During my many years of selling inflatable kayaks, I have had the pleasure of talking with many of my customers about the joys, adventures, trials and tribulations of paddling. During one of these conversations, a friendly gentleman mentioned that he almost tipped over when getting into his new Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak. I told him that the best way to get in was to straddle the boat while standing in the water and then just sit your butt down into the kayak (see photo). This method doesn’t put any excess weight on either side and the boat doesn’t tip at all. Of course, if you are unable to launch your kayak into shallow water where you can straddle the boat, this method won’t work. If you do have to get in the kayak off of a dock or other similar situation, just try to be as careful as you can and keep as well balanced as possible to avoid any problems.
After our discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to write this article and pass along my tips, as well as sharing this “Paddling TV” video that has a variety of suggestions and techniques for smoothly getting into and out of a kayak.
There are a variety of other similar articles and video demonstrations on the web that show paddlers how to smoothly execute what can be a tricky procedure, no matter what type of kayak you have; folding, hard shell or inflatable.
Other than the obvious goal of landing your body on an often narrow, sometimes tippy, floating kayak, there are also the variety of different locations such as off the dock, on the beach and on a rocky shore that can complicate the maneuver. Paddling.com addressed some of these issues in an excellent article titled Getting In and Out of Your Kayak.
Learning ALL the skills of paddling will help everyone to have more fun and enjoy this wonderful sport.