Alec Bloyd-Peshkin and I shot several rescues in the marina on Lake Michigan this weekend. This is the first of these self rescue techniques.
The re-enter and roll is probably the best self-rescue technique after a roll has failed. It is simple and relies on no special equipment. The paddler simply re-enters the cockpit and then rolls the kayak up full of water.
Note the time signature on the video from the moment the paddler is out of the kayak until the kayak is upright. 15 seconds.
There are some slight drawbacks. Once you are up, you have a kayak full of water. You must get the skirt back on. But both of these seem minor to being back upright in the kayak.
This video may seem elementary to some. And perhaps advanced to those without a roll. It is actually a very basic rescue. There are fewer things to remember than with a paddle float re-entry. You spend less time in the water fidgeting about with gear and more time getting back underway. I actually think this method is better for rough water than a cowboy scramble. With a re-enter and roll the paddler is already back in the boat, no precarious balancing act, and then wiggling back in. The paddle is already in your hand and you are ready to brace if need be. Note the supporting sculling strokes for balance after the roll to ensure the paddler stays upright.
This was a great day with bright sunshine. The water was only in the 40s and the air in the 50s. Good fun. See any major Chicago landmark in the background of the video?