Knees stuck

I just purchased a kayak with a 16/30 cockpit. I have a 29 inch waist, 44 inch hips and am 5’11. Once I am in, I am very comfortable, and do not feel cramped at all.

I cannot seem to get in and out of the kayak without looking like a complete idiot. I have tried lowering myself in, sitting and then outstretching my legs in, but the only thing that works seems to be sliding in at an angle.

Is the kayak too small for me? Or am I just doing something wrong?

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!


– Last Updated: Jun-01-16 2:43 AM EST –

That is an extremely tiny cockpit. It's hard for me to explain but I kind of have to put one leg in and straighten it, then the other, and mine is 34x18!!

What boat is it??

the way out us the way in.

the way out is the way in

or developing this universal concept…

the way out us A way in

Learning the wet exit was a surprise !


and off course the preliminary to The Kodiak Bear Entry.

Try sitting on the back deck, put your feet in then lower using your arms your butt into the seat. Reverse the same way.

No one ever said that kayaking was graceful nor pretty, most gear is pretty geeky.

Bill H.

dumb reply
>>the way out us the way in.

the way out is the way in

or developing this universal concept…

the way out us A way in

Learning the wet exit was a surprise !


and off course the preliminary to The Kodiak Bear Entry.

putting your weight on the back
deck (sitting) and sliding in is generally how it is done. When I went shopping for a different boat one of my main criteria was cockpit size. I wanted something that was easy to get in and out of.

What is wrong with…
“sliding in at an angle” ?

I am lucky and can bend my knees just enough to sit in and then bend them to get my legs in, but many times I slide in at an angle.

If you are comfortable once you are in, and can get out easy, I see nothing wrong with sliding in at an angle

Jack L

Pretty normal to slide for a sea kayak
And at that cockpit size this is definitely what you are talking about. 16 by 30 is a quite normal lower volume boat cockpit size.

Which means for other than much shorter folks, sliding in is also normal. The bigger cockpits of rec boats allow for a looser entry, but then you don’t want to be in one of them if things kick up on the water.

You may be at the upper range of the paddler size for this boat, but if it feels fine once you are inside it fits. If you feel like your approach is way too odd, you just need to find more people who paddle sea kayaks. You will find out it is not.

dumb reply 2

ah you jest ?

the wet exit goes mainly with reflexes n probably ancestral memory…if you sailed.

Kinda like the ‘no mind’ Zen approach to …? anything…shooting…approaching 40’ waterfalls…hitting a baseball …playing the outfield.

but getting in your rational logic mind is involved right off as …you’re looking at the kayak !

now, first you logic the situation then tack on the reflex muscular coordination.

instead of learning the entry from the exit, the task now involves unlearning or meshing 2 different varieties of thought.

An excellent example of trying the process to learn the process then succeeding without damage.

Not always the ‘case’

BTW, self discovery was best here.

I’ll delete the message at noon.

I just recently did the sit-on-rear-deck thing, love it, it seems counter-intuitive as in “Oh, no, don’t put your weight there, it will break!” But I have long legs and pulling them out while still in the seat simply was not working.

ORU Kayak
It is an ORU foldable, Bay+. So I am concerned with putting my weight on it.

I second that.
A 16 X 30 inch cockpit is not particularly small; it’s about average–give, or take an inch here, or there. That is if you are talking about the opening and not measuring the outside of the coaming.

However, the length measurement might not be the determining factor since seat placement varies and often the seat is somewhat forward of the back of the cockpit.

My suggestion is that with lots of practice, you will find a way to get in and out of your boat. You are smaller in the waist than I, but bigger in the hips. What matters most is how you fit once you are in the boat. I find that the most significant dimension when it comes to making a graceful entrance and exit from the boat is the under side of the deck to the the floor of the boat. If it is tighter than about 11", it does start to cramp my style, but then again it still depends on seat placement.

Every year, I attend a demo day and I try out a lot of sea kayaks. I have yet to find one that isn’t easier to get in and out of than my own sea kayaks, so on average most cockpits shouldn’t be a problem for the average paddler. Practice, practice, practice.

Entry, and RE-entry
Reading your dimension number, since your hip is wider than your waist, sliding in at an angle is the right way of getting in.

Since you’re comfortable once in, I wouldn’t change boat just for getting in and out. That’s 30 seconds (ok, times 2) of an hour long paddle.

Assuming you like the kayak, you just need to get used to getting in and out in a way that works for you.

Having said all that, you do need to figure out and practice how to re-enter the boat after a capsize. That’s a safety consideration. And having a small cockpit opening does make that task a little less than natural. But it should be doable with practice.

while you’re at it, Peter, Hook, Tink, Wendy, and the Croc. Do the Lost Boys join up with you when you all


-Frank in Miami


ORU cockpit
I recently looked at the Bay+ in a shop. The main trouble with the cockpit is the low front of the coaming. This made it impossible for me to get my legs in without sliding in the legs before sitting down. Since I read somewhere that it is problematic to place too much weight right aft of the cockpit I deleted this kayak from my shopping list. Sad, it was so nice. I am currently looking at Air Fusion Elite since I need a foldable. (Currently I have a Folbot Yukon where the skin has shrinked really much, and a really old and heavy Klepper).

dumb reply again
This is silly, do you type just to see yourself in print?

And you’ll delete the reply at noon on WHICH DAY? This was posted on the 1st. it’s now the 9th.

Bill H.

Ya need a sense of humor
should be able to laugh at yourself and yoga can be really helpful. Sounds like you are doing it just fine! :slight_smile:

No one ever said going kayaking is graceful. Most everyone looks like an idiot getting in and out. Make a joke of it and get used to it.

We all look a little strange anyway to non paddlers, all dressed up in bright primary colors. Specially if you’re wearing a spray skirt, real cool look on shore.

Bill H.


– Last Updated: Jun-12-16 6:18 PM EST –

price an inflatable rear bulkhead supporting rear coming.

Buy ten, offer online.


Fabricating the device is fairly simple but advice from a fabricator is useful as to what fabric. Seattle Fabrics sells the material.

Cut cardboard from Walmart always away from the hand always away from the templates...cut until fitting correctly...the 2 vertical areas forming the bag at the rear combing.

Buying an aluminum angle of abt 2'x1/8" thick by 1" each leg as a rule is a very good tool.

Then cut 4 or 6 sides like a cereal box with flanges. Tape this together with packing tape poss allowing tape removal. Check on that.

Tape the box would be airbag together n fit it into the kayak. Good ? proceed. Bad ? do over.

When good, take the box apart cutting th box parts on vinyl or nylon. Tape the parts back on the re-taped box...figuring a process ...And with parts going on box, glue the flanges together as the parts tape onto the box.

Template on fabric marking is done taped down onto a solid fixed surface. The antique oak table....

The last panel....remove box from inside the almost complete structure.

Add an air nipple...n test.

you are now a craftsperson.

Bicycle panniers/bags done this way are inexpensive and custom which is very AAA, custom bags are not inexpensive.

Bag yaks in general may benefit from the DIY inflatable bulkhead.