Not managing to pull a spraydeck

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Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:36 pm

First point I've never suffered from this personally. My intro to decks was put this on, pull that if you capsize, off you go, no problem, fell over and out I came.

But I've seen a lot of people get stuck and met quite a few more. In charge has been everyone from professional coaches to amateur coaches including me (hand of God is great and I dive under to watch them in the pool) to paddlers without bits of paper. The unlucky ones are more likely to be youngsters but not by as much as you'd think. Right way up practice and nylon decks seem to be no guaranteed prevention.

Am I just amazingly unlucky or does this happen a lot?

What does everyone one else do when doing spray deck training?

Question asked as this weekend I had one nervous one because of this scare and one failure probably due to wearing gloves. The gloves I knew about already and should have made the connection and warned them.
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Chalky723 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:14 pm

I've never known anyone that hasn't pulled their deck or just pushed it off with their knees....

D
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Jim » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:22 am

If you have people failing to pull nylon decks I can only imagine they are panicing and then either completely forgetting about the spraydeck, or not finding the handle.
You could try fitting knee release straps?

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:39 am

Chalky723 wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:14 pm
I've never known anyone that hasn't pulled their deck or just pushed it off with their knees....
D
Can you come kayaking with me? Hopefully it will stop happening! Sometimes the deck does come off after a while it's just a bit late to prevent a scare. Easily double figures now, 2 more this weekend one mentioned during the week and one paddler there I know had the same problem. Each of them did their training (or not) with different coaches at different times. A lot of people have the same experience as you then look at me like I'm mad when they just give people neoprene decks as if nothing could go wrong (I would have said the same thing until the first time I saw it happen) and I get very firm about slow steps, training, nylon decks etc. Maybe because I paddle with a lot of beginners?
Jim wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:22 am
If you have people failing to pull nylon decks I can only imagine they are panicing and then either completely forgetting about the spraydeck, or not finding the handle.
You could try fitting knee release straps?
Quite a few say they can't find the handle, a couple couldn't pull it successfully. Definitely panicing afterwards (probably before) even if it comes off when they twist round/during hand of god it's too late. Knee straps might work although I'd have to bring my own decks as I'm normally using other peoples equipment. Many I meet on the water a lot later so apart from encouraging them to start sorting it out it's a too late for prevention.

No one seems to do any training on how to do this, I just learnt from being trained (put a deck on, paddle out onto a lake, fall over, pull deck, don't drown), watching others (there's a lot better ways to do this plus quite a lot that can go wrong) and personal experience (take a lot of care, there's an awful lot that can go wrong and now you're in charge of it!)

Still seems to be just me....
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:31 am

"Pull" is the wrong word, although I'm not sure what a better one is. It's often necessary to initially push the tab away to unhook the deck from the front of the rim. If you have a deck like this, it won't release with knee pressure either. A boat / deck intended for paddling serious water will be designed so that it doesn't pop off with water pressure, and isn't necessarily appropriate for a beginner. Somebody will practice in one boat successfully, and next session will use a different boat / deck combination in which release is more difficult.

If there's any doubt, start each session with closing your eyes, finding the tab and taking the deck off while upright. To avoid the panic reaction from going underwater, it can help to have the paddler stand in shallow water and put their head under for increasing lengths of time until they feel comfortable.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Hengle » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:34 am

We used to coach this as part of a progression, over several sessions focused on other stuff. The plan was to get them to start with their hands ready for eskimo rescue, then run them along the cockpit rim, till they find the loop, then continue running the hands forwards pushing the loop as they unhook their knees and roll forwards. I rarely use a boat with knees under a deck nowadays so had assumed that all of this is part of the past (although helping a paddler in a WWR recently reminded me that I still need to tell people to roll forwards rather than fall out!

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by MaverickvRS » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:56 am

I have seen in the past (observing, not in my groups!) paddlers practicing capsizing, no paddles, while holding the release tab! I've always gone down the route of "what will happen in the real world?"

Tap the boat 3 times, then follow the cockpit rim to the front and pop the deck.

The best one is when the "experienced" paddler puts on the spraydeck with the tab tucked inside the boat...

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:11 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:31 am
"Pull" is the wrong word, although I'm not sure what a better one is. It's often necessary to initially push the tab away to unhook the deck from the front of the rim
That sort of thing, I've always pulled the loop and it comes off without a problem even with decent decks. So up until someone used the same sort of phrase on Saturday and you repeated it there was an important detail missing. Also helps explains why smaller paddlers struggle even if they get hold of the loop as that can't be easy to do when it's a long way away from you.
MaverickvRS wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:56 am
I have seen in the past (observing, not in my groups!) paddlers practicing capsizing, no paddles, while holding the release tab! I've always gone down the route of "what will happen in the real world?"

Tap the boat 3 times, then follow the cockpit rim to the front and pop the deck.

