How to use detachable flotation to right a capsized Wavewalk kayak

This animation shows a typical W500 kayak outfitted with two pairs of standard detachable flotation modules attached in the regular locations.

If the kayak flips, it will float upside down, unless the user did something very wrong such as clinging to it and pulling it down – deeper into the water.

The user can detach flotation modules and reattach them on the side of the kayak they plan to use as a pivot when they flip it back.

After having attached the flotation on this side, the user can flip the kayak back, knowing that the flotation will support the kayak’s lower hull and prevent excess water from getting in.


After the kayak is righted, the pivot hull is likely to have some water in it, but the user should be able to bail it out using a hand bucket or a manual bilge pump commonly used by canoeists and kayakers.

The user should reenter their W500 kayak from the side of the higher hull that has no water in it. The water in the kayak’s other hull could help balance it when the user climbs back in.

It’s also possible to crawl back into the cockpit from the kayak’s rear.

Note: Before righting their kayak, the user may choose to reattach the flotation closer to one of the kayak’s ends instead of on its side. In such case, righting the kayak should be done by pivoting it on the end (I.E. hull tip) that’s supported by the flotation modules.

3 thoughts on “How to use detachable flotation to right a capsized Wavewalk kayak”

  1. I sense that one of the biggest reasons prospective kayak buyers don’t more seriously consider the W is the fear of tipping, getting water inside and possibly sinking, especially, if they regularly fish more open, choppy water. Perhaps this depiction will better address their concerns.

    For whatever it’s worth, I also think that sliding the larger diameter (4 inch) noodles with the 1 1/4 inch holes over the W rims provides better floatation and “flip-back” ease than the smaller noodles attached to bungee cords.

    In my experimentation, re-entering from the rear is much easier than than over the side.

  2. Thanks Gary,

    I reentered a W kayak from the its rear end by crawling upward, and it wasn’t hard, just slow because of the distance from the hull tips to the cockpit.
    A couple clients reported that reentering their W kayaks from the side was easy and quick.


  3. My two cents – After you righted your w kayak, take a look and see how much water it scooped into the “pivot” (low) hull. If there’s enough water there to make the kayak tilt, take advantage of the situation and get back into the cockpit from the side of the higher (empty) hull. But if your yak is more or less level, get back in by crawling up from the back, with your legs straddling the hull tips in a way that would help you stabilize yourself.

Leave a Reply