Standing up in a kayak

So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to actually stand up in my kayak’s cockpit for about a year now, and I actually got up today for a second.

Anyone have any good techniques for standing up and staying balanced?

three things I don’t do in a kayak
1. stand up

2. twirl my paddle

3. stand on my head

I assume it’s’ a Sit-In
Kayak? Unless it’s in the 30 inch wide range with a pretty flat bottom, standing will not be easy to maintain.

Best thing might be to find a pool where you can practice and try a variety of approaches. And video the event so we can enjoy what doesn’t work.

Once you get up, you’ll need to get your feet separated as far as possible, left to right and maybe front to back. Keep your paddle in your hands for balance and keep you knees bent so you can react to movement. Watch the very front of the boat to anticipate which way your next correction might be. Patience and tenacity are likely what will get you there.


Me thinks he wants a better cast
when fishing.

How wide is yer beam?

Sit in 'er or on 'er?

Stand Up Paddle Surfing -Kayak
Several years ago before Stand Up Paddle surfing became a fad my son and his friends decided to Stand up kayak surf. This was using a Ocean Kayak Malibu II which is about as stable as a kayak as you are going to find. The secret is to get up to speed and then pop up just like on a surfboard. Once you are moving on a Malibu II, nothing will tip it over if you brace effectively with the paddle, just like SUP. I’ve tried this on a Cobra Strike and I can stand up but the ride does not last very long. I just do it when the board surfers give me crap about not standing up, they usually think it is hilarious and back off. I don’t suggest it in a SINK you would get your legs amputated at the knees in a big wipeout.

Both my daughter and my wife
stood up in our little Keowees, in a class I river, and the two of them could actually paddle.

I could get up and then sat right down, (figured I would quit while I was ahead)

I stood for a few seconds in my QCC-700, but I kind of cheated.

It was in a couple of feet of water right next to a bank, and I stepped from the bank into it using my paddle as a crutch on the bank, and then put the paddle down just long enough so I could stand with my two arms out for balance



Just keep working on it
Just keep working on it in a safe place. I can stand up in any recreational kayak and any sea kayak, and am working on it in my ICF boat. I’m also working on it in a racing C-1. It’s a great balance drill that’s plain fun on a hot day when you fall in. I totally disagree that you should be looking at the bow, do not look at the bow, look ahead and feel for balance. It absolutely can be done, it just requires practice.


Get a Swifty
Relatively easy to stand up in

Silly Rabbit…
tricks are for kids… :wink:

My daughter can stand up in just about any boat I’ve owned. In our rec America, she actually could walk up onto the bow, into the cockpit, and then back on the stern. She basically treated it like a big pool toy, which is wonderful for overcoming any innate fear of tipping in.

I’ve been able to stand in my QCC and Epic 18, but can’t manage it in my EFT yet. Ploop! In I go! Try grasping the front of the cockpit coaming, gathering your legs under you, and then levering up with your legs-for some reason this works better for me than holding the sides. Had the pleasure of watching some of the dedicated K-1 racers last weekend at the Holyoke Trials dismount and remount for the portages. A number were so fluid in their k-1s, that they’d stand as the boat skimmed to a stop, leap out, flick it up on one shoulder and be off running. There was a video making its rounds a while back, guy named Nick Rioja (‘It’s My Life’) who had taken this to a fine art form.

Any way you slice it, great balance training, and a whole lot of fun to boot.

See my post above
The Swifty is the same boat as the original Keowee.

The Sparky comes in there someplace too.



Next thing we’ll hear is you can stand…
on one of those silly looking eskimo paddles, (you know, those wood stick things)

I think they call them GP’s!



so you are cheap and are trying to
save yourself the cost of a surfboard?

Nix the pool…
Sides of a pool might get too close and they are hard.

If you loose your balance in the pool an accelerated fall from that height onto the pool edge could take the top of your head off!!!

Way out in the water on a calm lake with enough depth to guarantee there are no brain bashing hazards.

Dennis Mcneil…
…out of CT stands up in his rolling boat at pool sessions…takes one of us doing a cannonball next to his boat to dump him in.

As to me - can’t do it - but maybe if I learn I will be better at staying upright while sitting!!! lol lol

Seriously though, came close to getting a Stand Up Paddle board as it looks like wicked fun and a whole new perspective on what I consider to be tall 3’ waves…you would finally look down on them!


Actually heading out to paddle today - so am going to try again! I will post tomorrow if I manage to do it.

all the time
I stand up in my kayak all the time for sight casting with the fly rod for stripers. It does take some practice and it also helps having a wide kayak and rudder for stability. My practice is to pop up, spread legs and maintain calm. It took some practice, but I haven’t gone in yet.


It’s not that hard
Most of our friends practice standing up in their kayaks during pool sessions in the winter. While you do run the risk of conking your head on the side of the pool – or hitting another paddler – you just have to be careful of where you are.

We’ve all managed to stand in everything from a RomanyLV (me)to an Avocet to a Pintail to an Anas Acuta to an Explorer. It takes some work and patience, but it’s sort of a neat trick and makes you very aware of your balance. On a scale of usefulness, I suppose it’s slightly less than being able to crawl up your bow and kiss the toggle, or rotate while in your cockpit, but it’s one of those stupid kayak tricks that can be a fun challenge.

When we’re all back in the salt it’s slightly easier practice although not as easy to do if the waters a bit crinkly.

I’d be happy when …
… I master sitting on the back deck and getting my feet inside on the water and without a paddle float -:wink: Not a problem in a 24" boat, still a gamble in my current spft-chined 22"-er…

Nigel Foster
is well known for doing this. If you take a class from him, chances are he’ll get the class trying it too. It’s not all that hard, just takes some practice. Then again, for Freya Hoffmeister standing in a kayak is nothing. She amazes me.

i can stand in a C1
found out by accident. was trying to get out of the boat when it started to drift away from the dock. all of a sudden i was standing up, and didn’t fall out.

i can also stand and cast in my rob roy.