Entering from Dock

Getting In or Out of a Kayak from a Dock

By Alex Matthews 

In a lot of ways, launching your kayak from a dock is really convenient. Docks often provide great public access to areas that may otherwise be devoid of good launch sites like beaches. And by launching from a dock, you can keep your feet totally dry when getting in and out of the boat - a big plus, especially on chillier days or in cold water.

When launching from a dock, you'll need a clear strategy to confidently get into and out of your boat smoothly. Firstly, take the time to evaluate the layout of the dock. The higher the dock is from the water, the more difficult getting into your kayak will be, so choose the dock's lowest point for entering or exiting your boat.

To get in, slide your boat into the water and start by positioning your kayak parallel to the dock. Sit down on the dock beside the kayak's seat. Be careful to place your paddle close by, so that it will be within easy reach once you are in your boat - it's really disappointing when you fail to remember to do this and have to get back out of the boat again in order to retrieve your paddle. While remaining seated with all your weight on the dock, put your feet in the kayak, placing them close to the center line of the boat for maximum stability. Once you're ready to enter the boat, turn your body towards the bow of the kayak, securing a good grip with both hands on the dock. Shift your weight onto your feet and lower yourself smoothly but decisively into the seat. Once seated, maintain a grip on the dock with one hand so that you don't drift away before you're ready, and slide your feet into position below deck. Put your spray deck on if you're using one, retrieve your paddle, and presto - you and your dry feet are ready to go kayaking!

To get back out of your boat at a dock, simply reverse these steps. 



Getting In (dock) 1
Step 1 

Getting In (dock) 2
Step 2

Getting In (dock) 3
Step 3

Getting In (dock) 4
Step 4

Photos ©2006 Alex Matthews  


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