How to Get in a Kayak (without falling in)
Getting in a kayak might seem like a simple task, but beginners often struggle with it. No matter where your kayak is placed, there are some handy techniques to make your life easier and ensure you always launch your yak safely.
How to Get in a Kayak
The best place to launch your kayak from is a sandy beach. Move your kayak to the edge of the water and simply climb onto your kayak and sit within the cockpit. You should use your hands to reposition yourself properly into the interior cockpit cavity, ensuring your legs and feet are exactly where they need to be. If your kayak hull is made from a sensitive material like fibreglass, you should avoid climbing into your kayak while it is still on land. Instead, always ensure it is slightly submerged in water before you add your bodyweight to it. When your kayak is floating in water, straddle the yak and then gently lower your body down into the cockpit. You are then free to start paddling.
However, you may be accessing your kayak from a dock. If this is the case, you need to reconsider how you will get in. You should always aim to have your kayak as close to the dock as possible. The further away from the top of the dock your yak is, the more difficult it will be to enter it. The best advice here is to ensure your kayak is placed parallel to the dock before entering. Sit down inside of it, with your feet firmly within the cockpit. As you are facing towards the bow section of your kayak, make sure you maintain a firm hold on the doc with your hands. Then lower yourself firmly into the seat. You need to ensure your paddle is easy to reach so you can begin paddling away quickly.
You may also encounter a scenario where you need to get into your kayak from a rocky shoreline. If you find yourself in this situation, first ensure that your kayak is lying parallel to the shoreline. Next, place your paddle behind the cockpit, with one of your paddle blades resting firmly on the rocky shore. You should then grab the paddle firmly behind your back with both hands firmly gripping the shaft. You can then slide yourself into the kayak seat.