Upside Down Re-entry

This is not just a beach party trick,

it is also a valid and powerful skill to have in rough and or cold conditions.
Should you capsize and find yourself swimming, this skill allows you the quickest method of getting underway again.

In survival situations, timely, quick, well executed skills equals safety.

This is a fun skill to practice!


(1) When your head is in the cockpit, which is full of air,
you are breathing, so just relax, collect your thoughts, then execute the reverse roll.

(2) When executing that roll, remember to push away from the coaming a tad.

Your PFD is buoyant and while that is good, it will try and lift you thus likely getting caught on the coaming, which is not good.

While Swimming:

Orientation of the boat:

Disregard left and right when looking down at an upturned kayak.

In referring to the left (port) or right (starboard) sides of a kayak; left is always the same side of the kayak regardless of whether the boat is overturned or not. So, when doing a right hand roll; you are of course reaching out to the right and of course you are reaching out from the right or starboard side of the boat.

Since you always want to roll into the seas/rollers/breaking waves position yourself so that you are between the waves and the kayak. If your right hand roll is your strongest, then position the right (starboard) side of the boat to the waves.

Re-Entry and Eskimo Roll:

The boat is capsized,

(1) first spear/move your paddle under the boat so that the paddle will be oriented properly to your hands when facing to the rear,

(2) duck/swim under the boat facing to the rear and as an option get up into the cockpit to take a couple of breaths and orient yourself to the situation,

(3) look back over your head and with your hands holding the paddle grasp the front edges of the coaming, execute a reverse roll (the somersault part) sliding the feet into the cockpit, arrange your feet, hips, and knees into the cockpit securely, finally...roll up by your preferred method.

Re-attaching the Spray Skirt:

Re-attaching the spray skirt while capsized... well, that's the nerves of steel part. That takes practice too.

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