If you’ve never been on a kayak before, you’d not know the hustle that comes with getting in for the first time. I know it looks like a natural and effortless task but trust me, it’s pretty challenging for most people. Some people even require extra help to get in the kayak. However, it gets easier with time. After some time, you will be in a better position to get in easily. To ensure you have an easy time getting in your kayak, a guide that will not only ensure your safety but ensure you get in the sit on top kayak quickly and effortlessly.
You can choose to get in your sit-on-top kayak from different locations. Sometimes it will be from the water, at a dock, on the shoreline or a beach or ramp. When getting in and out of your kayak, there are a few factors you need to consider.
Safety: If you’ve never been on a kayak before, you need to be careful when getting in for the first time. One wrong move could hurt yourself or cause damage to your kayak.
Technique: There are different types of kayaks. Getting in a sit on top kayak can be different from getting in a sit-in kayak. Before getting in. you need to understand the different kayaks and their technicalities.
Experience: The cliché’ experience is the best teacher speaks volumes when dealing with kayaks and the whole kayaking experience. Without experience, you need to be extra careful to avoid injuries. It is also advisable that you have a trusted friend to guide you through your first day and help hold the kayak steady as you get in.
From the water
When getting in the kayak in the water, the first thing you need to do when getting in the kayak is to get hold of both the kayak and paddle. If the kayak is upside down, roll it over. After this, place your paddle on the deck so that it does not float away as you try to climb in. If you can secure it on anything on the craft, then it will be a good idea. With the paddle secure, move to the side of the kayak and hold the rim of the cockpit and kick your feet up to the surface of the water. You will be better positioned to lift yourself across the kayak so that you are lying over the kayak with your abdomen over the cockpit. While lying over your vessel, put one hand on one side of the cockpit and the other hand on the opposite side and pull your legs in. Adjust yourself in your seat and start paddling.
Read More: How to Stay Dry in A Sit On Top Kayak
On a Ramp or Beach
The beach or by using a ramp is one of the easiest ways to launch a kayak. While on the beach, place the kayak so that the front half is in the water while the other half is on the side. This will make it easier to move the kayak in the water. While using a cement ramp or when the water is too shallow, you can float the kayak in a few inches of water. To get in, sit down on the back of the cockpit and bring your feet one at a time. Put the legs straight and slide to the seat. After this, swing your legs in, push off and paddle away.
At a Dock
Getting in your sit on top kayak from the dock is easy, especially if you have a friend or company to hold the kayak steady. It’s also possible to get in the kayak on your own. If you are o your own, place your kayak parallel to the dock where it is closest to the water. To get in, make sure you keep your weight as low as you can. Then, sit on the doc, place your feet on the cockpit, turn your body towards the boat’s bow, and lower yourself quickly into the kayak.
On an Uneven Shoreline
The shoreline being uneven should not deter you from getting into your kayak. To make it easier, use your paddle to bring stability. The kayak should be parallel to the shoreline, and place your paddle across the back of the cockpit and make sure half of the paddle is crossing the board and the other half is on the shore. Now sit on the shore and put your fit in the kayak. Hold your paddle and make sure that the largest part of the paddle is on the shoreline. This will help enhance your stability. When you feel stable, press into the paddle and position yourself better in the seat.
There is always a first time for everything and every day is a learning experience. Getting in and out of a sit on top kayak can be challenging at first. However, shying away from experience will make you miss out on so much fun associated with kayaking. With the guidelines given above, you will be in a position to get in a sit on top kayak, and within no time, you will be a pro. Patience and interest are key in becoming an overall best kayaker.