How to Get Back in a Kayak

Written by Best Kayak Guide

Feb 27, 2022

February 27, 2022

If you are one of the few people who have kayaked, you would know that it is not easy to get back in your kayak once you are out on open water. Even if you drag the kayak close enough to where you think you can just step back into it, many times, things don’t go as planned.

Usually, what ends up happening is that you step on the kayak and miss, fall into the water, and have to swim back to your boat. If it is rapid water, sometimes currents take hold of kayaks, and they drift away from their owners, who then watch as their $500+ investment goes out of sight.

Kayaking can be a great sport, but it isn’t worth much if you have to worry about not being able to get back into your own kayak. Here are some tips that you can follow, so you never have to worry about this again. Check “How to Get Back in a Kayak”.

Simple Answer:

How to Get Back in a Kayak

The simple answer is to reach down and grab the kayak’s cockpit coaming with your hands, then pull yourself back into the kayak. If you’re having trouble getting back in your kayak, it might help to pull yourself up onto the kayak’s deck first before reaching down for the cockpit coaming.

You can also try putting one or both of your feet in the cockpit before pulling yourself up and into the kayak. And finally, if you have a friend or fellow paddler nearby, you can ask them to give you a hand getting back in your kayak. 

Recommended Products:

01. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 – Easy Get-in Sit-On-Top Design

This kayak is designed with a stable flat bottom and deep tracking channels, making it ultra-safe and easy to maneuver. It’s constructed of blow-molded HDPE plastic, so it’s durable, UV-protected, and impact resistant. The 52 pound design comes with front and rear carry handles for easy transport to the waterfront. Overall, it’s Sit-On-Top design gives you the plenty of room to easily get back in at a accidental flip over.

02. Perception Flash 9.5 – Less Tipping Over Sit-In Design

The Perception Flash 9.5 kayak is perfect for beginner and intermediate paddlers alike. With a simple, low-maintenance design, it’s easy to use and highly maneuverable. The large cockpit area makes it easy to get in and out of, while the dual tracking channels keep you on course. Plus, at just 41 pounds, it’s easy to transport and lift. Overall, it’s sit-in design provides you a good support for a sable riding with less tipping tendency.

Descriptive Answer:

It’s very important to know how to get back in your kayak if you fall out, as it can be a potentially dangerous situation if you don’t know what to do. In general, there are two main tasks for you to do here in order to be right back on your kayak, which is flip over and gets it. Before that, you need to identify your main obstacle, the water condition.

Water Condition:

Water Condition

When flipping a kayak back over, it’s important to have good water condition so that you can get back in as quickly as possible. If the water is too deep or has too much turbulence, it will be difficult or impossible to re-enter the kayak. On the other hand, if the water is shallow or calm, you’ll be able to get back in more easily.

Waves and choppy water can make it more difficult to get back in because they can push the kayak away from you or make it more difficult to stabilize. The type of kayak also makes a difference – whitewater kayaks are designed to be flipped easily, while sea kayaks are not. And finally, your own body weight and strength also come into play – if you’re a smaller person, it will be easier to flip the kayak back over than if you’re a larger person.

Ideally, if you could find a spot around 1-2 feet high water level then your height, you can easily push off from the bottom and re-enter your kayak. Make sure to practice flipping your kayak back over in different types of water conditions so that you’re prepared for anything!

Flip Over

Flip Over

It’s essential to know how to flip a kayak back over whatever water type you’re in, but it’s definitely a useful skill to have in case of an emergency. Here we have brought you two different methods that you could easily flip back over your kayak at an unexpected flip-over situation.

Method 01: Push-up & Pull-down

– Relax yourself on the water and collect some good energy

– Let the handle float nearby yourself or attach it to your kayak cloth

– Hold one side handle and go underneath and grab the other handle

– Push-up the kayak with the firstly grabbed handle while Pulling down with the other hand

– With a good amount of energy, sacrificing kayak will flip back over

Visual Guide: (01:45)

Method 02: Get-on & Pull-over 

– Relax yourself on the water and collect some good energy

– Hold the kayak and kick your legs until the lower part of your body comes upon the water.

