The Flying Kayak

Hunting, Fishing, Rambling, and Complete Outdoor Hilarity

How to properly capsize your kayak

Haven’t been fishing much recently. The weather has been pretty bad and I learned quickly last Friday how rough is too rough to launch the kayak in the Gulf.

Made it down to the beach at 5:30 in the morning and the wind was pretty strong out of the southwest. Walked down to the water and it looked “manageable”. After waiting about 30 minutes for the wind to possibly lay down, I decided to finally launch the yak.

My definition of “manageable” needs to be revised. In that short 30 minute period the surf managed to build a little bit but I decided to just go for it. I strapped down what I could, put the yak in the water, timed the swells and shoved off.

I then proceeded to flawlessly capsize my kayak for the first time in 5 years of owning it. I put my bow right into a large wave, but the current shoved my stern a bit and the wave ended up turning me sideways, picked up the yak, and dumped it over. Literally everything that was in the kayak, including the things that were strapped down, fell out.

Both rods, the bait bucket, cooler bag, tackle box, billy club, gaff, anchor, water bottles, frozen cigs, paddle, and sunglasses all got dumped. Only the rod holders and seat stayed in the yak. I managed to grab things of value in order. Rods went back in the yak first, followed by the tackle box. At this point I needed to get the yak back to shore before I had a repeat. My anchor had managed to unwind itself and was now completely scoped out in the surf. By the time I got it back into the kayak, another set of swells had come in. I proceeded to get knocked down and dragged by the kayak before I wrestled it back onto the beach. I then chased the cooler bag and bait bucket down as they were well on their way to Destin.

What kinda irked me was the fact that a man and his son stood there and watched as I floundered around in the surf and all my gear was sent washing up on the beach. The didn’t even pretend to try and help me gather the things that were already beached or rolling in the surf on shore. After running back and forth for about 10 minutes, trying to gather everything, I took a tally of what I was missing:

-One clear lure box that fell from the tackle box containing a few yozuri’s and other relatively expensive lures.
– My frozen cigs
– My sunglasses

It’s instances like today that make me glad I’ve never bought Costa’s or any other expensive glasses. I’ll take the 12$ loss and move on 

After gathering my senses, I tried to launch again (Slow learner <). I was quickly knocked over, and dragged by the yak again. I hauled it back to shore, waited for another break in the waves, and tried to launch again.

No dice. I was knocked down again by a wave pulling the kayak and once again was dragged through the surf like a rag doll. Luckily, the yak stayed upright this time so I didn’t lose anything else in the surf. I finally called it quits after the third try. Soaking wet, exhausted, and feeling pretty defeated, I hauled the yak back to the truck and went home without ever making a cast. I didn’t take any pictures because I was relatively upset and thankful that I didn’t actually lose the camera.

Sometimes you just have one of those days. At least I now know what is “manageable” and what isn’t. Just remember to be safe despite the overwhelming urge to chase snapper

Note: Something strange is happening with blogger and I can’t seem to upload any pictures. Hopefully that’ll change soon.


  1. Damn dude that sucks. I have yet to turtle my yak, but from what i hear its not a matter of “if” but when. It could have been a lot worse!

  2. Oh yeah. I’m definitely thankful that it wasn’t worse. I could have lost a lot more than some lures and cheap pair of sunglasses.

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