First of all, make sure that you have everything you need in your pockets. Few things are irritating other than getting ready to turn off and remembering that you left a water bottle on the beach, just beyond control.
1. When you are at a dock
Sit at the dock next to your kayak, bring your foot into the cabin, push your body into the boat bow while you still sit on the dock and settle down into the kayak comfortably and peacefully, holding your weight as light as you can during the kayak. Until reaching your port, make sure you have a strong and secure dock.
To exit at a dock, reverse the process above: at the bottom of the dock to the water, keep your hand onto the dock to stay. Get up to get off the kayak to the deck with the rail for equilibrium. You can even climb out of the kayak and get away with your own weight, so you can stay there on your feet in the boat at the dock. This will be harder to achieve equilibrium as you get in and out of the dock, but it is a seamless process with a little practice. The trick is to place your whole weight on the dock as you leave the ferry.
2. When you are in a beach
The trick to an simple beach launch is to position your kayak on the shore so that your front half is in the water and your rear is in the sand. When you don’t get in, you can’t get into the water because the boat is absolutely on the sand. You must step down from your kayak and bring it closer to the surface, instead. It may sound like a easy idea, but I see people at the beach struggling to get going all the time. You will fill your kayak in a couple of inches of water if you do not want to slip through the sand or if you are launching on a cement ramp or if the water is too deep to float in. You can have to find a mate in this situation in order to secure your ships.
Just past the cockpit and sit down on top of the cockpit, to get in behind your plane. Place your feet one time into the saddle, spread your legs and drop back into the chair. You should keep your knees somewhat flexed as you slide in and place your legs under your splinters if you have a kayak where you have to actively turn and splay your knees. What you will do is swing your legs forward, step out and paddle out while you have a sit-on-top.
Head out to the beach, and paddle the boat into the sand or stop while it’s floating in a few inches of water. Take a kayak in the direction of the shoreline. It sure is much more difficult to get out of your kayak than to get into your kayak. Start with one foot at a time, and then you’re over the kayak, or both feet are on the boat on one leg.
The key is that you go in, take the front of the pad and pull on to get the balance. It is that the energy is mainly in the arms and legs opposed to men believing the rest of their energy is in their upper bodies that make this transition challenging for women. It’s tougher to get people up from and out of the kayak which needs more energy than it does for males. The easier it is, the more you do it. Don’t be surprised if you crash on the beach side. Sliding your butt onto the sand would be best before pulling yourself on all fours. No, it does not look very smooth, elegant or simple, but it does work!
3. While sitting in kayak
I think it is also important to address the proper stance when you are sitting on your boat while we are talking about going in and out of your kayak. Many kayaks are fitted with backrest, so you can arrange yourself as if sat on a sofa. You might find it easy to sit down, but it is just a terrible way to your shoulders and back and would make you tough. Not to mention that while you lean back, it is very hard to paddle properly.
You want to choose the right spot to keep your back safe and safely relax in your kayak. Place the back rest or seat back straight so you can sit straight up. You would like to sit elevated with your shoulders and rest your back. Your foot balls should push strongly against your foot pedals and your legs are rotated externally. The relaxed location of the legs makes it possible to sit straight and safer on the lower back.
You may experience near hips and hamstrings when you feel pain or stiffness before or after the kayaking in your lower back. Before and after kayaking there are some great stretches to make your outing more flexible and comfortable. Remember to be sweet and to joke at yourself and keep things light.
Whenever a kayaker flips over and manages to get out of the kayak while still in the water, this is known as Wet Exit.
This is perhaps the most basic and mandatory skill. Most beginners often get scared and think about how dangerous it might be to get stuck underwater while your body is inside the cockpit.
Good news, it is not as scary as it may initially look. On average, a kayaker takes about 3-5 seconds to move out of the water and complete the wet exit. Most of us can hold the breath for that long.
Why Is It Vital to Master Wet Exit?
Kayaking is all about water, you would spend hours surfing on different kind of streams. It is but obvious that you may end up losing your balance and tip over in water frequently. If you learn this skill during early days, it will be easier to learn difficult skills like kayak rolls. The wet exit is the first step for yak rolls, and if you are comfortable doing it, you can do pretty much everything in surfing. This basically removes the fear of the students who are still in the early stages.
Learning the Wet Exit
The first thing is to make sure you protect your head, and to do that you need to lean as close to the deck as possible. Tuck your body towards the cockpit, and this will help your head from smashing against the rocks or other underwater obstacles. Your helmet and PDF (Personal Floatation Device) will also ensure extra protection. Besides, leaning towards the deck provides a better opportunity to grab the loop of your spray skirt.
Another critical aspect to keep in mind is to try to feel the loop while underwater. You cannot rely on finding the loop of spray skirt by seeing it. The best kayaking coaches will always tell you to lean forward and feel the loop. That is your best bet.
Practicing the Wet Exit
There are different approaches to practicing the Wet Exit. Many coaches will tell you to practice on the bank first and then in water. Basically, you learn the steps by sitting in the kayaking position and repeating the wet exit steps before you actually start doing them underwater. It makes more sense as you develop the reflexes by repetitive actions.
Another excellent approach is to learn wet exit without a spray skirt first and then to use the spray skirt. At the end of the day, you need to learn how to get out safely when you are capsized underwater.
Wet Exit With Spray Skirts
Here are a few steps of learning wet exit with spray skirts.
- Get into the boat with the spray skirt on. Make sure the grab loop is out. Preferably at a safe place near to shore.
- The water should not be deep and not too shallow either. A range of 4 to 5 feet is advisable.
- Remember to take a deep breath before you flip over. Start looking for the loop of spray skirt. Remember, the feeling it is better than trying to see underwater. Once you find the grab loop. Pull it and move away from the cockpit rim.
- Next, you need to push the boat with your knees hard enough to move out of the kayak into the water.
- Lastly, pull out and reach to the shore, empty your boat, and make sure you are relaxed.
- Repeat this as often as you can, under someone’s supervision to avoid any mishap, and you should be ready to learn other tricks like rolls pretty soon.
While wet exit looks like a complicated technique at first, it is not that difficult if appropriately learned. You must practice under adequate supervision, a coach, or a friend who knows a thing or two about kayaking can help.
There is no reason to be afraid of being stuck upside down underwater. The designs of the boats are meant for easy exit. The boats literally throw you out themselves. Mastering the technique of Wet Exit will boost your confidence, and eventually, you will enjoy the real fun of surfing and simply being underwater without any fear.