which PFD for easy remount

4 months 1 day ago #36698 by Sailkayak
Hello, I started paddling a Nelo 550 M/L last year. I am 163cm or 5ft 4in tall and I am struggling to get a reliable remount.
I paddle on a safe river so this is not a major safety issue currently but I know I want a reliable remount in all conditions before going off shore.
I have a Mocke PFD and like it a lot for its comfort but seem to be impeding me  on remounts. I have tried long shoulder straps but then the top folds over and gets in the way, and I have tried the shortest length possible shoulder straps which is best but still struggle. Also unless the sides straps are snug then I dont really get the support provided.
This is not bashing the product which as I say I like a lot but perhaps there is something easier for me to use currently given my small stature. Maybe a thinner profile of vest is easier ?
Also I have watched many videos of how to remount and can do this but not quickly easily and reliably enough at present.
I have very small hands and weak thumbs (old injury, two thumb push ups after drinking silly boy) so find I can not hold the paddle shaft and hook my thumb inside the bucket edge, or across the ski and get my thumb inside the cockpit to exert sufficient leverage.
I find if not careful I roll the ski over on top of me which is not great and it is that initial getting the chest up over the side that is the issue, once there I can lift myself across the cockpit until ready to swivel around into the bucket.
I plan to next try holding the paddle across the far side and use my near hand low down in the cockpit rather than on the upper cockpit edge in an effort  to not roll the kayak over but would appreciate thoughts helpful to a real shorty for both PFD recommendations and technique options to try please

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4 months 1 day ago #36701 by tve
Replied by tve on topic which PFD for easy remount
I haven't had the type of issue you describe, so perhaps someone else has better tips, but here's what I would try:
- make sure the PFD side straps are pretty tight so the PFD stays close to your chest
- make sure you don't have anything in the front pocket (duh)
- use a paddle leash so you can let go of the paddle, e.g. placed on the other side of the ski where you can grab it once up, that makes for one less thing to handle
- be sure to push down hard with the palm of your lower hand to get your upper body over the edge
- try to ensure your legs are behind you and not under you when you start the remount, this way you're trying to push/pull your body up at maybe a 45 degree angle and not vertically

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4 months 1 day ago #36702 by Sailkayak
Hi and thanks for the reply.
I have tried straps tight but before they are tight enough this restricts my breathing so when you need to do the remount although playing around I have tried different heights of the PFD and different side strap tightness and even taking it off while in the water to try without, in any serious situation I need to have a PFD that is comfortable, allows me to breath and doesnt obstruct entry over the edge. I have used a paddle leash and currently do but in wave I would not wish to leave the paddle free in the water bashing around. Most of my sea kayaking I paddle alone including in rough conditions and have prepared so be fully self sufficient and aim for the same with the ski which im enjoying a lot. 
I have tried to lay as flat on the water as possible and kick hard in the end perhaps I have to keep experimenting and practicing until I find a way that works for me

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4 months 1 day ago #36705 by waverider
How slick are you without a PFD on? If you practice and practice without PFD (eliminating it from the equation), once you have got this down pat so you know the PFD is the only issue, then it may make it easier to then accomplish with PFD. 

My main issue with PFDs either on remount or as I recently found out after falling off my K1 at a dock is I cant launch myself up onto something as easily as I could without. The reason is the bouyancy.  Without you allow your torso to sink and then just shoot up (like taking a run at something), the bouyancy prevent this bobbing down. I could not climb up the side of a deep water dock which normal would be no issue.

As far as not holding paddle you could think of adding nose mounted paddle holder strap across nose of ski.  Example would be as used on stealth fishing skis. You just slide the nose of paddle under strap, a bit of bungie will do. So its an easy grab once you are onboard.

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4 months 1 day ago #36706 by Craig M
Replied by Craig M on topic which PFD for easy remount
Most of my limited knowledge come from Oscars videos. This is a simple remount vid.
https://youtu.be/89g4t3tV14c
Good luck with it.

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4 months 20 hours ago #36707 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic which PFD for easy remount
Can you do quick cowboy re-entries with your sea kayak? If so, the ski should be much easier, since it has no raised coaming lip to get in your way or snag on the PFD. The ski gunnels are really smooth.

The short fingers and weak hands would make clamping them securely to hold your 
paddle difficult, but it sounds like the immediate problem is the biggest move, what I call the swimming pool lunge. Your core and legs must be kept rigid so that the body from neck down is straight. Many kayakers I’ve watched grab the boat and do sort of a vertical bounce instead of the horizontal lunge. And they either re-capsize the boat or just add more water inside. Either way, it doesn’t get the job done and they drop back down.

PFDs with thick front panels—I hate ‘em for either cowboy re-entry or for rolling. I never tried on a Mocke PFD but doubt that a ski-targeted model would have such bulk in front. The only time I did ski remounts was in an intro lesson, wearing the inexpensive Nelo one-size-fits-most PFD. I am shorter than you. That PFD did not interfere with successfully remounting. It was easier than cowboy re-entry into a sea kayak, for the reason given above.

With a heat spell arriving early here and no end in sight, I’ll be practicing ski remounts, too. I want it to be as close to the speed of rolling up as possible.

