Video: 6 Steps To Get In And Out Of Your Kayak

As a specialty kayak retailer, we are the first information source for many people when they are thinking about purchasing or kayaking for the first time.  When we chat with people considering sea or recreational kayaking, one of the most common discussion points is how do to get in and out of a kayak.

For those of us who have kayaked before this may seem to be a trivial question.  But it is one that causes concern for many potential paddlers.  Many are dealing with old injuries and have mobility issues in their knees, shoulders and other joints. There are many different scenarios for entering and exiting rec/touring kayaks. You could be on a rocky beach, a dock or sandy beach. For this video we have chosen a technique that is simple and can easily be adapted to most locations.

Below is a step by step description for getting in and out of a kayak:

Step 1

Get your kayak to the waters edge (either carry or, utilize a kayak cart if that is easier and appropriate)

Step 2

Place your kayak in the water (just deep enough to float) parallel to the shore.

A female paddler places her rec kayak in the water parallel to shore.

Step 3

Now place your kayak paddle over the deck of the boat behind the cock pit at 90 degrees to the boat.  This creates stability and the balance is gained from the paddle bracing off both the shore and deck of the kayak.

A female paddler t's her kayak paddle behind the seat of a kayak on shore.

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Step 4

Stand in front of the paddle facing the front of the kayak and put one hand at each end of the paddle shaft.

A female paddler braces herself on her kayak paddle to get inside a rec kayak.

Step 5

Using your hands and paddle as support, take your leg closest to the boat and step into the cockpit (all the way to the far side if possible).  Make sure to use paddle and hands to keep the boat balanced.

A female paddler uses her paddle to sit down inside her rec kayak.

Step 6

Once balanced step your other leg in and lower yourself down into the seat.  To start with this may feel more like a ‘flop’ into the seat.  However, as you do this more you will find yourself getting into your seat with ease.

You are now ready to set out on your paddle.

To exit the boat, simply mirror the steps to get in.

Benefits of this technique

  1. Versatile and easy way to get in and out of most types of kayaks!
  2. Prevents unnecessary scratching and damage to your boat.  (some methods have you get in on shore and slide into the water which can cause needless wear and tear on the boat)
  3. Once practised a little bit it is an easy and controlled way to get into your boat.
  4. Doesn’t require any gear other than what you will have on you to go on a simple paddling outing.

Thanks for checking out this short instructional piece, we hope it is useful and puts your mind at ease as to how to simply enter and exit a kayak.

For more great instructional videos check out our You Tube channel at or our website at


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