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Boarding a kayak from a shoreline
  • Place the kayak parallel to the shoreline in at least ankle-deep water. The water should be deep enough for the boat to float when you board it.
  • Place the paddle across the boat at the back of the cockpit. Extend the paddle out farther on the side facing the shore.
  • Stand beside the boat on the side toward the shore.
  • Face toward the bow with both hands behind you. With one hand, hold both the back of the coaming and the paddle. With the other hand, hold the paddle just beyond the boat’s side.
  • Lean the kayak toward the shore until the blade on the shoreline side of the paddle sits firmly against the bottom of the body of water.
  • Shift your weight to the paddle, and slide into the cockpit seat.
  • Lift your legs, and move them into the cockpit. Keep your weight on the paddle to support your movements.
  • Note: If the cockpit is small, sit on the deck behind the cockpit. Then put your legs into the cockpit and slide into the seat.
  • If your kayak carries two paddlers, board the stern paddler first. The stern paddler then has a good view and can help steady the boat as the bow paddler boards.