Into and Out of a Kayak

Ok, here is probably the dumbest “newbie” question of the year.

Yesterday I purchased a new Sundance 120 after three test paddles.

However each time I test paddled the yak, there was an employee there

to help me enter and exit the yak next to a pier.

So…now I have it home and am anxious to take it out soon. I assume

I won’t be doing the pier entry and exit as I will be alone. How do I

get in and out of the darn thing? Do I float it out into a foot or so

of water? Then what? Same thing on exiting. How do I actually get in

and out? ( I TOLD you this would be dumb)

Trust me, I am signed up for a three hour lesson in early June on

basic kayak techniques. Still, I’d love to flounder around in it

sooner, assuming I can figure out how to get in and out of it.

Thanks in advance.

check the guidelines section…

most important
keep your weight centered in the boat. What works for me for a floating entry is float out into a foot or two of water, hold the boat securely, and stick one leg into the boat. Center your body as well as you can over the boat and work yourself down into the seat, still bracing with your other leg. Once you’re seated, have your paddle ready to brace if necessary and bring your other leg up and in. Or, if you don’t mind some scratches in the bottom of your boat, place it with the cockpit right inside the shoreline, bow facing out and get in on stable ground. Get in, and push off with your hands or good strong paddle strokes until you float the stern off the shore. Would only do this on grassed or fine to medium sand shorlines though.

Getting out, just reverse the steps for getting in. I’m sure you’ll get more suggestions, and they’ll all work…enjoy!

EVERYONE check the GuideLines
The GuideLines section on this board is a great paddling textbook, and it’s FREE!

Video clip
You can also check out a short video clip at

Disclaimer:I live in the same state as these people but that is about all I have to do with them. Look like they could be an good place for instruction, though.

I was wondering the same newbie thing!
Hey, thanks for asking. Ummm, I was wondering the same thing. And thanks for those of you that pointed us to the articles.

And if all else fails
I enter/exit any whibh way I can! Sometimes I ahve the biggest laughs doung it the wrong way!

it is not elegant
On part is to accept that however you do it it tends not to be the most elegant part of your day and sometimes provides some chuckles for bystanders

I laugh myself silly sometimes
over entrances/exits-that’s part of the fun of kayaking.

Low center of gravity
If you’re lucky enough to have a “low center of gravity” (read “baby got back”) like me, your first order of business should be to get your butt in the seat. I put one foot directly in front of the seat, centered, then drop my sit-upon into place, and the rest is easy, once I’ve got the–ahem–“balast” nicely centered. This works for me much better than any other technique I’ve ever seen demonstrated or described or that I’ve tried.

But you gotta find what works for you. Experiment, and don’t be afraid to get wet–and like someone else said, to laugh yourself silly while you’re figuring it out.

I once paddled 11 miles of Alabama river and hardly got a drop on me, but dumped at the take-out. Humiliating? Sort of. Hilarious? Definitely. Just keep paddling and laughing.

In and Out of a KAyak
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Today I took the yak out for a rather short spin, just to test everything from the Yak Rack to the life jacket. Today I used the “straddle the yak in about a foot of water and just sit down into it method.” I do hope to learn the other methods also.