The best one is when the "experienced" paddler puts on the spraydeck with the tab tucked inside the boat...
Sometimes you have to start them off that way :) move on asap. A lot of newbies want to do that, they worry it might go wrong, they sort of have a point. I did the proper real life one the 1st time was unplanned, without safety cover, outside and the 1st time I'd ever capsized in hindsight I'm sticking to in the pool or somewhere shallow, planned with someone standing next to you because if I tried that way I'd drown one in a few months!

Tab outside, check everyone, shudder

Still not sure just how many people get stuck and scared early on though. Any of your trainees? Anyone elses you've seen or anyone you've spoken too?

It's perfectly possible to throw your paddle and get to the loop before you capsize! Also really silly....
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by andynormancx » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:24 pm

I've never managed to get a deck to come off using my knees, even the one I have with a strap across it that is designed for that.

It is worth practicing removing your deck without using the loop/tab, you never know when you might leave it tucked in or it might fail when you pull it. You can remove most decks (but probably not the very tightest) by getting your fingers under the deck along the side of the cockpit and peeling it off.

Have a practice next time you are upside down in the pool.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by MaverickvRS » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:35 pm

As a group we usually give the first taste of the spraydeck in a pool session, standing beside them for a "hand of god" rescue if anything does happen.

We explain and get them to go through the motions the right way up, making sure they pull the tab. Sometimes it helps if they practice it right way up with their eyes closed.

Reset, get them comfortable with capsizing and doing it with you there a couple of times and then get them to practice support strokes - an almost guaranteed way of getting an "unexpected" capsize and swim!

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Jim » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:45 pm

It is difficult for me to imagine because I have never failed to remove a spraydeck, most of the time underwater I don't think I have even needed to push forward first just a sharp tug and it is away, but I have never felt the need for a super tight kevlar reinforced deck. One time I can remember having to tug sharply away from me was whilst pinned upright and facing upstream across the right angle of right angle falls - it took quite an effort to push my body forward against the flow to get to the handle and tug it forward, far more effort than the tug itself!

Nylon decks usually have adjustable elastic, I would suggest adjusting them until they pull off easily and then tie the adjuster up or something to stop kids making them tighter. For flat water training the deck is most for splashes, the elastic does not need to be very tight.

My peak cag decks are fairly tight to get on, I only ever need to release the C1 decks upside down and have never had an issue with that, it is after the deck is off that the fun starts with trying to get out of the straps :)

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:14 pm

andynormancx wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:24 pm
I've never managed to get a deck to come off using my knees, even the one I have with a strap across it that is designed for that.

It is worth practicing removing your deck without using the loop/tab, you never know when you might leave it tucked in or it might fail when you pull it. You can remove most decks (but probably not the very tightest) by getting your fingers under the deck along the side of the cockpit and peeling it off.

Have a practice next time you are upside down in the pool.
Been suggested you pull the second strap instead as it's easier to get to, not that I've tried that either. Tried peeling my neoprene deck off the right way up to show the difference between that and the nylon ones. It was difficult enough when you could breathe :) twisting all the way to the side in a desparate bid for air normally does it but not something to 'encourage'
MaverickvRS wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:35 pm
As a group we usually give the first taste of the spraydeck in a pool session, standing beside them for a "hand of god" rescue if anything does happen.

We explain and get them to go through the motions the right way up, making sure they pull the tab. Sometimes it helps if they practice it right way up with their eyes closed.

Reset, get them comfortable with capsizing and doing it with you there a couple of times and then get them to practice support strokes - an almost guaranteed way of getting an "unexpected" capsize and swim!
Sounds pretty familiar although I'm not teaching support strokes :)
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:37 pm

"Not managing to pull a spraydeck" - I've had this whilst head-ruddering whilst leaning back when being pummeled in surf; unable to reach the grab loop. Whenever I use a new spraydeck, I make damn sure that I can pull the lip of the deck off from the side so that I know for sure that I can break the seal if I can't lean forward.
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:03 pm

Pulling a spray deck upright is far harder than upside down, however, it feels a lot longer when you are inverted! It all depends on the confidence of your paddlers. I'd always want to start with a nylon deck on maximum looseness, they will come off if you kick out of the boat without pulling, but some people are confident enough to go for a neoprene deck straight away.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by MaverickvRS » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am

jmmoxon wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:03 pm
Pulling a spray deck upright is far harder than upside down, however, it feels a lot longer when you are inverted! It all depends on the confidence of your paddlers. I'd always want to start with a nylon deck on maximum looseness, they will come off if you kick out of the boat without pulling, but some people are confident enough to go for a neoprene deck straight away.

Mike
A nylon deck on maximum looseness comes off with a well timed sneeze to be fair...

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by MaverickvRS » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:22 am

I think it also depends on the kayak - you look at the size of the coaming lips of modern kayaks compared to an older mirage/dancer - it's a lot deeper and therefore has more grip on the spraydeck. I learned originally in these ancient things which had barely anything holding the deck on - the cockpits were also smaller so less distance to reach...

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by scottdog007 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:39 am

I did falling out of a boat at the weekend with and without spray decks in a lake on a lovely hot day with 3 adults and I was shocked on how much faffing around was done before they would go over. All of them were really nervous.

I've had loads of issues with youth in swimming pools who have been paddling or ages and done loads of spray deck tests but still 2 boys when playing polo and flip over are just trying to push the nylon deck off with their knees and make a mess of it.

Some years ago I had an adult that when he went over tried jumping out of his boat before going all the way over. The rubber spaydeck acted like a rubber band pulled him back. Alas he was in a sea kayak with no centre pillar, his feet shot down past the foot rests. When a hand of god was done on him his armpits were down by the deck area. Quite funny to watch but dangerous.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:05 am

MaverickvRS wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am
A nylon deck on maximum looseness comes off with a well timed sneeze to be fair...
Indeed!

Although I'd imagine if you were trying to push a nylon deck off with your knees it'd just expand in front of you like a balloon......

D
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Jim » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:57 pm

Chalky723 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:05 am
MaverickvRS wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am
A nylon deck on maximum looseness comes off with a well timed sneeze to be fair...
Indeed!

Although I'd imagine if you were trying to push a nylon deck off with your knees it'd just expand in front of you like a balloon......

D
Thats why you fit a knee release strap across near the thigh brace position, so that you actaully push the strap up and it peels the sides of the spraydeck from the rim. The strap needs to be adjusted right of course, but this is independant of the elastic that holds it on the rim.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by MaverickvRS » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:52 pm

Jim wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:57 pm
Chalky723 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:05 am
MaverickvRS wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am
A nylon deck on maximum looseness comes off with a well timed sneeze to be fair...
Indeed!

Although I'd imagine if you were trying to push a nylon deck off with your knees it'd just expand in front of you like a balloon......

D
Thats why you fit a knee release strap across near the thigh brace position, so that you actaully push the strap up and it peels the sides of the spraydeck from the rim. The strap needs to be adjusted right of course, but this is independant of the elastic that holds it on the rim.
Usually only found on Neoprene decks though?

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Jim » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:56 pm

It has been a long time since I've used a nylon deck, but I seem to recall we had some with knee release straps. Sewing a bit of webbing to a nylon deck is relatively easy, much easier than sewing to neoprene.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:50 pm

scottdog007 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:39 am
I did falling out of a boat at the weekend with and without spray decks in a lake on a lovely hot day with 3 adults and I was shocked on how much faffing around was done before they would go over. All of them were really nervous.
That's normal, being that way inclinded I'd say don't even bother with the deck and just encourage them to go touring any other path is going to be long, hard and probably never ending until they either give up kayaking or go back to plan A and go touring :)
If you do carry on forget anything other than wet exit and don't do anything likely to capsize them until they can stay under calmly for 30+ seconds. In hindsight I go for plan A.
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by KaitsuH » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:23 pm

Very very odd! All my friends say, after swimming, that their decks "just opened", or better "exploded", by them selves. Also the tightest ones, I R Royals, Seals Pro Rands, Peakuk Creek decks, just "popped out", "exploded", " opened by them selves" etc.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:59 am

KaitsuH wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:23 pm
Very very odd! All my friends say, after swimming, that their decks "just opened", or better "exploded", by them selves. Also the tightest ones, I R Royals, Seals Pro Rands, Peakuk Creek decks, just "popped out", "exploded", " opened by them selves" etc.
Thats because they are experienced and can effortlessly do what beginners have to really think about ;)
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:36 am

Thats because they are experienced and can effortlessly do what beginners have to really think about
I think it's more likely they were looking for an excuse for having swum!

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:00 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:36 am
Thats because they are experienced and can effortlessly do what beginners have to really think about
I think it's more likely they were looking for an excuse for having swum!
What a thing to say! As if they'd want to pass the blame onto some poor helpless equipment......next they are going to be blaming the boat :)
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by KaitsuH » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:00 pm

gp.girl wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:00 pm
Chris Bolton wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:36 am
Thats because they are experienced and can effortlessly do what beginners have to really think about
I think it's more likely they were looking for an excuse for having swum!
What a thing to say! As if they'd want to pass the blame onto some poor helpless equipment......next they are going to be blaming the boat :)
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by TheEcho » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:27 am

Remember, folks, the weather is the perfect excuse right now -“my legs were overheating”.

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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by gp.girl » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:55 pm

TheEcho wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:27 am
Remember, folks, the weather is the perfect excuse right now -“my legs were overheating”.
This happens in all weathers, amazingly I still bump into people who haven't haerd this excellent reason for a capsize :)

I prefer there's something crawling/hopping/buzzing in the boat for that extra laugh (except for the scout with a queen hornet one that would have hurt!)
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Re: Not managing to pull a spraydeck

Post by Lewperren » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:15 pm

I have never seen someone not pull the tab, but I did have someone who had their tab trapped under the deck and needed hand of God. At the time this was serious. I now always check my own and other peoples' tabs. An experienced mate also showed me how to release a neoprene deck from side by the body, easiest place with least resistance. I always pass this tip on to friends.

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