Getting in and out of your kayak
Getting in and out of your kayak can be a fun challenge. You may choose to get into your boat on the river bank or on the water. Heres a quick guide to the two techniques.
How to get in and out of your kayak on the bank
1. Pick a nice flat area so that the boat is stable, not too far from the waters edge.
2. Have the seat set where you think it should go and have the foot system opened to its widest point. See the outfitting section for advice on how to set up your boat.
3. Sit on the stern deck of the boat with one leg on either side.
4.Place both feet into the boat one either side of the wall and slide your legs into the boat until your sitting in the seat.
5. Pull your knees down and out into the thigh braces.
6. Snug up the back band so that the you are sat comfortably in the kayak with a good paddling posture.
7. Tighten the foot system so that there is even pressure on the balls of the feet.
8. When you are ready to go, slide of the bank and into the water
Getting out of the boat is the same process in reverse. You should not need to remove the hip pads or adjust your footrests to get out. You can leave them set ready for your next paddle.
How to Launch on the water.
1. Look for a good launching position on the shore next to a calm eddy or flat section of water.
Watch out for hazards such as wet rocks, uneven ground, or a drop off into the water. Try and choose a spot where you have plenty of space on the water to move around without the river catching you or pushing off from the bank.
2. Place your kayak onto the water keeping hold of it so it doesn’t float off.
3. Similar to the technique we just practiced on the land place one foot over the kayak.
4. Sit on the stern deck of the boat with one leg on either side holding onto the bank for support.
5. Place feet in the boat on either side of the wall and slide your legs into the boat until your sitting in the seat.
6. Pull your knees down and out into the thigh braces.
7. Snug up the back band so that the you are sat comfortably with a good paddling posture.
8. Tighten the foot system so that there is even pressure on the balls of the feet.
9. When you are ready to go, let go of the bank
Getting out of the boat is the same process in reverse. You do not need to remove the hip pads or adjust your footrests on the way out. Leave them set ready for your next paddle.
Additional stability can be gained when getting in and out of the boat whilst its on the water by placing the paddle behind the cockpit rim and a blade on shore (back face down). Pinch the paddle to the kayak rim with both hands and you turn your boat into a tripod. This is helpful during the early stages of learning as you figure out how the balance points work in the boat.
Choose your launch/exit point well
Set your outfitting up before you get onto the water.
If you fall in, make sure you smile its all part of the learning process.
If you find getting in and out of your boat difficult or awkward, ask someone to help. They can hold the end of the kayak for you and help balance the boat whilst you climb in and set yourself up in the boat.