Wet exit and wearing shoes

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kayakamper

Wet exit and wearing shoes

Post by kayakamper »

I would be interested to know what people wear on their feet in the cockpit. I have been told by kayak instructors and believe myself that one safety device on your boat is no device at all. That is, what you wear or don't wear on your feet.

To be clear, I don't wear shoes of any kind when I paddle. In the winter, I wear a water proof sock, but my crocks go on deck when I enter and stay there until I get out. I have always believed that any chance of a shoe getting caught as I wet exit could be fatal. I do paddle an FC Big Kahuna and the sea sock can eliminate some of these potential problems, but I keep it as a habit. It also gives me a little more room down there.

As I said, I am curious to know what others think on this safety subject. BTW, I think a Teva type sandal is, perhaps the most dangerous.

Chris

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krudave
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Post by krudave »

Worn all kinds of footwear in a sea kayak cockpit, and never regarded any of it as a serious entrapment hazard. Laces would be an entrapment hazard, and I don't use them. Velcro might be, but rarely. Close-fitting buckles might be, but rarely. Loose-fitting straps could be, but i do not use them.

My footwear either has stretchy thin bungies (Chotas), so they would stretch enough to allow me to reach air, or no ;aces or closure straps at all.

If you avoid big loopy laces and similar, I suspect this is pretty far down the hazard scale. Sandals with large open areas ... do you really think these are a hazard? What would they get hung up on? I can not think of anything in my cockpit that would catch on them.

what are you thinking?
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

kayakamper

Post by kayakamper »

I guess it is not as much a concern in a folder as a hardshell that has some attachments inside the cockpit. I may be overly cautious, but am always mindful of what can go wrong in a situation.

I often see other kayakers out for a paddle by themselves with no safety equipment ( PFD on the back deck, no paddle float, tow rope, pump ). It is the time you think you are safe and just enjoying the day that something can happen.

Perhaps I am cautious about footware, but am also curious about what others think.

Thanks for your thoughts Dave.

Chris

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Post by mje »

The first time I paddled a Cooper my sandal got hooked on one of the frame tubes, and I couldn't get it loose. Very scary. I could see flipping and being trrapped. I slowly backed into shore and freed myself. Since then I only paddle in neoprene booties in most boats. In the big double Klepper it's not as big a problem.
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krudave
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Post by krudave »

mje wrote:The first time I paddled a Cooper my sandal got hooked on one of the frame tubes, and I couldn't get it loose.
That would be scary. Someone said hardshells have greater foot entrapment hazard, but it might be folders with frames and without seasocks that are a greater risk. Sandals are a no-no, unless very close-fitting, in my book.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

Paul
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Post by Paul »

I have limited choices in what I wear given I need a size 14 or 15. For kayaking one significant parameter of footwear I wear is that which will allow me to fit in the cockpit without pushing up on the deck with my toes. I feel that something on the feet is better than nothing--in case of quick exits on rocks or the like. I've been using a Nike ACG kayaking shoe (size 15) which is really good. It's like a bootie but has a tough sole and three straps for fitting/tightening. These are close fitting straps. I have Teva low cut water shoes (no straps) which are easier to get on and off but the low cut allows too much sand and grit to get in when not in the kayak.
I have been told by kayak instructors and believe myself that one safety device on your boat is no device at all. That is, what you wear or don't wear on your feet.

I'm not sure what that means--wearing something is or is not a safety device?

Alm

Post by Alm »

mje wrote:The first time I paddled a Cooper my sandal got hooked on one of the frame tubes, and I couldn't get it loose. Very scary.
Was it tubular rib? Because it must be difficult getting caught in longerons(stringers) - unless they are very loose, allowing enough room between the tube and the skin (impossible thing in Feahtercrafts - they are very tight). Wooden-frame boats and Feathercrafts (and some other Folbots) have wide non-tubular ribs, no chance to get caught in them.

Typical sandals are nice for sitting and walking around some civilized campground (not in thorns, rocks or mud), but not the best shoewear for folders - open from all sides, don't protect the foot from hard or sharp surfaces of frme or luggage, enough straps to get caught in something, no heel support and easy to lose when you jump out on some rocks or into mud. I prefer medium-cut watershoes with drainage holes and minimal laces. Mine have laces, not much - the idea was to make them work for both water and soil, but of course both uses are a compromise. I'll probably replace laces with thin bungeys like those on jacket hoods. Crocks are too bulky for folders, unless for a very high deck like LH or Klepper - forget about them in Cooper or FC singles.

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krudave
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Post by krudave »

Alex wrote: mje wrote:
The first time I paddled a Cooper my sandal got hooked on one of the frame tubes, and I couldn't get it loose. Very scary.

Was it tubular rib? Because it must be difficult getting caught in longerons(stringers) - unless they are very loose, allowing enough room between the tube and the skin (impossible thing in Feahtercrafts - they are very tight).

Had to be. There is a gap around the edge of the rib -- bet it was the heel of the sandal. No gaps between the longerons and skin on a Cooper. Very tight to the skin.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

kayakamper

Post by kayakamper »

Paul wrote:

>>I'm not sure what that means--wearing something is or is not a safety device?<<

Paul,
Perhaps it wasn't said well. What I meant was that clothing, PFD's and even shoes could be considered safety devices when in the water. Because some shoes ( strappy sandles or laced shoes ) could pose a danger, no shoes are safer than the wrong shoes.

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