How to Seal Launch a Kayak

How to Seal Launch a Kayak
"Seal launching" a kayak refers to dropping into the water from a rock or embankment. In areas where no good launch spots are available, this can be the best option or even the only option for entering a particular stretch of river. The drop and entry technique is similar to dropping over a ledge or falls into a pool. The seal launch is usually done into an eddy or area of calm water.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Inspect the landing area. This often overlooked step can mean the difference between a fun launch and a serious injury. Check the landing area for water depth and submerged hazards such as rocks or wood.
Step 2
Position your kayak and get inside. The boat should be near enough to the edge of the rock or embankment to be easily pushed off once you are inside, but not precariously so. You don't want to accidentally go over while still getting yourself situated in your boat.
Step 3
Push off. If you can, do so by rocking the boat forward with your hips and sliding over the edge, keeping both hands on your paddle. If this doesn't work, you may need to remove one hand from the paddle to help push off, then immediately return to paddling position.
Step 4
Angle the front of the kayak downward and lean back as you drop in. Leaning back keeps the weight off of the bow and allows a shallower dive and faster resurfacing. If you hit just right, your boat will quickly resurface right side up and ready to paddle. Be prepared to roll up, though, just in case you end up upside down.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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