What can I use to get unstuck?

I’m brand new to kayaking - have only been twice on a local river. Got stuck a couple times as the water was shallow in places. Used my paddle to push off, but this scarred the edges. Was thinking about getting a folding walking stick or wading staff to keep on the kayak for future times I get stuck. Has anyone else used them for this purpose and, if so, what brand do you recommend?

My backup paddle is one that I don’t care about banging up. You could get a collapsible for this purpose too. I just grabbed one for my kids to have something smaller to use

My wood/epoxy paddle just needs a little patching. The rest of that is too much to carry around .

Thanks for the suggestion! I just picked one up on Amazon for around $20. Much cheaper than my paddle!!!

If the water was that shallow I’d either just put the paddle aside and try to push off with both hands, one each side of the boat, or I’d get out of the boat and tow/drag it to deeper water.


If it’s that shallow, get out and move the boat to deeper water.

The damage you’re doing to the boat is more significant than the paddle.


Get out and wade.
The damage to a paddle is of no consequence compared to grinding up your boat.

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you just need a beater paddle, I switch out paddles according to what stream I’m on. Plastic is for a loaner (don’t want a newbie to lose one of my good paddles), or for real rugged conditions, or extreme low flow. Fiberglass for some smacking around/pushing off and carbon fiber for no rock days.

Thanks! I have a cheap collapsible paddle on order.

You can also carry a cheapo canoe paddle on your deck. Works for prying off sand and gravel bars and takes less room than an extra kayak paddle – will also serve as backup if you drop your paddle and it floats away, whether allowing you to paddle after it or giving you a means to get back to shore if the kayak paddle goes completely bye-bye. Some folks actually carry a canoe paddle as a spare to switch off with the kayak paddle – can be useful if you get stuck paddling in strong crosswinds.

My first choice would be to get out of the boat and walk it to where you have water again.

Issue with carrying a spare is that if this is a basic rec boat, you don’t have any deck fitting to stick a spare under. If it is a better boat then getting wet feet is part of the experience.