Kayaking Shouldn’t Be So Difficult
How to get into kayaks correctly and gracefully is a hard question to answer. This, however, is often a question heard from women paddlers. Unfortunately, the answer on how to get into kayaks gracefully may be disappointing because in reality there is no graceful way to get either into or out of a kayak. The good news, however, is that over time and with experience and patience it will become more comfortable and be more effortless. This article will provide a few essential techniques and tips to make your entrances and exits more relaxed and effortless.
To begin your kayak adventure, it is essential to make sure that everything you require is at hand. There is nothing more frustrating than getting into a kayak and realizing that you have left something onshore or that an item is out of your reach. Therefore, make sure all things are close enough for you to grab after you have entered your kayak. This apparently will include your paddle.
Getting into a kayak will be different when on a beach, a ramp, a dock, or on a rocky shoreline. For example, let’s look at how to get into kayaks quickly when on a beach. It is essential to make sure that your kayak is perpendicular to the shoreline. The front half should be in the water, and the back half should be on the sand. If your kayak is entirely on the sand, then it will be difficult to push off into the water. This will mean that you will need to get out of the kayak and move it closer to the water and start again.
This advice may seem obvious, but many kayakers end up beaching themselves before launching. If you prefer not to drag your kayak across the sand, then it is advisable before entering to float your kayak in an area that has a few inches of water. In this case, you may need someone to help stabilize your kayak as you get into it.
To enter your kayak, you will need to straddle the vessel directly behind the cockpit rim. The next step will be to sit down at the very back of the cockpit. Bring each foot one at a time into the cockpit. As you slide forward into the seat, you will need to straighten your legs. For anyone that has a sit-on-top type of kayak is merely a matter of swinging your legs in, pushing off, and paddling away.
When getting out of a kayak on a beach, it is essential to position your kayak perpendicular to the shoreline once again. You may find getting out of your kayak more challenging than getting in. Once you are in a few inches of water, you can begin by getting out one foot at a time. The key will be to grab the front of your cockpit and then pull yourself forward to a position where you are balanced and can stand up.
This type of move is often more difficult for women than a man because of upper body strength. However, the more a woman practices this procedure, the easier it will become. True, you may at times fall onto your side and roll onto the beach. When this happens, you will only need to roll over and push yourself up. It may not be graceful or smooth, but it will work.
If you need to get into your kayak from a dock, it is best to ask someone to steady your kayak while getting in or out. If you do not have anyone to help you, however, then you need to begin by putting your kayak parallel to the dock. Sit down on the dock next to your kayak and put your feet into the cockpit. Adjust your body towards the bow of the kayak as you sit on the pier and then calmly and quickly lower yourself into the kayak. Try to keep your weight as little as possible while you do it. Also, make sure that you have a good grip on the dock before getting into your kayak.
To get out of your kayak at a dock is merely a matter of doing everything in reverse. You can use the dock for balance as you stand up and step out of the kayak. You can also pull yourself out of the kayak butt first. If the dock surface is high up from the body of water, then it will be a bit trickier to keep your balance when getting in or out. Once again, with a little practice and patience, it will become a smooth process. The key for this type of entry or exit will be to put the majority of your weight on the dock.
Do not become discouraged because kayaking will provide you with years of healthy enjoyment.
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