In this video, Chad is kayak fishing in the river in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania. He shares important river safety tips that people are often unaware of, which gets them in trouble on the river.
Getting on the Boat
When you’re getting into your boat on a river, get on the up current side. If you’re on the down current side and you happen to slip and fall down, your boat is going to run over you. So always get in on the up current side. Chad suggests putting your foot under the boat, pulling the boat towards yourself, and lifting your outer leg. If you lose balance, the worst case scenario is you fall away from the boat, and the boat does not run over you. Just stand back up, and grab the boat. Then sit down, get your foot on the brace, ease out, and let the current do its job.
Let’s say you’re going down the river with your kayak, you turn sideways, and hit a boulder. The number one thing that people tend to intuitively do is lean away from it. This becomes a problem because when you lean away from a boulder, you angle your kayak, and now the water pressure on the side pushes your kayak further up. This causes the water pressure to flip you out of your kayak, especially in a high seat or a sit-on-top kayak. To avoid this, practice the rock broach.
What you want to do is have your paddle in your hand, and just float down a river with your eyes closed. If you bump into something, lean into it and put your paddle on it. This will help you intuitively put weight on something you run into. When you’re going down the river, and you bump into something, putting your weight on that side allows you to just spin around it and go on down the river. You’ll keep your gear, you won’t get wet, and you’ll get to keep fishing!