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How to Get Into Your Kayak

A few handy tips will make getting in and out of your kayak safe and easy.

5 Min. Watch | Paddling

No matter what kind of water you’re paddling, it’s important to know how to safely and easily get in and out of your kayak. We’ll cover the most common places you’ll be launching your kayak from: a dock and a beach.

Getting In and Out of Your Kayak from a Dock

Getting In

Start by sitting on the dock with your feet gently resting in the kayak. Lay your paddle on the dock perpendicular to your boat. Slide your feet into the cockpit. Here my favorite saying is “stay low, go slow”.…….imagine you’re doing the Limbo and need to get as low as possible. As you slide your feet in, gently lower yourself into the cockpit while keeping a good hold on the dock.

Getting Out

When you want to get out of the kayak, just do the same thing in reverse. Paddle nice and close to the dock, raise your knees and pull yourself up onto the dock. Be careful to keep your feet in the boat to prevent it from floating away……..unless you’ve decided now is the time to go for a swim!

Getting In and Out of Your Kayak from a Beach

Getting In

This is the best option if you’re uncomfortable with using a dock. Make sure the boat is floating. If your boat has a skeg or rudder, make sure they are up and out of the way. Grip the paddle shaft and the cockpit coaming with one hand while extending the paddle out perpendicularly as far as you can. Depending on your flexibility, you can straddle the kayak or stand on the same side of the paddle. Sit on the rear deck just behind the cockpit and lean toward the extended paddle. Now just swing your feet and legs into the cockpit and sit in the seat.

Getting Out

When it’s time to get out, just paddle back into shallow water and reverse the steps you took to get in. Swing your legs out and sit on the rear deck using the paddle for stability and stand up on the side of the extended paddle.

Planning some paddling adventures? Get outfitted with everything you need:


Life Jackets & PFDsActive Clothing

Planning some paddling adventures? Get outfitted with everything you need:




Life Jackets & PFDs

Active Clothing

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