How-to Guide: Getting in and out of a Kayak Unassisted

During this time, many people are social distancing and limiting physical contact with others as much as possible. For those who would like to launch their kayaks without physical assistance, we’ve put together an outline and video guide.  

General Tips:

  1. Have all your equipment prepped and ready, and make sure you have your life jacket on.
  2. Position your boat adjacent to and touching the dock.
  3. While getting in and out of your boat, try to maintain a low center of gravity.

Method Option No. 1

  1. While sitting on the dock, place your feet into the boat in front of the kayak seat – with one hand on the boat and one on the dock.
  2. Lift yourself up and shift your bottom so that it is centered in your seat.
  3. To get back out of your kayak, you can do the same thing – lift yourself onto the dock, get on the dock fully and then you can pull your boat onto the dock.

Method Option No. 2 (Paddle-Assisted Version)

For those worried about stabilizing themselves, the second method helps to disperse some of your weight while keeping the boat secure.

  1. While sitting on the dock, place your feet into the kayak bed first, with your paddle positioned behind you. Make sure that one blade of the paddle is on the other side of the kayak and one blade is on the dock.
  2. Place your right hand really close to where the seat is with your left hand on the dock.
  3. Put your feet in the boat and push down so that the boat is holding some of the weight. Scoot into the boat.
  4. When returning, do the same thing. Place the paddle behind you, with one hand in front of the paddle on the dock and the other on the water-edge of your kayak. Put your weight into your hands, push down and lift yourself back up onto the dock.
  5. Pull your boat onto the dock!

Video Instructions: