I unexpectedly had to put this into practice last week. I was doing a bit of surfing in Cornwall (my first time on a proper surf beach), when I capsized, failed to roll a couple of times and then found my spraydeck tab wasn't out when I came to "pull" it.andynormancx wrote: ↑Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:24 pmIt 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.
It was a bit of a shock, but I thought "no problem, I've practiced this". The actuality of releasing it without the tab was much harder than when I'd practiced it.
I ran my hands down the side to cockpit and did my best to get my fingers under the cord. It was much tighter than when I'd practiced though and it took like what felt like seconds of fumbling to finally release it (I expect in reality it was all over and done with in a second).
The reason it was harder than when I'd practiced was that I'd just been hit by a breaking wave, which had pushed in my spraydeck, forming a split vacuum within the boat. I had to work against that vacuum, as well as the water pressure and the elastic of the deck.
I suspect if I'd have had cold fingers that it would have been even harder. Next recourse would have been my knife to puncture the deck and release the vacuum.
As to why my tab was tucked in, I'm still not sure. I've never failed to leave the tab out before.
I did get hit by a few waves, which partially popped my deck. I had fiddled with the deck to check how much water I had in the boat, so maybe I managed to tuck the tab in when I did that.
I'll certainly be trying to be even more careful about my tab and I think I might practice releasing without the tab a bit more often.