Getting Into a Kayak if You are Large!

My husband wants to get into kayaking and we live on a lake. He’s not tall but of rather large girth (read beer belly!) and isn’t very limber. He got a used Pungo120 for his starter boat because of the large cockpit. I have no problem getting into my kayak from the dock, but it’s hard for him to get either in or out. Techniques, suggestions, etc. would be gratefully welcomed. (I read the previous articles posted about getting in/out but they don’t relate to entry via a dock when the kayak is in deep water!)

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Responses should come here
You really should have responses go to the board so that others can read them too.

Best way to get into the boat from a dock is to sit on the dock, feet hanging over the side. Twist your body so you can hold onto the dock with your hands. Gradually lower one foot onto the center of the seat. Then lower the other.

While supporting your weight with your hands, inch your feet forward until you can drop into the seat.

Getting out is the tough part, because I have to scoot my butt up onto the back deck behind the combing. And then from there, reverse the process of getting in. Requires much more balance–but then again, I paddle an 18 foot x 23 inch sea kayak.

do what we do…
the one that knows how to launch themselves properly pushes those that don’t from off the beach. :slight_smile:

Practice on dry land
tell him to practice climbing in and out from a couch or bench on dry land…

a hundred reps a day for three or four weeks

that will limber him up and take some weight off of him too.

Bending Branches Kickstand
THis brand new device attatches to the cockpit lip and allows you to use a float or just the paddle for getting in the boat. Very slick and coming on the market by September. Brother saw and used it at OR show. About 50 bucks he thought

This I gotta see!
Sounds like a great way to switch from busting your butt - or breaking paddles if you lean on them getting in - to breaking those AND your coaming!

A product to lock the paddle to the kayak makes sense coming from a paddle company as it’s a good way to sell more paddles! :wink:

To be fair, I do use a paddle outrigger - but floating - pointed away from shore - and giving minimal support. A dampener, not a prop. I have decklines for this on my SOF - and just hold the paddle in my other kayaks.

A dedicated product could certainly be used in a safe/correct way too, but people who have big enough trouble getting in and out to be interested in a product like this in the first place are unlikely to really have a feel for not leaning on the paddle - and giving them a mechanical crutch may only reinforce bad habits.

Sorry, I shouldn’t criticize something I haven’t seen. Particularly something that pretty much does something I do myself. I just hate to see “sporting goods” that cater too much to the unskilled and unfit - essentially lowering the bar and giving a false sense of security/competence to the users.

It’s OK to be a beginner, or of below average fitness/coordination (in many way’s I’m both myself) - but to expect to be able to stay at that level as a paddler? Wanting gizmos to make up for developing some basic abilities?

A bit of a dicey entry (outside of the occasional flubs we all have from time to time) can be telling you something about your overall paddling ability. If someone has that much trouble getting in at the launch, what chance do they have of doing even the most basic deep water re-entries - even if assisted?

Oh, I forgot. Paddling is supposed to be for “everyone” - whether they want to be safe through self sufficiency and skill development or not.

I’m off to don my asbestos suit now!

The only way I ever get in my kayak
from an elevated dock is to seal-launch. And I avoid that if at all possible so as not to stress the hull under the seat.

I’m 6’ 5" and 220, so there are many kayaks I can’t get into, even on a beach.

whoa big fella!
i’m 6’5" and 200 at most, and i thought i was big for most kayaks. my issue though is leg length, as in extreme, and foot size which is flipper. makes many kayaks an ergonomic challenge, especially river kayaks… watching me get in and out is like watching a yoga moves… good thing i’m somewhat limber.

Just lay over on the dock.
I’m 6’3", 270 lb now. At 290 lb, two years ago as a total beginner, the couple times I had to get out on a dock, I just layed (gramar?) my torso over on the dock. Now my weight’s mostly on the dock. Now roll/swing my butt and legs out. It’s especially easy if someone is holding on to the handle of the bow or stern of your boat, so you don’t have to worry about your boat pushing away from the dock. Works for a relatively low dock. Also, I have a pretty long torso. Hope that helps.

Paul S.

using a dock sounds impossible to me
Mostly I put the Pungo in the water headed out, wade out a bit, grab a hold of it and put a foot in and then lower myself into the seat as I pick up the othe leg.

A dock sounds impossible or at least impossible for me.

Getting out is hard, unless I make a wet exit which on a sunny day in cleaner waters than we have around here does not bother me at all.

I’m one of those big people with physical shortcomings. I use my paddle for a prop.

I fell on black ice on government property. If it had been county government the ice would have been salted or sanded. It was the DoD property. There should have been salt. That was my initiation from county government to federal government. Next came the office with asbestos and mildew. Flooded office space, cockroaches bigger than any in the NE US, and working knee deep in trash.

Anyway my knee is now missing some ligaments and things and they are not going to grow back. However I’m happy to be breathing and walking at the same time, happy to be able to fall into a Pungo and crawl out of it hours later, and off of most medications.

I am wondering about this dock entry idea now. I’m trying to remember how I got in and out of canoes.

I’d recommend checking out Wes’…
…he’s got a bunch of articles targetting the ‘Big Guy n Gal’ and some of the stuff he says could prove helpful. :slight_smile: