WaterTribe events are difficult and dangerous. Anyone entering these events must be an expert in his or her
chosen small craft. We require that you certify your experience at the expert level when you register for
any WaterTribe event. However, we have found that sometimes self certified experts do not have some of the
skills that would normally be assumed for experts.
Often we find boats that are loaded beyond their design limits. Or sometimes boats are loaded within the design
limits, but they are not loaded properly.
We have also discovered very experienced people who have not practiced the required skills recently or who have
equipment that has not been used for a long time. When was the last time you practiced a capsize and recovery or
put your bilge pump to a test?
Another problem that is rampant in the kayaking world is to learn rolling, self rescue, and assisted rescues in
kayaks that are not fully loaded. If you are certified in these skills in an unloaded boat, you may be very
surprised when you try to use those skills in a fully loaded boat.
Just like kayakers, sailors have their own problems that are rampant in their community. Many sailors have
never taken a sailing class. Most that have taken a class are in classes that focus on sailing faster, pointing
higher, reading the wind and tide, and other skills not focused on survival. Most of these classes don't deal with
self rescue, assisted rescues or hypothermia. If you had a class that did cover these skills, great! But you still
need to practice them regularly.
By learning and practicing these skills and others appropriate for your boat,you will be more likely to survive
a WaterTribe Challenge.
It is up to each WaterTriber to know the skills listed for your boat class and to practice all those
skills prior to showing up at any WaterTribe event. You must certify that you have done so in the WaterTribe
Entrance Requirement Document during registration at the event.
Here are some questions you will need to answer for yourself as part of your own skills assessment. Some of
these questions may be asked during your equipment inspection.
We do suggest that you practice capsize and recovery with a fully loaded kayak in a controlled and safe environment
before signing up for a Watertribe event. Also, practice with each storage compartment completely flooded.
These are some of the skills you should practice: