How to Get Into a Sit-on-Top Kayak From the Shore

How to Get Into a Sit-on-Top Kayak From the Shore
Entering a kayak is easy when you're practicing on land, while the boat lies still and the ground provides a stable surface to stand on. Getting into a kayak at the shoreline when you are ready to paddle out onto the water can be a bit more difficult, with the water pulling at the front of your kayak. But with a few simple techniques it will become an easy motion, especially in a sit-on-top kayak.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Position your kayak so that the front is floating in the lake or ocean you plan to paddle, and the back is resting firmly in the sand on shore. The kayak should be far enough in the water that the motion of the waves will make it waver, but not so far that it will go out with the tide.
Step 2
Angle the kayak to the water. It should not be perpendicular to the shoreline but not completely parallel, either. An angle of about 35 degrees is good, with the left side of the boat closer to shore, because this is the side from which you will enter. This angle brings the open seat area of the kayak a little closer to shore so that it is easier for you to access.
Step 3
Grab your paddle as you prepare to step into the kayak. It is important to practice getting in the kayak with the paddle because you need to know how to coordinate the two acts. It is nice when someone can hand you your paddle after you get in, but this isn't always possible, and someone always has to be the last one into his kayak.
Step 4
Stand to the left side of the kayak near the seating area (cockpit), as you are facing the water. Hold your paddle in your left hand, leaving the other hand open to grab the kayak for balance when you get in.
Step 5
Bend your knees and keep your left foot firmly planted on the ground, as you lift your right foot into the kayak and sit. Do not lift your left leg into the kayak until you have sat down all the way. As you are getting in, use your free hand to help balance yourself. Instead of reaching for the side of the boat, try to place your hand on the back of the seat. This way your weight is in the middle of the kayak and not the side. This will help keep the kayak from tipping.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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