Before you can learn how to kayak, you must first learn how to get in and out of a kayak. Getting in and out of a kayak can be tricky, but we’re sure that after a little practice you’ll figure it out quickly. Simply put, there are three different ways you’re likely to enter a kayak – from shore, from the dock, or from deep water. Each option has its own advantages and challenges.
How to get into your kayak from shore
Getting into your kayak from shore is much easier, especially for those learning to kayak. Whether it’s a lakeshore, seashore, or waterfront, the best way to start is to move your kayak as close to the shoreline as possible. You can then sit in the kayak and use your hands to submerge yourself in the water until you float on the surface. If you’re worried about scratching the hull on land, move the kayak to shallow water and climb in. Simply sit in the kayak on the seat and sit down quickly, placing your feet last.
How to get into the kayak from the dock
Docks are convenient places to get into your kayak, but getting it off requires a little finesse. Try these steps to help:
- Lower your kayak from the dock to the surface of the water, making sure the kayak is kept parallel to the dock.
- Position the paddle so that it is within easy reach of the seat. You can also hold your kayak in an offset position by placing either end of the paddle on the kayak and dock.
- Keep in mind that the taller you are, the more difficult it will be to get into the kayak. This means you will want to sit on the lowest point of the dock, as close to the kayak as possible.
- When you sit on the edge of the dock, first lower your feet into the kayak. Then quickly position your body toward the front of the kayak and lower yourself into the seat.
Want to make it even easier? Consider a kayak launch docking system – they are designed to make kayak boarding, kayak launching and re-docking much more stable and much easier for kayakers of any skill level.
How to get into a kayak from deep water
There may be occasions where you will need to enter a kayak from deep water. This is probably the most difficult way to enter a kayak, but with patience it can be done. The most important thing is to keep your kayak steady between each movement you make.
Here’s how you can do it:
- First, place one hand on the side of the kayak closest to you and the other hand on the opposite side so that your arm extends through the hole in the seat.
- Pull yourself up on the kayak so that your belly button is above the seat. Your feet will still be halfway in the water.
- Then turn around to get your butt on the seat. Your feet will still be dangling in the water, but you should now have most of your body in the kayak.
- Make sure the kayak is stable, pull your legs up and place them in front of you.
The instructions for getting out of the kayak are easy to remember – just follow the steps in reverse order. Once ashore, submerge your kayak in shallow water or as close to land as possible. Lift your feet out of the kayak, stand up and stand up. As you step out of the kayak onto the dock, turn your body to face the dock and pull yourself out of the kayak.
Fortunately, many docking systems created today can easily accommodate kayakers of all levels and skill levels. Our passion for spending time on the water has led us to create floating kayak launch systems to make getting in and out of the water easy.