how to get into a kayak

How To Get Into A Kayak? (Step By Step Guide) – 2022

Anyone who has ever tried to get into a kayak can attest to how difficult it can be. Even for those who have done it before, it always seems to take a little bit of effort to hoist oneself up and in. And for someone who hasn’t done it before, the task can seem downright daunting.

If you are new to kayaking and curious about knowing how to get into a kayak, then this article is for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting into a kayak like a pro.

Methods To Get Into Kayak

The following are the tips and ways how you can get into a kayak:

1. Pulling Yourself Into The Kayak

You will need an extra person to help you with this method.

Approach the kayak from the side and grab hold of it i.e. waist height, pull yourself up until your legs are hanging straight down and your feet are touching the kayak’s edge at about hip level or slightly below.

Then swing both legs into the boat and sit on one of its benches or sterns (It depends upon if you are right-handed or left-handed).

2. Getting In The Kayak From Water

If you can’t find anyone to help you out, don’t worry because there is another option for successfully getting into a kayak step by step, which might be easier at times. Approach the kayak from behind, grab hold of its edge and pull yourself up so your legs are hanging straight down.

Then swing both legs into the boat and sit on one of its benches or sterns (It depends upon if you are right-handed or left-handed). Once your legs are in, it gets fairly easy to get the rest of your body inside.

3. Getting In The Kayak Using A Trolley

There are specialized trolleys that can help you out with just how you get into a kayak, which though not cheap, can definitely come in handy if you enjoy kayaking often. Approach the kayak from behind and sit on its edge.

Then place the trolley under your backside and lower yourself slowly. Keep both hands on the trolley as long as possible until both hands touch water level; now push yourself up using the trolley by straightening your arms (Remember to keep holding onto the trolley).

Ensure you do lean back while doing this or else you will fall into the water. Once your hips are above the edge, get off the trolley and swing both legs into the kayak.

4. Getting In The Kayak Using A Board

There is another method that you will need a slim, longboard or a thick piece of plank for this method, which you can carry with you and place under your buttocks and lower yourself on it.

Make sure the board reaches about shoulder level; ensure that it is steady and doesn’t rock, this is where having an extra person around to hold the board might come in handy.

Once your hips are resting on top of the board (Don’t sit yet), grab hold of both sides of the kayak using your paddles/oars, and then swing both legs into the kayak.

It is important to know how you get into the kayak after falling out to make sure you enjoy your kayak ride.

Why It’s Important To know How To Get Into A Kayak?

Here I’ve combined some of the important reasons for knowing the value of learning the process of getting into a kayak. Which are listed below:

  • First and foremost, it can help you avoid potential accidents and injuries if you are able to get into the kayak on your own.
  • Secondly, it can save you a lot of time and hassle if you are ever in a situation where you need to get into a kayak quickly.
  • And finally, knowing how to get into a kayak can make the experience more enjoyable and less daunting for beginners.

Common Mistake To Avoid While Getting Into A Kayak

These are some mistakes to avoid while getting into a kayak

  • Not leaning back while pushing yourself up using a trolley or a board
  • Pushing the kayak away from you with your feet instead of keeping them inside the boat and pushing it away from you with your paddles or oars.
  • Getting into the kayak from land instead of water if you can find no one to help you get in.
  • Not using the kayak edging technique for beginners and getting into it from the water instead of leaning on its side and pulling yourself up with your paddles.
  • Pushing yourself off the board or trolley before swinging your legs into the kayak, can again cause potential accidents or injuries.
  • Do not keep both hands on the trolley while lowering yourself onto it.
  • Let go of the kayak once you’re inside instead of holding on to it with your arms straight for as long as possible before wrapping them around its side (If you are right-handed).
  • Allowing your feet to drift away in the water instead of keeping them inside the kayak.
  • Not being aware of how quickly or slowly you need to take these steps for your success in getting into a kayak.
  • Not knowing all the methods of getting into a kayak, which are listed above.
  • Getting into the kayak by forcing yourself instead of easing into it.
  • Using the wrong technique for your kayak type, for example, getting into a sit-on-top kayak incorrectly by leaning back instead of forwards before swinging your legs in.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you get into a kayak with ease and safety.

Is There Any Single Best Methode To Get Into A Kayak? 

There is no one best way to get into a kayak, it depends on your individual preference and what you’re most comfortable with. However, some methods are more common than others and can be easier to learn.


There are a few ways to get into a kayak, but the most common ways are either by pulling yourself up and in, getting in from the water, or using a trolley. It’s important to be centered once you’re in the kayak, so make sure you shift your weight to one side and then bring it back in the middle.


Q1. Do you need to use a paddle to get into a kayak?

No, it is not necessary to use a paddle or oars. You can just pull yourself up using your arms alone if the kayak is close enough to the shore. But for this purpose, you have to know how to get into a kayak on the water as well.

Q2. What are the other ways to get into a kayak?

There are other ways to get into a kayak as well, but they should only be used if you know them fully. For example, standing over your kayak and then getting in can cause it to capsize, so make sure that you’re able to do this before you try it.

Q3. How long does it take to get into a kayak?

It might take you anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour, depending on how much effort and practice you put in and what type of kayak you have. For example, getting into a sit-in kayak takes less time than getting into a sit-on-top kayak, as it’s safer.

Q4. What is the easiest way to get into a kayak?

The easiest way to get into a kayak is by using a paddle to push yourself off of the shoreline and into the water. You can also use a kayak cart to help you get your kayak into the water. Once you are in the water, you can use your paddle to help you move around.


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