How to Get in and Out of a Kayak
Last Updated on July 30th, 2020
Paddling can be both fun and relaxing. Irrespective of the physical fitness levels, people of all ages can partake in this hobby. However, paddlers with bigger than average bodies usually struggle to get in and out of a kayak.
Imagine getting tipped over in cold and chilly water when trying in or out of a kayak. It’s another thing to be accompanied by a fellow paddler, but there is a risk of injury when you go out solo.
According to a report by the Victoria State Government, injuries only occur if the skill and equipment level are of sub-par quality. So, if you have check-marked the aforementioned factors, your next goal should be to learn the right way to get in and out of a kayak. An accident is more likely to occur with a sit-inside kayak. A sit-on-top kayak is generally buoyant.
How to Get in and Out of a Kayak: Step-By-Step Instructions
Getting in and Out of a Kayak From a Shore
Kayaking from the shore is quite common; in fact, most paddlers prefer to learn kayaking from a shoreline. When getting into a kayak from a coastline, instead of hoping directly into the cockpit, you must deal with the varying levels of earth. Also, sometimes the shoreline can be bumpy. Hence, it would help if you learned the right technique to quickly get in and out of a kayak.
The following steps will help you get in a kayak from a shoreline:
To get into a kayak from the shoreline, let the bow and mid-portion of the kayak into the water. Let the rear side or stern of the kayak rest on top of the sand.
Get to the right side of the cockpit and place the paddle behind you. Hold the paddle with both hands, palms facing backward. This method is known as “paddle bridging.”
Lower your body and let the right paddle rest on the sand. Next, rest your butt on the paddle handle and swiftly hop into the cockpit. During this period, the paddle will keep the front section of the boat from capsizing.
Lastly, use a blade of the paddle or your hand to shove the kayak into the water.
The following steps will help you get out of a kayak from a shoreline:
The paddle bridge method can also be used to get out of a kayak from a shoreline. Place the paddle behind the cockpit. Grasp the handle with both hands.
Next, shift your weight on one side of the kayak. Let the paddle blade rest in the sand and act as an outrigger for balance. Put all your pressure on both hands and jump out of the cockpit. During this period, the paddle will prevent the kayak from overturning.
Getting in and Out of a Kayak From a Dock
Launching a kayak from a high dock can be quite intimidating, especially if you are not athletic. Although the pier is 2-4 feet above the water, it is possible to enter and exit a kayak harmlessly. To make things easier, I recommend attaching a 2-3 meter rope somewhere near the cockpit region. It will help you keep the boat in place when getting in and out of the cockpit from a dock.
The following steps will help you get in a kayak from a dock:
Assuming you are positioned near the edge of a dock, place the kayak into the water by lifting it with the rope. Take a rope with length equal to the distance between the dock’s edge and the water surface. Tie the loose end on the dolly hook. A clove hitch knot would be ideal.
Step into the kayak with your arms and upper body resting onto the dock. The rope will act as an outrigger and keep the boat in place.
Once you are in the cockpit, untie the rope. Feel free to stand while untying the rope as the kayak won’t overturn with you inside it.
Lastly, push the kayak away from the dock by pushing the dock wall. Now you are free to paddle.
The following steps will help you get out of a kayak from a dock:
To get out of the kayak, move up against the dock wall and get as close to the dolly hook as possible.
Reattach the rope to the dolly hook, but this time tie a bowline knot.
Next, lift your body up and immediately place your hand on the deck. Also, rest the inner side of the rib-cage on the dock. Lift one foot and roll your body onto the dock. Use the other foot to push yourself up.
Apart from physical injuries, several other factors can make getting in and out of a kayak, a challenge. For instance, a vacationer who has rented a house on a quiet lake would struggle to perform the necessary tasks involved in kayaking. The above post will also profit first-time paddlers who do not have the time to undergo training.
You may also like to read our article on tie down a kayak in a truck bed.