Kayaking is an exciting activity that many people are looking forward to trying out someday. However, the technicalities that they need to master is what’s stopping them from going on such trips.
Getting in or out of a kayak isn’t easy, especially for beginners, because you need to find stability to attain your balance while climbing in or out. With a lot of practice and willingness, you’ll be kayaking like a pro in no time.
In this article, we’ll give the best tips and tricks to help you get in and out of your kayak seamlessly, whether from a dock, beach, or the water.
Let’s get into it!
From a Dock
Having a friend by your side when launching from a dock will possibly make the process a lot easier for you, as they can hold the kayak still till you get in and out of the vessel.
Firstly, you should parallelly align the kayak to a low dock, where you can lessen the trouble of getting in.
Secondly, try to throw the paddle within a grabbing distance from the kayak to paddle away once you get in.
Finally, you should fit your legs into the cockpit first, as quick and calm as you can without causing any turbulence in the water or the kayak.
Now, you can paddle away!
Firstly, it’d be best if you aligned your kayak parallel to a low deck, to make getting out of the kayak much more manageable.
Secondly, you need to use both your hands to grab the dock. Using your full strength and relying all your body weight on the dock, pull yourself upwards.
Finally, if you have a friend who can hold the kayak still for you, don’t hesitate to ask them for that favor.
From a Beach
The way you get into a kayak from a beach can change according to your kayak's material.
If you have a plastic kayak, you can place the kayak perpendicular to the shoreline, where half of the kayak is on the water, and the other half is still on the sand.
Then, you can enter your kayak by entering one leg at a time slowly and slide the rest of your body into the cockpit after fitting in your legs.
However, if you own a graphite glass kayak, it could be scratched from the sand's harshness. Only then, it'd help if you moved the kayak a little bit more into the water to avoid any damage that may occur.
Also, when you’re getting out of the kayak, having a friend who can stabilize the vessel until you get out will make your process more comfortable. Just in case you’re going solo, you should follow the following instructions to get out of the kayak.
First, you should paddle till you reach the shore and position the kayak perpendicular to the shoreline.
Second, you need to get one foot out of the kayak, followed by the other. Then, use your hands to grab the kayak, balance yourself, and rely on them to maintain full stability.
Finally, start pushing your body upwards and out of the kayak gently and quickly.
From the Water
Some kayaking trips may not go as planned. If you make a wrong move, you might fall out of the kayak. Getting into the kayak from the water is one of the most difficult techniques that you need to master, especially for beginners.
When beginners fall into the water, they panic, which is a normal reaction for every human being. However, staying calm is the secret tip that you’ll get you back into your cockpit.
One factor that will make getting back into the kayak easier is having a partner by your side to still hold your paddle. For a newbie, kayaking in cold deep waters is very dangerous.
Firstly, under no circumstances should you leave your paddle away from your grabbing distance. You can give the paddle to your partner to hold it for you, or you can put the paddle perpendicular to the boat so that you can carry it when you get it in.
Secondly, you need to have strong arms to pull yourself upwards and back into the kayak. Start by using your arm’s strength to push your body upwards till you can fit one of your legs into the cockpit.
Finally, slide the rest of your body into the cockpit, and only when you feel most balanced, start reaching out for your paddle.
Getting out of a kayak is the reverse process of getting into a kayak from shallow waters.
Firstly, you need to free your legs from the cockpit. Then, it would help if you slid both your legs out of it.
Secondly, you need to use your hands as support, hold onto both sides of the cockpit, and push your entire body upwards.
Lastly, once your whole body is outside the kayak, try to maintain your balance and fix your footing on solid ground.
Newbies should never kayak alone. You never know what obstacles you might face while kayaking in cold waters. Consequently, it’d be best if you brought along some company to keep you safe.
Start by kayaking in shallow waters to go back to shore if things didn’t go as planned. Once you get the hang of things, you can go deeper, preferably with a trainer.
When you feel that you’ve mastered the process of getting in and out of a kayak, only then can you paddle your way to deep, cold waters.