Classic Ranking Race – Ivor Salmon Leap Canoe Club
09 February 2020
Once in, the first thing to do is adjust your footpegs or footbraces. As you might guess, these are to put your feet against and if they are well adjusted for you, you will be more comfortable and will be able to paddle more easily and more strongly. The pegs are on a track attached to the inside of the kayak and are moved by squeezing the back of the peg towards you.
You can bend forward to reach them or can pull them up toward you by using a foot to squeeze behind them. Watch that you don’t pull them off the track as they can be a struggle to put back. The proper adjustment for you is when your knees just break the plane across the coaming. This will mean that your knees are slightly bent all the time and in such a position will help you not to get a backache. Make sure the two are level, unless you have one leg longer than the other (which some people do).
Once you have mastered getting in/out and have your footpegs correctly adjusted for you, it’s time to practiced getting in and fitting the spray skirt, starting from behind you, ending up at the front, and always checking the grab loop is visible. You’re going to be using it soon! When you get in at a kayaking location, move the kayak down until the cockpit is half over the water. Once you get in, it won’t need much “ooching” to get the kayak to float. Getting in away from the water means you cause a lot of friction for a lot of time before you float and wears out the kayak really fast