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4 months 12 hours ago #36710 by mcnye1
Replied by mcnye1 on topic which PFD for easy remount
I am also a smaller guy (5'7") and found that the Mocke interfered a bit with reboarding.  I switched to the Vaiko which fits me better and my remounts improved.  Another tip is to try using a paddle lease.  That way you do not have to hold both the ski and paddle with your weakened hands while remounting.  I throw the paddle to the opposite side of the ski and retrieve after I am back in the boat. 
Attachments:

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4 months 12 hours ago #36712 by Sailkayak
Thank you all for the replies.
I think the issue of "bobbing down" before pushing up doesnt really apply as the PFD isnt really holding me up in the water.
With the Sea kayak I learnt to do cowboy rescues but havent tried for a long time as rolling or a reentry roll is so much quicker and safer i think but I will for fun see how this goes with the ski. The problem I found with doing these on the sea kayak was the skirt not the PFD got in the way so I had to hold the front up with my teeth.
As suggested I will try letting go of the paddle at least until im confident in the mechanics
I have just looked at the Mocke again and as the girl friend says it doesnt really fit my body being short and with a very deep chest, so likely the Vaikobi will be a better bet anyway ill look at them when our lockdown has finished, thanks for that input.
On reflection also I could remount pretty decently back when the water was cold and I would be in either a dry suit of neoprene long legs both of which provide my legs with buoyancy ..
Another thing is that at 64 and with multiple injuries including to shoulders etc I am heavier than when younger which is partly the reason to want to paddle often and also not as strong as i used to be so along with looking to drop weight some push ups wont hurt the equation either -:)

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4 months 12 hours ago #36714 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic which PFD for easy remount
After giving many lessons to novice and intermediate paddlers, this issue is quite common. A low profile PFD makes the side saddle remounting easier. See my review of many of the low profile pfds on my site SurfskiRacing.com. It is a little dated now since a few pfds have been updated like the Vaikobi's. The Vaikobi's are very low profile compared to the Mocke's. Keep in mind though the Mocke's have more buoyancy similar to the US-made PFD that are Coast Guard approved with roughly 15 to 16lbs of buoyancy for safety. In the wintertime, I wear my Mocke or other more buoyant PFD's since my margin for error in 30 degree temps is small. I want the added buoyancy and I have personally have no problem remounting with any pfd.  In the summer I go with the Vaikobi, and for summer racing over 10 miles I use the Kokatat Orbit since it is cooler. 
I have always used a paddle leash as suggested that can make remounting easier. There are many video's on remounting. the Set-UP position is key. Practice, Practice. Better paddlers rarely capsize so we have a tendency to be complacent and not practice which is a mistake. Always test any leash and inspect before paddling and replace before signs of too much wear. Velcro on cheap leashes detaches easily with little pressure applied. 

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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4 months 11 hours ago #36715 by Sailkayak
Thankjs Wesley
I have looked at your reviews on most things PFD's included but had noted you in a Vaikobi that I did not find a review of, hard job testing reviewing all the items you do oh to have your experience -:)
Im not ex military but like our Special Forces maxim train hard fight easy, and as I usually have no paddle partner which does increase safety a lot IMO and given I know things can go from not great to really bad very quickly I heartily agree practice to keep up skills is important it's just ive not got the skill to keep yet -:)
I suspect that even for a skilled paddler when demoing a new different ski remounting ability needs to be confirmed before any serious paddling as I would always test rolling in a different kayak  

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4 months 10 hours ago #36716 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic which PFD for easy remount
Planks, not just pushups.

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4 months 10 hours ago #36717 by Sailkayak
Last planks I did was to 4 minutes by when i got bored

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3 months 4 weeks ago #36724 by CrabStick
4 min plank is very good so you are ready for some variations to make it a bit harder and less boring. See Ivan Lawler's new Iso Video series. Examples are lifting one elbow off the floor and reaching across to touch the opposite hip with hand, then alternate arms. Keep pelvis level. Or try holding the position when lowered for a press up but with elbows out to the side below shoulder level and hands taking weight up at eye level = top hand paddling position + plank.
For more family fun get a small child to stand on your back while holding a plank position. That really makes the Abdominals go to work.
The other Lawler pearl is a plank variation with Swiss / Physio ball under one arm and lifting the other hand off the floor. It's difficult!....see on YouTube, day3 I think but better to view whole series

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin S, Swordfish S, Fenn Spark S
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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3 months 4 weeks ago #36727 by Sailkayak
Hi Crabstick I had seen Ivans videos thank you and had tried some of them to test out, he also has what I think is another excellent one of coaching forward stroke with I think Richmond canoe club. I bought my Nelo and paddles from him love the pace of his videos the explanations which have to make logical sense and have a similar sense of humour so that helps as well.
No children so your suggestion probably saves my back -:)
Short people have some disadvantages like being able to see at a concert reach for putting surf skis on vans etc but advantages might include that my legs and core are strong because the levers are shorter. So planks and so on I can do but might be harder if my trunk was 6 inches longer (always a silver lining)
My main sport interest is snow skiing (Austrian girl friend) for which strong core and hips are important. What I have and continue to find with the paddling is that it is identifying the muscular imbalances I have. So lack of symmetrical strength and mobility. Example I found my left hip had not been properly located in the socket for several years and as a result my hip muscles that side where chronically over tight and some very weak and a knock on effect from that is weakness in strength and neuro activity to the muscles for lateral trunk movement to the left of my trunk. This had a big influence on balance (not in a good way) and resulted in many swims in the earlier days, also a weaker rotation and therefore less powerful stroke actually on the right side.
So the surf ski is synergistic with helping me on many many levels, not only for my snow skiing but even walking without pain or less of it and helping to rehabilitate this older body from injuries (multiple various) providing a technical challenge and well I love being on the water anyway (ex sailor) Shame I did not find it early in life and live somewhere with ocean swells like Durban. 1979 505 world champs most amazing conditions ive sailed in ive sailed in big waves but this place was the only time I got to sail in such swells and I think that those who get to surf ski these places have a brilliant play ground to use.  

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