Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I Want To Be A Cowboy...
   As I kid, I remember going to the movies and seeing the cowboys run across a rock, leap onto the rear end of their horses and slide into the saddle. This was always done smoothly, quickly and, I suspect, by a stunt man. However that happened, it has given rise to the "cowboy re entry" technique used in kayaking.
   All one has to do is simply get onto the back deck just behind the cockpit, turn to sit up and straddle the boat before elegantly moving forward and dropping one's rump onto the cockpit seat. Legs come in last. That's how it works for many paddlers...at least in the pool.
    P&H's Cetus boats and some of Valley's new boats have a Swede form hull. That is, the widest part of the boat is just behind the cockpit. There are many advantages to this design and at least one huge downside. To wit, to straddle the boat for a cowboy re entry one needs to do a  split (so it feels to me) worthy of a ballerina. Trying to do this on my Cetus MV is just plain uncomfortable and, for rescue situations, impractical. I guess, I am no cowboy. At least not one that can do a split like a ballerina.
   For me, a re entry and roll works better although I hope to work in the pool using a technique in which I pull onto the boat across the cockpit itself. I will let you know how it goes.

Paddle safe...


Anonymous said...

I know your pain. I've tried many times doing a cowboy rescue in my P&H Scorpio (sibling to the Cetus), and frequently scrape up my inner thighs when dressed lightly. With a drysuit on, it's much easier and quicker.

With some experimenting I found that having my legs somewhat in front of my torso and dangling low in the water for stability, then hunching my torso forward seems to work better than dragging my legs behind me, even in the pool with just swim trunks on.

Roger Schumann has an excellent instructional on cowboy scramble rescues in Sea Kayaker a few issues back. Here's a vid of him in action.



Silbs said...

Thanks. The video is slick. I will try your suggestion.

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

Interesting. I have found this challenging in my Nordkapp, have managed on occasion, but my friend seems to have no problem at all in his Nordkapp. This was mostly done in a pool with no load for stability. Thinking on it now I wonder if the load would be more helpful for that type of re-entry for a Nordkapp. I, like Silbs, prefer the re-entry and roll.

Now if I could just master that side mount…..I guess the similarity for that one in kayaking might be the stirrup hitch????


Canoe Sailor said...

I think re entry and roll would be better, but as SOT paddler I do not have a roll. I reenter by dragging myself across the cockpit but I notice that the cock pit is much lower in a SOT so it may not work for you.

In a 28 inch wide rec boat I was sucessful by staying on ny belly with my legs in the water behind me until I had dragged myself forward over the cockpit.

JohnF said...

That Cetus MV is so stable, you should be able to stand up on the back deck and walk to the cockpit. No grunting required.