How to Get in a Kayak from a Dock Without Getting Wet

To my sister who asked in an email: How do you get in a kayak from a dock without getting wet? From someone who got wet.

Imagine you are standing on a dock perpendicular to the shore. That is, the dock sticks out into the lake. Imagine the kayak is on the left hand side of the dock and you are facing towards the middle of the lake (not the shore). You and the front of your kayak are facing into the lake.

Sit on your butt on the dock as if you were sitting in the kayak.

Place your paddle from the dock across the back of the cockpit (behind you).

Reach back and over to grip the paddle AND the cockpit together in your left hand. The paddle helps balance the kayak until you can get in it. Your right hand is gripping the other side of the paddle and the dock giving you stability and balance. You need to use your upper body strength to support your lower body until you can get it in the kayak.

Somehow, maneuver your left leg (left part of the body actually) into the cockpit.

Scramble until you can get your right part of your body off the dock and into the kayak.

There should be a lot of “ooofing” noises until you settle yourself in.

If you have a paddling partner, your paddling partner can stabilize the front of the boat (from the dock) while you maneuver yourself into the boat (similar fashion as above, with the extra stability the paddling partner can offer).

Once you are in the boat, raft up with the second kayak pointing in the opposite direction. Rafting up means both boats are side by side. In this case though, the boats are pointing in the opposite directions. Place your paddle right across in front of you onto the back part of the other kayak deck (behind the cockpit). Lean over, using your paddle as a stabilizer and support the other boat while your paddling partner maneuvers themself into their boat.

Laugh all the while.


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