slippery boat ramp

Don’t know if there is a good way to do this. Last week I launched from a ramp that was covered in algae. Launching was not a problem but on getting out of kayak took a fall. Worst than any ice i have ever encountered. has anyone had this problem & if so how did you work around it.

boat ramps

– Last Updated: Jul-28-14 4:10 PM EST –

I hope you're ok. I avoid boat ramps for the most part for this reason. It makes me think that powerboat users of the launch would have the same problem. I have noticed that some of the newer ramps have textured pavement to help people get footing.

avoid low tide
and don’t get out at the launch… See if you can land where you can get your feet between rocks.

Much easier that way. In Maine much is covered by rockweed at low tide. So you learn to walk between the rocks using the cracks between rocks for putting your feet down.

Glad you were OK. Once in Long Island Sound I watched a van launch the boat and continue the slide… all the wheels were on algae…

The van wound up in the water.

Boat ramps…
I don’t use them unless absolutely necessary.

I view them as booby traps for the uninitiated.

Also avoided when not using the ramps is the necessity to deal with power boaters, and all that goes with that.


:^) Like a rock!
Man, that Chevy sure sank fast…

Yeah! “Like a rock”!

There are many slippery ramps
all over the country.

Your best bet when launching at a ramp where you have never launched is to gently test it on the side with something to hang onto.

The worst I have ever launched on was the ramp at West Lake in the Everglades NP.

it is next to impossible to launch there and keep your footing.

Jack L

all ramps get slippery…
The ramps in my community are cleaned with a pressure cleaner but even then can only get cleaned down to the low tide mark.

Many tow vehicles are 4WD just for that reason.

Best to treat every ramp as ice.

felt soled flats booties
There are a couple of local river access points in my area where you have to walk the boat out over a rocky bank and then through a shallow area over loose rounded bouldered – both the bank and bottom rocks are covered with slimey algae. After taking a few nasty slips and slightly spraining an ankle at one point, I picked up a pair of synthetic felt soled neoprene fisherman wading booties and found they greatly help traction. Chota used to make nice ones they called Kick Boat booties which are what I got (discontinued, though you might find a pair kicking around some outfitter shops). But it looks like Bass Pro still has a version:

felt soles banned
Hmm. I just noticed in my search for felt bootie makers some news items to the effect that felt soles are being banned in many states due to their ability to transport invasive larva and spores, including (ironically) rock snot algae. Did not know that. Guess I will have to remember to scrub mine after use.

Felt-soled shoes are now illegal in …

– Last Updated: Jul-29-14 11:07 AM EST –

... many places. It's thought such boots were the mechanism by which "rock snot" has been transported across the country, and there's some concern that other hitchhiking organisms might move that way too. I know some here routinely poo-poo the idea that we should make any attempt to reduce the spread of invasive species, but a person might still want to know if the use of these boots is legal in their region before wearing them.

Oh, you got one step ahead of me. Carry on.

Only practical thing is to recognize it

– Last Updated: Jul-29-14 11:24 AM EST –

Some launch sites are just difficult to deal with, but usually you can see the problem and act accordingly. For example, steep, high muddy banks are far more dangerous, but the danger is obvious so you'd never just step onto one without planning carefully (instead, you'll pick a spot where tree roots are conveniently placed, etc.). Once you recognize that concrete ramps can be as slick as ice so that you are not stepping unaware, I think you'll find them easier to deal with, and it may mean not walking on them. Maybe you'll chose to use the unpaved area next to the ramp instead. Otherwise, since where there's a ramp there's usually a dock, you can enter/exit the boat from there instead of walking on the underwater parts of the ramp.

it’s funny
Well, not in the OP’s case. But I was just thinking how I had to launch from a shoreline protected with rip-rap and crushed limestone and how painful it was in my wet socks. I remember thinking, “would it kill them to place a smooth surface somewhere?”

I am OK
Thanks for the thoughts. I am ok . Really try to launch from a beach but not always practical, I am retired so do most of my paddling during the week & here on L.I. sound & south shore power boats are not much of a problem then. Those felt boot look like the answer though for when I do go from a ramp & not so expensive. Can get them just for specific launch sites. Thanks again

NRS used to have them
But - worth reiterating the rock snot issue if you plan to head north to the Adirondacks.

from anywhere but…

ramps below New Madrid are so steep n long…like Roy Bean’s on the Rio…you gotta drive down n up.

Seriously, clinging to the sides is probable. Edge down, feet perpendicular to pitch.

You need metal to get good footing
Dear flip,

Take it from someone who has spent considerable time wade fishing in difficult rocky streams and on saltwater jetties. Felt can help some, but if you really want to get solid footing on algae covered rocks or a slimy concrete boat ramp you need metal spikes.

Surf fisherman who walk jetties know that without spikes they are making a one way trip. It’s not a matter of if you will fall, the questions are when and where?

You can get rubber slip on cleated attachments similar to tire chains that you put on over your shoes as needed. Something like this would work great, there are other brands out there too.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

hey - those might work
Another brand is Yaktrax. Never would have thought of that.


cleats are a super idea…doahn step into the hull with…

or you’ll wind up here…

Passed a cabin cruiser on trailer behind pickup in the Glades,everyone gave a big wave…rig was not on the road …was in the canal !


We use microspikes in the winte
to deal with ice covered ramps.

Make sure you can get traction aids on and off in the kayak… They are a PITA to paddle with.