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Friday 23 June 2017
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Launching and Landing

A safe launch and landing is essential and personal safety is always the primary concern.

How to Launch a Kayak

Ideally, you should enter your boat while it is floating.

1. Stand with both feet on the same side of the boat

2. Enter the kayak with your butt first. This will allow you to lower the center of gravity of the kayak and help you balance.

3. Rotate your feet around and lift them onto the boat.

4. You can also step onto the kayak or climb on by straddling the kayak.

If you are going to paddle standing up it is worth practising this in deep water. Note if you start to fall. Fall into the water and not onto the kayak.

5. If needed, have another paddler stabilise the boat while you climbs in.

How to Land a kayak

When landing, ideally you are looking for a calm, stable, sheltered section of beach, bay or lake to get out of your kayak.

1. Approach the shore one at a time to avoid a pile-up or collision with another kayak.

2. Raise any rudders and skegs before entering shallow water

3. Approach the shore straight on.

4. Exit your boat in the same way you got into your kayak just in reverse.

5. Lift both legs from the boat and plant both feet firmly on the same side of the kayak

6. Lift your butt from the seat.

7. Stand up and guide your kayak into the shore.

In calm water landing parallel to shore may make this easier.

Top tips

Once you’ve landed look after and care for your equipment immediately. Paddles should never be stuck in the sand or left lying on the ground where they can be stepped on and broken.

Be aware of the environment around you and consider your effect on the environment when selecting a landing and launching point. Animal nesting sites, rookeries, or beaches with a high level of dangerous wildlife activity should always be avoided.

Be careful if you are getting out of your boat on the shore side of the boat in a current, tidal flow or waves as your boat may be pushed into you with force.

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