15 - How to kayak - keeping your kayak from capsizing
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The high brace is the same motion as a draw that is employed while you are in the process of capsizing. As you are going over, extend your paddle out to place the face of the paddle flat on the water surface. Actually smacking the surface of the water will help arrest your capsize motion. Attempt to pull the blade down through the water. Keep your elbow bent at about 90 degrees. Do not reach out too far from the side of the kayak. Doing so will increase the risk of a shoulder separation, particularly in surf. Your arm and elbow should be in line with the paddle. As you pull down on the paddle, toss your head toward the paddle and rotate your hips to rotate the kayak hull back to its stable position. Use the rest of the paddle stroke to return your body to the center line of the kayak. Leaning your body back over the rear deck of the kayak will help this recovery.
A variation of the high brace is the sweeping high brace. A combination of a sweep and a high brace, the paddle skims along the surface of the water at the same time as it is pulled down to counteract the capsize. The blade is angled slightly upward so it will not dive down as you pull down on the paddle shaft. The sweeping high brace may be performed either as a forward sweep or a back sweep. These braces are most conveniently used when you are starting or finishing some other stroke and the need for a brace arises.
Sculling High Brace
The sculling high brace is a combination of the sculling draw and a high brace. The motions are the same as the sculling draw, except with the paddle nearly parallel to the water surface. With a well developed sculling motion, you should be able to hang from this brace for a long time.
How to exit your capsized kayak...............
The low brace uses the back side of the paddle pushed down into the water to prevent a capsize. Your forearm should remain in line with the paddle's resistance. Again, head motion and opposite rotation of the hips to return the kayak hull to a stable position aids in a successful brace. The sweeping low brace is a low brace starting from the stern or bow and moving toward the other end of the kayak. The stern sweeping low brace is the most natural and quickest to deploy when the paddle blade on the side toward which you are capsizing is behind you. When the blade is in front of you, most find that the quickest natural brace is the high brace. A stern sweeping brace can be transitioned to a sweeping high brace, and vice versa, if bracing is still required at the end of a sweeping brace.