Entry and Exit of small cockpit

I paddle a Current Designs Squamish. The cockpit is short enough that if I sit in the seat with my legs curled up in front of me, I can’t slide them under the front of the kayak. I have to sit on the rear of the kayak with my legs straddling each side just behind the seat, slide my legs in and then slide into the seat from there. Getting out is the real challenge; about half the time I get my butt out of the seat and then capsize after getting one leg over the side. Are there any videos of people entering and exiting kayaks with small cockpit openings? Any advice on how to do it?


Your cockpit is 29 x 16 x 12.5" deep. Fairly tight. I get in my 29.5 x 15.5 x 13.5 deep Extreme. 6" 230 lb. Depth makes a difference also. For me getting legs out at beach is a shin dragger. Use your paddle as a brace. Some vids on utube.


In my Sea Rider I will use my paddle (greenland style) as an outrigger support - not to shore but in the water - and put my hands on the gunwales on each side making sure to load each evenly. Then push up onto the back deck and wiggle out. Very similar to the video.

Both the video and the link to the previous discussion were helpful. Thanks. I wish there were more videos of getting in and out of small cockpits. After getting the hints on terms, I tried searching for Greenland kayak exit and small cockpit exit but didn’t turn up much of use.

Yeah. The ones that tell you to start with one leg out first aren’t very helpful.

This has been discussed extensively on the Greenland forum, in the past.
One old thread is at http://www.qajaqusa.org/cgi-bin/TechniqueForumArchive10_config.pl/read/11599.

Rival51 has it right. Here’s what I wrote in the old Qajaq USA thread above:

On the Greenland beaches where I have seen a kayak launched or launched one myself, the shore was rocky and steep, and as Harvey [Golden] mentions, using a seaward “outrigger” is the only practical method for this type of terrain. These deep water launches also don’t affect the skegs, which are found on many kayaks.

For getting into the kayak the paddle is often jammed under the deck straps on the foredeck, pointing aft at about 45 degrees, you step into the center of the cockpit and use the strong decklines to lower yourself down in a slow and controlled manner. Elastic decklines simply don’t translate the technique. You also need a low, flat foredeck for this which rules out most commercial sea kayaks.

For getting out the paddle is placed behind the cockpit.



Everything seems much more workable if I can get my but from the cockpit to the back deck of the kayak.

In the initial lift\ wiggle, what do your legs do? Can you push yourself up? Does it have to be all arm strength?

I’m doing this to get healthy. I’m not there yet. Targets I can train for through the winter.

The youtubes can’t show what’s inside the kayak.

In my kayak I can get a little traction from the hull with my feet. You could even add some roughness in a spot to help you like 3 M non-skid or even an epoxy mix. Epoxy may hurt resale.

While sitting in the kayak, if you cannot lift one leg out of the boat, you really should consider a different boat. Or you might find a paddling buddy who is able to steady your boat while you struggle your way in and out of the one you have.

Try a Sirocco.

This seems to be a feature of the Ocean Cockpit. I don’t think the paddler in the video above can simply lift out one leg.

I think the Sirocco cockpit is wider but I don’t think it is longer than the Gulfstream.

As you might expect given that the Sirocco is the poly version of the Gulfstream, they both have identical 30” x 16.5” cockpit dimensions at least according to CD’s specs.

It’s weird that the reported cockpit size varies. I’ll measure when I’m with the boat again

I’ll post in my Gulfstream thread.

I guess we don’t know exactly how CD measures them but they obviously have different rims. That shouldn’t really make a difference though.

Height is also critical. Measure a Sirroco poly for kicks. I have Extreme regular and HV and it makes a difference.

In my case, the legs are coming along for the ride and need to be very straight. My coaming is also rather smaller than yours at L- 21 W = 16.75. I’m about 9" to the center of section 4 that functions as the masik in the sea rider. I wonder if your issue may be the height of the back deck. Mine is quite low so it is not much of a lift to get onto it.