Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Save yourself! The scramble demystified in 20 minutes

Comparing notes before the start of our pool session.
Our pool presentation at Canoecopia 2013 was on the kayak self-rescue known as the scramble. Our goal was to show the rescue, explain how to do it effectively and efficiently, answer questions from people who've found it difficult to execute, and have fun in the process.

Warming up by playing on our boats as people came in and found places to sit and stand.
The keys to success with this rescue are:
  • maintaining your grip on the boat and paddle
  • finding the best position for getting on the back deck 
  • floating your body to the surface before launching on to the back deck
  • pulling the boat under you, not yourself onto the boat
  • establishing and maintaining balance while pivoting to face the bow
  • getting into a "jockey" position
  • moving forward, thighs to wrists, until you're over the seat
  • dropping into the seat and maintaining balance while bringing your feet in
Most of the questions involved problems with:
  • gear management
  • getting on the boat
  • moving toward the cockpit
  • maintaing balance
To address these, we shared strategies that work for paddlers who are larger or less agile than we are. We also demonstrated that with good technique, this rescue works even if you have long legs or a very large chest.

Sharon getting up on the back deck wearing two PFDs.
Back on the boat in spite of the extra large chest.
We shared several games that help develop the skills this rescue requires. Judging by the smiles on faces all around us, we weren't the only ones enjoying ourselves.

It's helpful to have a strict time limit. With only 20 minutes per pool session, we had to focus on the essentials and make every minute count. We're hopeful that with practice and good coaching, those who came to our presentation will be more successful with their future self-rescues.

Thanks to Keith Wikle and Aaron Litchfield for taking photos while we were on the water.


rhogan said...

Came across your blog through a Paddling Planet link, and liked the scramble post enough to wonder who you guys are. So I look, and I can't find one hint.

Do you want to be anonymous, or are you just coy?

Justine Curgenven said...

hi Rhogan, They are Alec & Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, kayakers and instructors from the Chicago area. And lovely people!
has more info.

bpfamily said...

Hi, Rhogan! Thanks for the compliment and for noticing that our "about us" tab fell off our blog!
Not coy at all
Sharon & Alec

Tina said...

I want to learn as well, Looks really fun..