difficulty getting out of my kayak

I have two kayaks. I use a Necky Zoar Sport in the winter and a CD Solstice SS in the summer. (I have never capsized the Solstice, but figure the Zoar is a better bet in icy water)

The Zoar has a 35x16 cockpit and it very easy to get out of.

The Solstice has a 29x16 cockpit, and even after moving the seat back an inch, I still can’t get out of it; too old/fat. I simply can’t get my second leg out of it and end up squirming out; one of these days I am going to twist my knee doing it. Besides that little problem, I love it.

I am looking at a QCC Q700 that has a 30x16 cockpit. The mfg says it has “a long deep cockpit that is easy to get in and out of”. Well, that sounds nice, but will an extra inch make that much difference? Or is the seat made differently, or maybe some other difference that makes it easier to get out of?

I found a nice one reasonably priced, but it is a long trip to even look at it, If I will get there and find it is no better than the Solstice, then…

Any advice (even some great way to get out of kayak) would be appreciated.

A healthy front-to-back slant in

– Last Updated: Jul-18-15 11:39 AM EST –

a cockpit can compensate for a short cockpit length, to a certain extent. Depth of the bow at the front of the cockpit also makes a difference.

But if you are considering QCC, and can afford a new one, ask if they can put in a longer cockpit.

WW cockpits are usually around 34 inches long. Not sure why some touring cockpits are shorter.

Cockpit length
I have a similar issue getting out of kayaks. My Stellar S18 has a 32" cockpit and that works well for me. I doubt that 30" is going to be enough.

sit on back deck first
Then get out. Should give you more length to work with. Solstice series boats should be kind enough to be solid there.

You didn’t say what size you are
I have a QCC-700.

I am 5’9" and weigh 158 pounds. I am ancient, so I am not as pliable as many younger paddlers.

I have several ways of getting in and out of it.

  1. I stand straddling the cockpit with a leg on each side. Then I plump my butt down in the seat with the two legs still outside but up kind of parallel with the front deck. Then I simply bend each leg one at a time and bring it into the boat and under the deck

  2. If you can’t do that, the way I used to do it prior to my knee replacement (when I had a very stiff knee and couldn’t bend that leg):

    Stand beside the boats cockpit on one side facing forward. Place the leg closest to the boat in on the hull floor just in front of the seat. Then stoop and while leaning slightly backwards at the same time put each of your hands behind you on the rear coaming.

    Then put all of your weight on the two hands that are on the coaming and slide the leg that is already in the boat forward and at the same time bring your other leg in and sit down on the seat.

    Then there is always the book method which is similar to Number 2 above but using a paddle held against the coaming with one long end off to the shore side and against the bottom under water.

    jack L

It is getting out…
I get into my Solstice by straddling it, putting one leg and my butt in, and then the second leg. That is reasonably easy.

It is getting out that is difficult.

take a lap

– Last Updated: Jul-18-15 8:00 PM EST –

its come to this....mining fat people.


look here: http://animalfactguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/grizzlybear-2.jpg

..... planning for Alaska, practice the running entry


garb yak coaming both sides

run forward

run into cockpit

left foot then right foot

begin paddling with left bracing against left foot ingress


grab coaming sides

bring feet back n brace back n up

push up with arms

sit up and back onto rear deck


should be videos ?

I have the QCC700 as well,
and am 6’ 200# with a 33" inseam. I can get my legs out of the cockpit before my butt, but barely. My other boats I have to lift the butt before the legs, which is a drag when I’m not beached. The downside of the QCC is the length of the thing. I love it on open water, but for swamp stomps and small spring runs, I leave it home.


I have arthritis
And also have had issues getting out of boats when a quick exit is a necessity (surf or rocky landings). Using cockpit covers or skirts are a good gauge of overall size of cockpits. I have found that the smallest size of cockpit cover I can easily get in and out of is a Seals 1.7 ; once I made this determination I no longer looked at smaller cockpit boats.

When I happen to be in a boat with a smaller opening I can often compensate by loosening up the back band as much as possible. In all of my boats I adjust the attachment points of the back band so it can be loosened so it nearly will rest on the rear combing; giving me more room to get out.

I get out, just the opposite of …
getting in.

Jack L

Due to injuries
I have a less flexible right knee. Getting out of the boat requires the following steps:

-hands on boat just behind hips

-push down and lift butt to top of combing and slide back toward rear deck

-extract left (good leg) and place on ground

The next step is one of the following:

-trip over boat and crawl out

-extract right leg and straddle boat and stand

-catch right foot on combing and fall to the left

Alternate method: tilt boat to side crawl out a bit, push boat away with the legs. Squirm out of boat onto beach (best on sandy beaches).

I gave up on dignified exits years ago.


1 Like


– Last Updated: Jul-19-15 1:26 PM EST –

All QCC have the same cockpit size, but the boats vary in depth. I have a Q400 that I find fairly easy to get in and out of, it's 14.5" deep at the front of the coaming. I've paddled a Q700, which is 11" deep at the front of the coaming, and I found it quite difficult to enter and exit, it really felt very different.

I would guess the Solstice at 13.75" deep, even with the small SS cockpit, would be easier to enter and exit than a Q700.

Sounds like what you need is a Solstice GT Titan with a 35" by 17.5" cockpit opening. They come up for sale used occasionally. I have a CD Pachena, (a shortened Solstice, now discontinued) with this cockpit opening, and it is a breeze to use.

14.5 is a lotta
foot room…max in the commercial field ? Your feet hypotenuse from vertical so shorter than say my size 14.5 sandals unless the need is a wet exit before Niagara…

The Titan’s cockpit is good for me at 6’4" and very comfortable in air circulation open cockpit or with a Koko gore-tex spray skirt.

Best limbering up on the way in…flex ankles n toes, bend knees back and froth

more ttuba …
screwing together a tuba4 cockpit of small studwalls with a back deck of something solid. Dry practice in there then you home free on the water.

But please, as written, flopping out on the beach is OK.

Jus’ doahn let anyone see you do that …

Getting out
I Have a Valley Skerray with small cockpit in which I used to have trouble getting out of the cockpit. My arms are too short to lift my butt up onto the rear deck to do the conventional exit. I’ve found that while steadying the kayak with the paddle on the bottom, I can roll over in the cockpit. Place my hands on the rear deck and then step out of the kayak gracefully. Prior to learning this technique I’d end up doing a wet exit.

Getting out of a Kayak
Those of you who get your butt up on the rear and then get your legs out… How do you avoid capsizing while doing that?

No, really; unless you have the agility of cat, its just going to go over. Isn’t it?

And of course there is the secondary issue of having the strength to push your butt up there after paddling a great while.

I looked on Youtube and their recommendations are all fine on my Zoar.

I did however like that there were several videos on how to get out AFTER you capsize. That has never really been a problem!