Alaska Cruise Kayaking

I really am a rank beginner, hoping to get some advice on whether a reasonably fit 56 year old woman should go kayaking as part of a shore excursion in Alaska. It seems like a great way to experience some special places. However, I have a problem with one knee which gets really painful if I have to leave it in one position for extended periods of time. Does anybody know anything about the seating position that’s typically used in these kayaks? Never having been inside a kayak, I have no idea whether there’s room to change position, etc. I’d appreciate any words of wisdom. Thanks!

Alaska Cruise Kayaking
I think the best advice anyone could give you would be to go rent a Touring kayak for an hour or so and see how your legs do.

No matter what boat you are in, having you legs in one position for an extended period of time is certainly one of the drawbacks of paddling. While you can use some tricks to try and prevent discomfort (Wiggling your toes, stretching, flexing your leg muscles etc…) your legs will invariably fall asleep after a period of time.

You are correct in guessing that this is a great way of seeing areas that would not be possible without a kayak and an opportuntiy you should certainly jump at, but to ease your mind and answer your questions I would definitely recommend a test paddle.

Hope that helps.


I went on a shore exc. in Juneau
I agree with Boylston’s suggestion to try a local shop. As for the excursions they are not very demanding since they don’t know the skill levels of the people signing up. The trip I was on used tandem boats on flat water so you should be able to move around some in the boat.

Hope you enjoy the trip.


Alaska guides
at least the 2 I encountered{1 in Seward , 1 in Valdez} were very accomadating as far as not trying to push newbies too much. They are used to inexperienced{I had never been before either} paddlers and do thier best to stop when you need or to help make footpeg adjustments so you can reposition that knee, ect. to keep you comfortable and having as much fun as possible. And if you want, before you sign up for an all day outting in Seward, you could rent boats for an hour at a time just to get a feel for how you might do on a longer trip.If memory serves me correct the name of the place with hourly rentals was Miller’s Landing. Believe me it would be worth a little discomfirt to be able to see the Alaskan coast this way.Good Luck and have a great time in Alaska. you will be visiting one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Go for it.
I had my mom do a kayaking excursion with me in Hawaii. She’s in her 60’s and has never done it before.

The guides are used to beginners. They may put you in a tandem with one of them if you are really nervous about it but either way they are really good at catering to a new person kayaking.

Have fun.