Kayak Queries

I have had been an avid canoe owner for many years. I am pretty comfortable and self confidant in a canoe. Recently me, my gf, and my son have all purchased kayaks. This is mine: http://www.liquidlogickayaks.com/products/saluda.html

Anyway, some questions:

  1. We are doing some class I and II white water. I have a nylon spray skirt. Do you put the skirt on you, get in the yak, then attach the skirt to the cockpit? Or, do you attach the skirt to the cockpit and climb in then attach it to you?

  2. Getting in is awkward for me. I am cool climbing into a canoe and moving around once in, but a kayak is a problem. Each of us have spilled once while getting in. Is there a trick?

  3. Gloves/pads. I have some fingerless gloves that work great for me, but my gf is getting blisters from her paddle. I have seen yakgrips http://www.yakpads.com/yakgrips.htm but we have one-piece paddles, so these are not an option. Suggestions?

Any other suggestions for a kayak novice appreciated as well. Gracias!

Personally, I put the skirt on first, and then climb into the kayak and attach it. This has the added benefit of making you look like a dork wearing a funky skirt.

If there is, I’ve never found it. It just comes with practice, I think. One thing that seems to help is to not even think about attaching the skirt 'til you’re nice and steady.

Put the skirt on first, get in the boat, then seal it down.

Getting in – you can use the paddle to brace the kayak. Basically, hold the paddle behind you, braced against both the coaming and the shore/bottom. Keep your weight on the paddle as you get in and it will keep the kayak from tipping or moving.

I’d definitely take a kayaking class, particularly if you’re doing whitewater (which that kayak seems to be only marginally suited for). You should be comfortable with doing a wet exit and performing self and assisted rescues (that is, getting back in after a spill).

  1. put the skirt on first
  2. See above post about bracing with the paddle.
    How deep is the water where yoiu get in? do you get from shore or a dock or what? (I prefer parallell to shore on a beach. Usually it is shallow enough I don’t tip). There is also seal entry where the boat is perpendicular to the shore.
  3. There are fingered paddling gloves - dunno how well they work


That’s is exactly what I’ve done, but I can tolerate looking like a dork only if it is the correct way to do it.:wink:

Thanks for the info guys. We will be taking a course offered in a pool. Most of the water we are on is calm and flat with short sections of whitewater. We generally are entering/exiting along the bank.

I don’t think it’s a terrible design for a whitewater kayak, but I wouldn’t take it into continuous rough stuff. Seems like the OP isn’t planning to do that anyway. It certainly isn’t a honking big sea kayak…

I am not a big fan of “open” cockpit kayaks, myself, but they’re more forgiving for beginners.

I did some browsing around the web site, just for kicks. If you go to the main products page, you can hear some weirdos chanting the names of the kayaks as they scroll on the screen. Too much! :eek:

The kayak I bought was meant to be an entry level for the water around my home. Mostly flat, calm water with some rivers having riffles to some white depending on depth. I bought a book yesterday, and spoke with a guy about some lessons.