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How to Get Out of a Kayak with Bad Knees [Smoothly & Safely]

Kayaking is a relaxing sport to spend a day, but getting in and out of the kayak for your fun-filled day can be challenging for any healthy knees (depending on the water conditions and landing spot), let alone for a kayaker with bad knees. If your knees aren’t as good as they used to be (perhaps due to old age or injury, or whatnot), you may have a catch-22 trying to get in or out of your kayak.

If you were to get into a kayak that has an open cockpit (a sit-on-top kayak), you probably don’t need to worry so much, but if your kayak has a closed cockpit (a sit-inside kayak), you may struggle with getting out of it.

However, don’t get all sullen; you don’t have to forgo the fun of kayaking because of your bad knees. In this guide, you will find practical steps on how to get out of a kayak despite the state of your knees.

Steps on How to Get Out of a Kayak with Bad Knees

Below are some of the tips you can employ to exit a kayak with your bad knees:

How to Get Out of a Kayak with Bad Knees

Crawl Out

Onlookers may find this method quite funny; however, it’s effective to exit the kayak once you have beached it on land. To use this method, ensure the bow of your kayak makes it far enough to the beach on which you’ll need to land. So, gain enough momentum when you’re approaching land to make that happen. Then, the show begins.

The trick is to deliberately put yourself in a position if you pulled yourself back on having fallen out of the kayak. Position yourself perpendicular to the kayak with your feet on the ground, roll towards the shore such that you end up lying on your belly on top of the boat.

Then, your hands and knees will do the job from here, working your way into a downward “dog” position. From this position, you can take one step after another until you’re comfortable enough to stand upright.

Object Anchor

While there is the option of asking for help, it’s not an option you can bank on any time of the day. What if there is no one around to help? Besides, this means you are bound to always go kayaking with someone; otherwise, it’s a futile venture.

Instead of a paddling buddy, you can take matters into your hands and use inanimate objects, like a tree, for support.

Get Wet

This method is recommended for hot days or if you don’t mind getting wet. To use this method, you are not going to paddle until you reach the shore like the aforementioned methods. Your boat would be a little offshore such that if you were to stand in the water, the level would just be about waist-deep. How do you figure out the level?

You can use your paddle to check the depth of the water, and the level should reach just about half the length of your paddle. If paddling in clear water, endeavor to also make a visual check of the water bed to ensure there are no tree stumps or large rocks. If paddling in muddy waters, use your paddle to feel the bed and ensure it’s clear of hazardous things.

After checking these boxes, what do you do? Flip the kayak over and go for a swim. Then you can find the bottom with your feet in a less strained endeavor. How can you easily flip your kayak over? Grab the handle opposite the direction you want the flip to go; that way, you can get yourself into the water without hassle.

It is noteworthy that if you are paddling a closed cockpit (a sit-inside) kayak, it’s wise to study the techniques involved in a wet exit before attempting the technique.

Secure Anchorage

Another option is to securely tie the kayak to its anchor. The trick is to undermine the challenge you face when you try to stand upright out of a kayak. Now, you want to ensure you’re close enough for the length of rope available to you so that either side of the stern gets to have an even amount of rope.

Secure Anchorage kayak

Hold the ends in each hand and pull them tight, but not too tight; so you see where the ropes intersect, tie a knot at each point. Now, before you try to exit the kayak, ensure there is no slack whatsoever in either line otherwise the purpose would have been defeated.

Shallow Water Exit

To make use of this method, you would have to stop the kayak just shy of when the bow would completely push up onto the shore.  Again, to attempt this technique, ensure you’re in about 6 to 12 inches; check for this with your paddle shaft.

Then, swing both feet on whichever side of the kayak, such that your whole body is in a perpendicular position to the boat. Crawl your behind until your feet are touching the ground; at this point, keep your hands free and use them to push yourself off the kayak.

Final Words

Kayaking can be so much fun and a beautiful sport to while away the day with, but then your knees are killing you, and you find it very challenging, painful and a lot of hassle to get out of the kayak whenever you go on your beloved sport. You’re thinking of giving up kayaking altogether, but should you let something as simple as bad knees keep you away from your hobby for the rest of mortal existence?

The answer is simple: No! We have backed up that claim with practical exit methods to keep your dream and hobby alive. By the time you have gone through this guide, you never have to worry about leaving kayaking behind.

Once you find the exit method that works best for you, you only need to keep at it. However, it’s also advisable to know more than a method in case of contingencies that may be due to water conditions and landing spots.