Getting In and Out of your Inflatable Kayak

If you have begun to enjoy the sport of kayaking, or if you are thinking about starting then it is important to know how to get in and out of your inflatable kayak.

It may seem like a simple thing that does not need much consideration. However, besides getting in and out of your kayak from the shore you may also need to consider getting in from a pier without tipping your kayak, losing your balance and falling in the water. Trust me it is easy to do and quite embarrassing.

Knowing a few tricks on this subject can greatly increase your confidence while kayaking and also allow you to help others who may not be as well informed.

Getting into your Inflatable Kayak from the Shore

Getting into your kayak from the shore can be sort of tricky if you don’t have anything to hold onto like a rock, a log or perhaps a friend. The best thing to do is to put the kayak deep enough into the water so that it doesn’t get stuck in the ground when you sit in it. From there, with your paddle in hand, stand over your kayak (with the kayak between your legs) with the seat right underneath you. Yes your feet will get wet so wear appropriate shoes (i.e. water shoes or sport sandals).

Then place your paddle behind you into the ground to steady yourself a little. Be sure not to put too much pressure on the paddle… you don’t want to break it. Sit carefully into your kayak seat shifting your weight onto one foot while still balancing with the paddle. Then carefully bring in your other leg until you are comfortably in your inflatable kayak.

It is not an overly difficult process but can sometimes be a little difficult to keep your balance. If you are kayaking with someone else then you are really fortunate to be able to ask them to hold your kayak steady while you get in. From there you can usually hold your friends kayak steady (even while you are in your own kayak) to help them out.

Getting out of your inflatable kayak and back onto the shore is done in the same way but from the reverse order.

Getting into your Inflatable Kayak from the Pier

If you are getting into your inflatable kayak from a pier the trick is to always make sure you keep your weight even over the centerline. Otherwise there is a very good risk of the kayak tipping. Hopefully the pier you are on is fairly low to the water as this will make getting into your kayak much easier.

Place the paddle on the pier where you can easily reach it once you are in your kayak. Then lift yourself into your kayak seat while keeping the majority of your weight on your hands. Make sure you are centered in your kayak and slowly move yourself inside your boat. Take your paddle from the pier and paddle off. Getting out is done the same way but in the opposite order.


  1. I would love to see a video of this. I have a new Advanced Elements Advanceframe and am finding it needs a different technique than the hard-shell.

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