Advice on getting in/out of a kayak

Just took the maiden voyage in my new (used) kayak. Very windy day with whitecaps on the Missisippi but was alot of fun. Looking for some tips on getting in and out of these babies w/o getting wet. I ended up sticking my foot in the water getting in and when getting out for the final time I fell in! Not nearly as easy as canoe. My first impressions were 1) not as stable as I would have thought and 2) faster than I thought they would be. I’ve spent a good deal of time in canoes and have no issues with stability or getting in/out. My kayak is 17ft Necky Narpa. Thanks!

Kick Stand…

– Last Updated: May-23-07 6:54 AM EST –

I found this interesting :

Check out the "See it in Action" video !

There are numerous ways to enter and exit a kayak. Alot depends on location, sand ,rocky beach ect. Also your body size and mobility. Read some of the kayaking books that usually have a chapter on this subject. Vaughn Fulton

Getting out
Coming into a beach:

Come in parallel to the shore and get as close as you can.

Place your paddle behind your coaming with the blade on the beach and most of the shaft on the beach side also.

Squeeze the paddle shaft to the coaming with your hand that is on the deep water side.

Grasp the paddle shaft that is toward the beach with your hand that is toward the beach, (all of this is done behind your back)

While leaning back on the beach side of the paddle shaft and coaming slide your butt up and bring the leg that is closest to the beach up and out of the cockpit and onto the beach.

Continue to keep your weight on the beach side and raise the rest of yourself up and around.

Practice it and it and as soon as it becomes second nature you’ll stop using it and just put your beach side leg into the water and stand up!



Heavy weight exit
If the person is too heavy and can’t lift his boy up and out of the cockpit with his arms, what would you suggest him to do?

Listen to JackL
Skip the kickstand… terrible idea for anyone who wants to do paddling where there are waves etc.

As to not being able to lift body out of boat - you really only need to get the body sitting on the rear deck behind the cockpt. At that point your legs should be free enough to be useful. Only two things I can think of - come into the beach and take the boat over on its side then slide out sideways, or work on the upper body strength. The latter is probably the better idea.

This works, but …
You can break your paddle doing this, especially if you are heavier and have, say, a carbon fiber paddle.

Sit on top boat…and beginners class
There a good article in this months Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine about saltwater fishing from kayaks. The author is a heavy guy and SOT boats seem to best accommodate “full figured folk”.

Also…I’ve been canoeing all my life but just bought my first kayak. After a couple of outings, it became apparent that canoe skills don’t work in decked kayaks. So, I took an all day beginners course last Saturday that had us getting in and out of little tiny ‘creek boats’, serious white water boats, touring boats, you name it. That class compressed a couple years of trial and error into one day. Find a class in your area and take it! Money well spent.

backwards exit works for me
First of all I am heavy in the middle, far too heavy. My left knee is weak due to things having been ripped many years ago.

Last fall I discovered that by turning about and putting my weight on my left hand on the back of my kayak and then lifting my right leg out and into the sand and using my paddle for stability but not to support my weight I could make a very dry exit. Using this method I transfer my weight from my left arm to my right leg.

In and Outs of Kayaking
is a good short article on kayak entry/exit. You’ll find it under Weekly Articles at Features in the left margin of this website.

Any day on the water is a great day,


Paddle risk
This is a risk I forgot. But you can also gradually shift more weight onto the boat behind you as your balance improves, also just plain do it faster. That’ll limit paddle breakage.

Straddle, sit and pull in legs
my favorite: straddle the kayak with your legs around the area of the front of the coaming (wet feet are a given). Sit your butt down in the seat. Brace on the water (or the bottom if you must) and pull your legs into the boat one at a time.

This is a very stable way of entry, and does not have the potential of breaking your paddle.


That’s the method I use, also.
Works every time in any conditions with any kind of bottom.

Getting out, I come parallel, plant the blade on the shore side, swing both legs out over the side (on the shore side)and just stand up. When it’s windy and choppy, I just do a wet exit.

and to think …
I was recently excorciated on these pages for referring to one needing lessons on how to get in and out of a kayak!

“boy” ???

-Loose weight

-Start strengthening your upper body

-Roll over and get wet.

I quoted the book method which will work for the average kayaker.



Holy Crap ! You mean I have a clone.
You sound like me, except I think the right knee is just starting to go now.

I’ll probably have to put my self in and out using crutches as supports in another couple of years,




Skip the kickstand… terrible idea for anyone who wants to do paddling where there are waves etc.

Would you care to Expand on that comment?

What does waves have to do with it?? Wouldn’t a wave have the same effect on a regular dismount?? Or are you against Advanced Technology ? :smiley:

Look more carefully at the web site
The models listed that can use the kickstand are all recreational boats. It cannot be used if you use a spray skirt since it sits on the cockpit rim. It is not a solution to the problem posed.

I must have missed( between the lines) in his Post that he was using a Spray Skirt ? Me Bad !!

Any type of…
exit that risks the paddle is ridiculous. Just get your darn feet wet, and move on. Alternatively, with a plastic boat and a sand beach, just beach the darn thing, head on, and step out. This IS a water sport, after all… :slight_smile: