Getting into your kayak from dry land is one of the easiest and best ways to get into your kayak. As opposed to getting into a kayak in the water, getting into your kayak from dry land allows you to enter your kayak without entirely getting wet.
Still, there are a few things that you’ll want to pay attention to so that you are successful and don’t get hurt.
Getting into a Kayak from Shore
Launching your kayak from a beach is one of the more standard and easier ways to enter a kayak.
Before getting into the kayak on dry land you should check around the area to make sure that there are no rocks in your way or you might scratch or puncture your kayak. If possible, try to find a sandy area first if you are planning on getting into your kayak from shore. Once you’ve determined that there are no rocks in your direct path, you’ll be ready to get going.
Step 1: Pull your kayak a little bit off the beach so that the bow is already floating in the water.
This will be important so that you’ll be able to get off the beach once you’re in the kayak. You’ll want the kayak to be partially grounded so that you’ll be able to pull yourself away from the beach. Also, you need to make sure that you can push the kayak off the beach enough so that it will easily slide into the water once you are inside. Keep in mind that the kayak will settle lower in the water after you get in.
Step 2: Enter your kayak and sit down.
Make sure your paddle is within reaching distance before getting too comfortable!
Step 3: Use your paddle to push off the beach into the water or your body’s momentum to gently slide into the water.
If you positioned your kayak correctly in step 1 then it shouldn’t be too hard to enter the water.
If you are getting into a two-person kayak on dry land make sure that you pull the kayak a little bit further from the beach since it will have the weight of two people in it.
That’s it! You are ready to start paddling.
Getting into your kayak from dry land is probably the easier part. The harder part now is to paddle through the surf. Knowing how to read the surf can help tremendously as you paddle out.
Always make sure you are comfortable with the surf conditions before you head out.
If you’re interested in learning how to read waves here is an introductory article for surfers on learning how to read waves.
The last thing you want is to get capsized by waves or thrown out of your kayak.
Getting into a Kayak from a Dock
If you are on a lake or paddling in a bay then the most likely way you will get into your kayak is from a dock. Boat launch ramps are typically concrete and will scratch your kayak if your try the method described above.
Getting into a kayak from a dock can be more challenging but once you do it a couple of times it will become second nature.
Step 1: Lower the kayak into the water from the dock.
This is typically easier with two people but can be done by one person. If you are by yourself just make sure to slide the kayak into the water in a slow and controlled fashion.
If the kayak moves to quickly and you don’t have control, the kayak might slide right out of your hands into open water. Then you might have to jump in the water to go get it!
Step 2: Sit on the edge of the dock and stabilize the kayak with your feet.
The best place to stabilize the kayak with your feet is probably going to be the seat. It is typically the center of mass of the kayak and therefore the best area to control the kayak.
Also, your paddle should be resting on the dock in a spot that will be easy to grab once you are in the kayak.
Step 3: While holding the dock for stability stand slowly on top of the seat while also turning to face the front of the kayak.
This is probably the hardest part about getting into a kayak from a dock.
If the kayak starts to wobble try to stabilize the kayak by bending your knees in squatting fashion and activating your core.
This will help you stabilize the kayak and prevent you from falling out.
Step 4: Lower yourself into your kayak and sit down while maintaining hold of the dock.
Grab your paddle and you are ready to go!
The last thing to remember and probably most important is that you always want to be safe while getting into a kayak from a dock. The last thing you want to happen is to fall and hit your head against the dock.
Always put on your PFD (life vest) before entering the kayak from shore.
It also doesn’t hurt to have someone watching while you get into your kayak.
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