– Pull yourself up onto the top of the kayak

– Grab the handle or an edge of your kayak on the other side

– Pull it over by sliding back to the water

– With a good amount of energy, sacrificing kayak will flip back over

Visual Guide: (02:50)

Get In

It’s actually quite important to know how to get back in a kayak once it flips back over. Most people who kayak will tell you that, as long as you remain calm, the kayak will eventually right itself, and you will be able to climb back in. However, it won’t be simple as said. Here we have brought you two different methods that you could easily get back in your kayak once it flipped over.

Method 01: Stern Get-In

– First, get rid of your paddle. So, put through the bungee strings, go alongside the top of the kayak.

– Go all the way to the end and stop by the stern because it can easily go down into the water and help you get in.

– Put both of your hands on the kayak and grab both sides of the stern.

– Kick your legs until the lower part of your body comes upon the water.

– Then quickly push up with your chest on the count of three two one and jump on the kayak.

– Stay relaxed and calm for a few seconds.

– Sit up and spread your legs out to the sides like outriggers.

– Keep moving up until the centre of the cockpit while lowering your body weight to the centre of the kayak.

– Put your hands behind you and grab the rear cockpit rims, and simply sit down.

– Finally, put your legs inside one after another if it’s a Sit-in or else just simply take your seat.

KAYAK

Method 02: Side Get-In 

– First, get rid of your paddle. So, put through the bungee strings, go alongside the top of the kayak.

– Go all the way to the end and stop by the thickest place of your kayak because it can easily go down into the water and help you get in.

– Put both of your hands on the kayak and grab from the edge of the other end.

– Kick your legs until the lower part of your body comes upon the water.

– Then quickly push up with your chest on the count of three two one and jump on the kayak.

– Stay relaxed and calm for a few seconds.

– Now, turn on to the front side of your kayak by putting both your legs out from the two sides of the kayak.

– Lay down, relax and be cool for your next move.

– Sit up and spread your legs out to the sides like outriggers.

– Keep moving up until the centre of the cockpit while lowering your body weight to the centre of the kayak.

– Put your hands behind you and grab the rear cockpit rims, and simply sit down.

– Finally, put your legs inside one after another.

Video Guide: (00:10)

Do’s & Don’ts in General:

Do’s:

  • Always wear safety gear before getting water.
  • Check the kayak hull condition or the air pressure level if it’s an inflatable kayak.
  • Make sure you got all the accessories you need on board before getting in to avoid the hassle of going back and forth.
  • Be aware of the conditions around you before trying to get out of your kayak onto the deep water.
  • Be very careful with body positioning and balance at each step.

Don’ts:

  • Do not keep anything on your hands, and it should be free when you are getting in or out.
  • Never get in or get out of a kayak in a hurry unless you have good practice.
  • Never follow easy or quick methods online to get out of a kayak onto the deepwater unless you have mastered the correct technique.
  • Dot to try to reach out to a dock by outstretching your hand because if you miss the dock by one inch at your maximum stretch, there is a chance you tip over.
  • The practice of getting in and out is something that has to go gradually, so never skip or undervalue any of these steps until you master them. 

Related Matters:

01. Is it easy to fall out of a kayak?

It depends on the type of kayak you’re using. If you’re in a sit-on-top kayak, it’s much easier to fall out than if you’re in a traditional kayak where you sit inside the boat. The reason it’s easier to fall out of a sit-on-top kayak is that there’s nothing really keeping you in the boat – your body weight is basically all that’s holding you in. So if you lean too far to one side or get thrown out by a big wave, it’s easy for you to simply fall right out of the kayak.

In a traditional kayak, on the other hand, your body weight is distributed more evenly, and there are flotation bladders inside the boat to help keep you afloat when you tip over. If you do fall out of your kayak, it’s more difficult for you to accidentally fall out completely because there are bulkheads at both ends of the boat that help prevent water from easily entering the cockpit area.

02. What safety gears useful at a kayak flip over?

If you’re kayaking in whitewater, it’s important to always wear a helmet and a PFD (lifejacket). Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a whistle, knife, and signalling mirror on hand in case of an emergency.

Suppose you flip over while kayaking, stay calm and try to right the boat yourself. If that doesn’t work, signal for help using your whistle. If you’re too far from shore or there are other obstacles in the way, use your knife to cut free from your boat and then use the signaling mirror to signal for help.

How to Get Back in a Kayak
How to Get Back in a Kayak

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