface of the water while you move from bow to stern, snapping your hips along the way to rotate the boat right side up, while still laying on the water. Let me emphasize this: “while laying on the water.” Do not try to lift yourself up out of the water, not even your head. Let your head continue to float.
Keep your facemask on, grab your paddle, and find an area about four feet deep so that if worst comes to worst, you can use your paddle to pole yourself right side up. Practice your sculling high brace again, only get a bit more aggressive in how far over you tip the boat. See how far you can rotate the boat without flipping it, and use your hip flick to right it. Start timing your hip flick to begin when your sculling high brace is about halfway from front to back. Practice this a lot, but take care to not over-do it in the shoulder department.
Next, try laying on your back deck, and sculling in the high brace position. Use your sexy hip snap to bring the boat right side up when it turns halfway over. Remember to keep your body, including your head, down in the water at all times. Practice, practice, practice.
You have now mastered all the elements of a screw roll, so it’s time to put it all together. Do not try to visualize, or conceptualize, or in any way think about what you are doing, for it is a bit disorienting when you are upside down and rotating with your face underwater. Simply keep practising sculling in the high brace position, only instead of trying to keep from flipping, let the boat flip when the bade is returning to the bow of the boat, and then as you scull back toward the stern, do that sexy hip flick of yours while laying in the water. Only at the very end of hip flick near the end of your stroke should you finally slide your body onto the back deck and lift your body up out of the water.
Now you have a screw roll that has you going under and up again on one side (180 degrees and back again). Practice it until it feels second nature, so that you have a good feel for how the boat bobs. You’ll notice that if when the boat bobs up, it is a good time to snap up, whereas if the boat is bobbing down, all the snap in the world will not get you up.
By now you’re probably wondering where your paddle goes when you make a 360 degree roll. While you are still right side up, bring your sculling blade all the way forward, but instead of stopping and reversing, bring it across your fore deck and flip it over so that the power face is facing the sky. Practice this without going over, until you are graceful and sexy. Now try some more 180 degree rolls, but this time start with your blade on other side of the fore deck facing the ski before you tip over. Practice this until it feels second nature. Once it does, then try a 360 degree roll by going over on the other side, but otherwise doing everything else the same. Try not to hesitate, for if you do, you will lose the helpful bobbing of the boat. Congratulations on rolling your kayak.
Things to remember:
Think of the boat and the blade as a three-legged stool. As long as the blade is sculling back and forth in the high brace position, life is good. When that leg is not there, life is not so good. When you are sculling, that leg is there. When you stop ever so briefly to change from sculling forward to sculling backward, the leg is not there – the blade is not providing any support. To maximize sculling (support) time, and minimize dead (non-support) time, start as far toward the bow and finish as far to the stern as possible, so that your sculling braces are long and have little dead time, rather than short with more dead time.
Think of your noggin as an eleven pound ball that has neutral density, but still weighs eleven pounds. As long as it is floating in the water, life is good. When you try to lift it out of the water, that eleven pounds out at the end of your torso acts as a weight at the end of a lever, preventing you from rising out of the water like Anadyomene. You must complete rolling the boat right side up before you try to lift your head.
Think about what it is to be graceful and sexy. Focus on timing, so that you are working with rather than against the rotation and bobbing of the boat. Keep it flowing, but add that little snap at the right time to spice things up a bit. When you find yourself upside down with your face underwater, it is usually because of turbulence, so it is important that you get a feel for the turbulence of the water in which you are rolling, so that you can use its force, rather than futilely fight it.
I have twenty Amazons pull the canoe with me in it up onto the doc, so I don’t have to get my feet wet. Since they are terrific paddlers, I don’t have to paddle when we’re out on the water in the canoe. Life is good! http://youtu.be/1gyCN43VlCc