Kayak Boarding Techniques

I get the impression that the paddle brace boarding technique can really beat up a take-apart paddle ferrule. Are there other ways to stabilize a yak while you’re slipping it on?

straddle it
straddle it and plop your butt inside the cockpit…kind of like a cowboy rescue…you can scull/brace to one side while your slipping your legs in if you have to. Pretty soon you will probably develop enough balance in the kayak where you won’t have to stablize.

I don’t use my paddle to enter anymore, unless there are some “different” circumstances.

See if you can do
a paddle-float entry without the paddle float–use the paddle as an outrigger facing towards shore, and center your weight over the kayak as you enter, with only the very slightest lean towards the shore side. This is easy with Greenland paddles, but doable with many other types, especially wood paddles or those with foam-cored blades that increase their bouyancy.


maybe this is
unnessacary , but , Sanjay is sayin to put the weight on the blade/shaft with the back of the combing and aft of the dec supporting your weight not the shaft and ferrule . Otherwise you will be buying a new take-apart . —M

Not a problem for the ferrule
Just grasp the paddle shaft and rear coaming with one hand and put most of your weight on that hand. Place your other hand on the paddle shaft between the boat and shore but put very little weight on that hand. Proper technique will put very little pressure on the shaft and ferrule.

what they said
it doesn’t matter if it’s a one piece or TAP,if your technique puts too much weight on the paddle and not on the kayak something will break whether it’s the shaft or the blade of a carbon paddle.

enter w/o the paddle?
I enter my boats by standing facing the boat, one hand at the front of the coaming, the other at the back of the coaming. I slide whichever leg is further aft straight and deep into the boat then set my butt on the seat, leaving one leg outside the boat. The other leg is then slid into the cockpit as I lay-back a bit to make more room / maintain balance.

A shorter cockpit / longer thigh might may this move more difficult but I’m a pretty big guy @ 6’1" & 220# so it should work for many people and most key-hole cockpits.



There’s The Butt In First Technique
I’ve been using this more often lately. Just straddle the boat at the point right above the seat and sit down. Your feet are still planted on terra firma under a few inches of water. Then, pick your legs up and into the cockpit. It may take a little balancing and bracing.


That is my method also
After many moons of using the paddle on the bank and behind the coaming method and watching my petite little wife do it your method, I finally decided to try it and lo and behold I have been entering it that way for a couple of years now.

Of course loosing 15 pounds helped tucking the legs in too.



For long-legged folks…
the “butt-first” method won’t work. I’ve been using the paddle as a kickstand for a long time on entry and exit, and I’ve never had a problem. I think that a good well-built paddle should be able to take it.