TopKayaker.Net: Guide To Kayak Diving

Getting In The Kayak With Your Dive Gear On by Mark Theobald

Valuable Beginner Tips In Three Parts, from the author of "Kayak Diving, The Complete Guide" and founder of "KayakDiving.com"

One of the most commonly asked questions is...
"How do you get back in the kayak (with all that gear on)?" The truth is, it's actually easier than you might think, especially with fins on. The main thing that many people seem to miss is that we don't attempt to reenter the kayak with the tank still strapped to our backs! The tank assembly is left floating on a tether toward the stern of the kayak.

The picture sequence below illustrates the most common technique for making a deepwater reentry. (No photos or text to be copied or reprinted without permission)

Re enter


Step 1

Grab the gunwhale with both hands. Kick out a bit until your entire body is very near the surface of the water.

re enter

Step 2

With one last kick, push yourself up a bit and pull the kayak underneath you until...

re enter

Step 3

...you are laying across the center of the kayak.

re enter

Step 4

Roll over onto your back and release your weightbelt.

Exiting the kayak is as easy as falling off, although you will be wanting to NOT take the kayak over with you! A hand on the opposite side while you hop off can help. Some of the divers in our group will don their tank while still aboard the kayak. I prefer to put mine on in the water, with the possible exceptions of diving in really fast currents and perhaps on a really dark night. A fast current at night would be the ultimate time to be well rehearsed at donning the tank before hopping off into the water. It would be helpful to practice both methods in ideal conditions first!

Now let's go on to the actual dive.....NEXT PAGE

Related articles by Mark: 1: Before You Dive
2: Getting In With Your Gear On
3: Kayak Diving Procedures


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