Paddle Floats – Why I don’t like them!
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Why don`t I like paddle floats in Cold Water? Because I’m a stickler for efficiency and teaching paddlers the safest and most efficient rescue techniques.
If a paddler’s ultimate goal is to improve his or her skills then why not build a skill that will assist in re-entry. Instead of staying in the water fiddling with your boat to get your float off and onto your paddle (which by the way means you have to let go of your kayak, which is a fundamental no no in wind and/or current), why not use a skill you are working on anyway: Use your paddle in a bracing fashion both as you straddle your way up the kayak and as you transition into your cockpit. This will negate your need to waste time retrieving a float and installing it. It also has the added benefit of working on your brace!
Paddle floats aren’t without their place though. They are a great aid when learning rolls and working on your bracing. When attached to the paddle, they make a great starting point for beginners to build from.
Jeremy Cline is Co-Owner of OutdoorsNB Inc, the Safety and Cold Water Chair for the Fundy Paddler’s Club, Holds a Transport Canada Marine Emergency Duties A2 Certificate, Industry Canada VHF GMDSS Restricted Operators License, holds a Paddle Canada Level 2 Skills and Intro instructor certificate, Medical Responder Advanced Level 1 certificate, Red Cross Maroon Swimming badge and has spent most his life working and playing on the Bay of Fundy.