Part of becoming great at kayaking is learning the different self-rescue methods available. You also need to know how to quickly get back on your kayak after a self-rescue.
But sometimes, the situation could get so drastic that the only other option is to be pulled out of the water with a kayak throw rope. Imagine if your ocean fishing kayak capsized or your white water kayak crashed into some huge rocks.
Let’s find out how to use a kayak throw rope!
Using the kayak throw rope
The first step to throwing a kayak rope is to check where you’ve placed your feet. The ground should not be slippery and you should ensure that you are wearing the right water shoes. These will provide you with the grip needed to help you pull the other party out of the water.
Sometimes you may need to chase the person you are trying to rescue if the current is too strong. In this case, it’s a good idea to have another person who also has a kayak throw rope downstream. Even while you are chasing, ensure that the ground you are running on is dry and that you can get a good grip.
This means observing both banks of the river to pick the best spot. Other times you will need to rescue from a boat. A good pair of boat shoes will come in handy and will prevent you from slipping as you pull the other person in.
The trick to throwing the rope is to keep in mind that the whole motion should have a swimming or pendulum effect on the person you are trying to rescue. This means they should come at you from upstream, grab the thrown rope, and swing with it downstream.
Always ensure that you do not tie one part of the rope to you. This can be dangerous as the forces involved can be great especially when the current is strong.
There are many ways that you can actually throw the rope. The one you choose will depend on the situation as well as your own personal preference. If you want to cover greater distances, you will use the overhand method while the sidearm method is good for shorter distances.
An underhand throw can also be used for a short distance. However, when to best learn how to use a kayak throw rope, practice is needed. Throwing the rope is not the same as throwing a ball. The rope is uncoiling as it flies through the air and this makes throwing it a bit more difficult.
You might stumble and fall from your stand-up fishing kayak or lose your sitting on your kayak seat. The point is there are plenty of ways to fall into the water and find yourself in need of assistance or rescue. If you are looking for the perfect gift for a kayak enthusiast buddy of yours, a good throw rope is something you may need to consider.
And it doesn’t stop there. Chances are you will only carry a single kayak throw rope. This means that your throw needs to be accurate. If not, you will have to recover the rope, coil it up again and throw it. All this is a waste of valuable time which could put the life of the person you are rescuing at greater risk.
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When throwing the rope to the victim, always ensure that you alert him of your intention to throw him or her a rope. This can be done using a whistle or shouting at them to help them spot you. As you throw the rope, pull out the end you will be holding out to about an arm’s length.
This also provides you with the freedom to wind up. The free end of the rope will be on the hand that you do not normally use to throw. If you are right-handed, hold the free end with your left hand. If you are left-handed, hold the free end with your right hand.
This is because you will be using the hand you normally use to throw the bag containing the rope. When you throw the rope, you are going to aim for the bag to land in front of the person you are trying to rescue. However perfect situations are rare. Often, it’s better to overthrow the rope upstream than to underthrow it. This is because, with an upstream overthrow, the rope should drift close to the victim.
If the throw is successful and the victim grabs a hold of it, be ready for the tug so ensure that you have a good grip on the ground.
The person being rescued can also play their part to ensure that the rescue goes as ideally as possible. Have the right gear including a good pair of kayak shoes or a kayak anchor to minimize the chances of things going awry.
Keep your eyes out and try to spot any rescuers in the vicinity. Once the rope is thrown, try the best you can to grab a hold of it as this may be the only chance you get in a while. Also, ensure that you hold the rope and not the bag. This is because there may be more rope inside the bag.
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A kayak throw rope is a handy essential for kayaking. In fact, every kayaker should have a throw rope before embarking on their trip. Very often the throw rope can be the difference between life and death.
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