Pitzbach kayaking

Whitewater Kayaking - Near miss kayaking

We were paddling on the lower middle Ötz (also known as the köfels section of the Ötz). It's a nice grade 4+ paddle but not if you get a helmet / deck entrapment whist paddling!

Ben uses a helmet camera to make kayaking films. The camera is mounted onto his sweet strutter helmet using a camera mount so that he can remove the camera when he is not using it. However this means that the mount is permanently attached to the front peak of his helmet.

Ben was also using a °hf Kevlar spray deck with a normal loop on the end and a knee off strap.

Paddling through some large waves and holes, leading up to the crux of the section, Ben lent forward as he usually does so he wouldn't get back looped. Exactly in this moment the front loop on his spray deck flips up and catches on the camera mount on the front of his helmet. Ben noticed a couple of interesting points at this moment: firstly it is very difficult to paddle whitewater when your nose is 2cm from the cockpit rim of your boat. Secondly every time he tried to free himself he started to pull his deck off the rim!

Everything went ok in the end. Ben managed to get to the back with his deck half off and some water in his boat.

This shows us that even very unlikely situations can occur on the river, and that we should watch out for them. Ben ended up immediately cutting the front loop of his deck so that it won't happen again.

Top Tip: next time you go boating have a look at all your equipment as well as your partners for anything that could get stuck on anything else: slings, ropes, karabiners, shoe laces, etc...