× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

safety gear tips for a newbie

5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #31792 by sski
I've been reading old posts but still am confused on quite a bit, so forgive me if these are 'stupid questions'. I always wear a PFD, let friends or wife know my plan/expected times, try to boat w/ others...

Boat leash: I have a leg leash but really dislike it for remounting- seems to stretch in certain conditions making my leg kick less efficient for remount-and it gets messy down by the pedals. Does anyone have a preferred waist leash system that mounts aft ( and ideally wouldn't mind posting a pic or two?). I have a waist leash with quick release, which is so comfortable that I forget about when paddling but it is a velcro setup that attached to velcro epoxied on my old used boat but it ripped off relatively easily on just a windy day, no real waves). Advantages (besides I found it so much easier to remount) I've been told include ease of getting to rudder to clean out weeds if need be, allow you to go around boat if necessary (i can normally remount quickly from either side but I could see winds, current, waves, rocks making something more ideal on the other side), and would allow boat to set up perpendicular to waves (parallel to wind) like at Hood River making it easier to remount.
Paddle leash : as I understand it, should avoid a coiled leash because could really entangle w/ coiled boat leash- so use straight line from PFD to middle of paddle? Have never dropped paddle but someone made a good point that it could happen, and if you are helping someone else or messing with PFD/radio in an emergency, it won't hurt.
Flares: what do you recommend that would fit in a Vaikobi PFD?
Rudder mishaps: I put a tiny allen wrench in my rudder cover in case of slippage. I have read about a 'foam block' in case the steerer line rips- how does that work? Any other tools one could use when rudder problems develop?
Cell phone case: have the nice magnetic Epic one and have ON button set to dial 911 w/ 4 hits.
Safetrx: does that only work in South Africa, or will it work in North America? Other suggested app?
PLB/VHF: this one seems very complicated! I'm not on the ocean- rivers and variable sized lakes (up to 20miles).
Again, sorry if these have been covered extensively before or silly questions. Just trying to get started on the right foot. Thanks in advance!!!
Last edit: 5 years 8 months ago by sski.

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #31880 by SpaceSputnik
I am a fresh newbie myself so take my worlds with a grain of salt.

I use both leashes. Both coiled. The leg leash is an Epic one attached to the the attachment point under my knees. It's not long enough to let me go around the boat but I have no problem lifting the ski and ducking under. Usually only get the water up to my mouth level. Wouldn't want a longer leash.
My paddle leash is a crappy coiled leash attached to the foot strap. I came to appreciate it sinse it allows me to let go of the paddle. Sometimes I drop it on the far side of the ski before a remount. V7 has thick bucket walls and my hands are small so it's easier without having to hold the paddle.
Yes, the leashes do tangle but it just takes a couple of moments to untangle them.

I carry a waterproof phone without a pouch. The pouch makes it a lot harder to see the screen and operate the touch screen. The phone is tethered to an eyelet inside my pfd pocket. I am glad I have this particular phone as it has a strap attachement. It is IP68 rated and swims well.
However my main emergency comm device is a DSC VHF radio. I always carry it on my pfd no matter where I go. Seen people forget essential pieces of gear so I made it my standard practice to awlays clip it to my PFD BEFORE leaving the house.
PLBs wouldn't be very useful as the rescue times can be very long. In my mind it is more for being stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere. Not my scenario, I am usually within reach of Coast Guard and other boats.

Dressing for a swim. I come from sea-kayaking and it gets pounded into your head real well to aways always be dressed for immersion. On lake Ontario it's very important. It's mid July and the water is still 13 degrees Celsius. So, a layered drysuit most of the time and switching to a 3/4 full wetsuit just now.

Practicing rescues, self and assisted. Another mindset carry-over from sea-kayaking. Nail the remounts and assisted routine when another person steadies your boat for you. Being able to carry a swimmer to safety and so on.
Last edit: 5 years 8 months ago by SpaceSputnik.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sski, Vage

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