Category Archives: Video of the Week
IK&P Video of the Week: Deep Water Re-entry
We can all chuckle about IK vlogger Karl’s repeated attempts in practicing re-entering his IKs from a deep canal, but it is definitely something you should try to master before heading out onto open water in a new boat. And note, this means deep water: ie, not being able to stand on the bottom.
Karl is practising in benign, controlled circumstances: calm water and conditions; mate and banks at arm’s reach, warm and buoyant wetsuit. Even so, you can see how the effort and cold water soon wears him down, even in a small canal. Falling out in deep water too far from the shore usually happens in rougher more intimidating conditions.
In the video he tries two different IKs: his Gumotex Twist 2 and Story FDS – and reminds me of me when I was keen to learn new skills in my early years. I’m not at all surprised he found it impossible to re-enter the boxy, high-sided Story FDS. As I’ve seen done with hardshell sea kayaks, crawling up over the bow or stern can work, but good luck with that in choppy waters that just tipped you out.
One solution is a handily accessible paddle float: a blow up bag you slip and inflate over your paddle blade, a bit like water wings. This makes your paddle into a stable outrigger to remount the IK. With no float bag use a suitable drybag (left) or your pdf if desperate. This also needs practising if you’ve found you can’t re-enter you IK normally.
With his non-dropstitch Twist Karl nearly makes it. I found years ago in a similar Sunny that dipping down then launching up and over the side like a breaching salmon works, kicking hard as you go. You need that extra drive from your paddling legs to lift you up and over.
He notes his buoyant, wetsuit-clad legs get pulled under the boat. Too much buoyancy can make moving around difficult in the water. Lying flat on his front with legs behind and driving in from the side might work better. Swim in hard from the side and launch yourself across the boat like a Roman siege galleon.
As with many athletic moves, once you get the knack it becomes easier because you know you’ve done it before. Of course, with someone else around to hold the far side of the boat or using their bow for added support, the whole drama becomes easier. In dodgy conditions not going out alone is the biggest lesson of all, but this is not always possible so we need to learn how to self rescue.
Below: the excerpt from my IK book about deep water re-entry.
And guess what; you can win free copies here!
IK&P Video of the Week: Around the Isle of Wight
Good to see an FDS being used on a multi-day sea trip. The Needles look like a good day out; the same chalk formation as Dorset’s Swanage stacks, 15 miles to the west.
My review of the same model ArrowStream here.
IK&P Video of the Week: Alaska with IKs
Nicely shot vid with drone footage of an Ozzie father and son’s tough, 250-km paddle and portage through Alaska’s Brookes Ranges in a pair of Advance Elements Expedition Elites.
After getting dropped off at Summit Lake on the Continental Divide (see map, right), they followed the Koyukuk River south, with a plan to climb the 7500′ Mt Doonerak, Alaska’s ‘Matterhorn’, not far from the river and 20 miles west of the Dalton Highway.
With extra gear piled high on the decks, you do wonder if this made the 4-metre Elites unstable in what looked like relatively easy but shallow white water. That led to a couple of capsizes and the loss of the crucial sat phone. Other dramas ensue.
IK&P Video of the Week: Grabner IK on the Ammer
A Grabner Holiday 2 running the weir chutes of the Ammer river southeast of Munich in southern Germany.
Lovely droning. Looks great fun.
IK&P video of the Week: Gumotex do the Loire
I’ve often thought of doing a really long river in France, but once you get out of the hills I get the feeling they can drag on a bit, even if it is France.
It didn’t stop these two guys; 5 weeks from Goudet near Le Puy (near the Allier) to St Nazaire bridge just under Brittany. First couple of days they had to wrestle some pretty gnarly rapids in their 4.1-metre IKs. Never mind ‘dress for the swim’ – ‘pack for the capsize’ too!
Interestingly, one suffered a flat on the Framura’s relatively pointed back corner, presumably from all that rock scraping. I’m amazed those rudders survived, too.
Even with its fixed deck, sometimes I fancy a Framura. At just 75cm wide, it was the new Seaker but half the weight. But then I see how they flex, being long but only regular 2.9psi Gumboats, not 3.6psi like the Seawave. It’s quite a difference. And those are twin-tube sides, so jacking up the psi there, then fitting PRVs, as I did to my Seawave, would not be such a good idea (the I-beam in the side tube could rupture).