2 posts in this topic

Something overlooked from time to time is safety. We go about our lives and don't often give it a thought.

The ocean is a very unforgiving, complex, living entity.

Each and every time you decide to venture forth, you need to put safety first.

Let's talk about yaking out the baits.

Ok, you've bought a yak and a paddle and you're set.

Wrong answer....

What about safety equipment?

You'll need a standard PFD, or Personal Flotation Device.

Make this the vest type with at least two strong snaps. I prefer four snaps, I've had crashes that will pop two of the snaps.

You don't need the fancy kayakers vest, just get the normal one. Try it on at the store to make sure you have full mobility of your arms.

Ok, so we're set, right?

Nope, not there yet.....

I'd recommend some paddle and mounting practice before you tackle the waves. You'd be amazed at what will happen the first time a wave comes up from behind you and under a bit of stress you paddle the wrong direction and the wave rolls you. This is why it's important to practice mounting back up on the yak.

Ok, so, ocean now?

Well, sure, but don't do it alone. Have another person with you, they're fine standing on the shore. Where you may need help is right at the surf break, especially coming back in. I have seen experienced people get tossed and have the yak hit them in the head. Might be nice to have a friend pull your unconcious mass out of the water so you don't float to Spain in your pretty, new PFD.

Yep, I've been hit and shoved into the sand. You come up not knowing which way is up and what the heck just happened. No pain, just a "HUH?"

When rigging up a tasty blob of bait to feed the toothies you'll need to secure it to the yak. This is where lashings and other devices come into play. Folks here will write in and take pics and or describe how they secure their morsels. It's no fun to get way out there, reach back to drop the bait only to realize it fell off at the surf break. Yeah, been there, done that.... Remember that one Sam? Embarassed

Alright, enough off subject stuff, just wanted to throw in a teaser.....

Ok, so you've got it lashed where the massive hook won't puncture another orifice in you. Got your PFD strapped on and you're off!

Side note: Some people take wire snips out with them in case they need to cut the line.

The hardest part is near the beach, beyond that is easy. Now you've paddled out to the drop zone. (on the way out did you verify that you still have the bait?) The first thing you want to do is get rid of the sharp hook. Just drop it right in and then follow with the weight because you don't want the weight pulling on the hook when you least expect it.

Coming back in you can practice some yak surfing, FUN!

You can ride the swell back in steering with your paddle, then time a rush to the beach just after a breaker passes you. Here again, this is where you need to be careful, watch that breaker behind you. This might be the time you get tossed out.

Tons of fun and good fights with big toothie critters! Summer will be here again and so will Charkey!

Night yaking?

Nope, not going to talk about it just yet, play in the daylight first.

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Excellent points, Steve. Right on the money. I have been kicked out of my yak more than once and I have been hit in the head pretty hard. You do have to be careful out there, especially if you decide to venture out at night. :wink:

You'd be amazed at what will happen the first time a wave comes up from behind you and under a bit of stress you paddle the wrong direction and the wave rolls you.

You are definitely right about that. I think I might even remember your first try out there! :D

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