How to Re-Enter a Sit-Inside Kayak from the Water

In this fun and easy-going video from Dan Arbuckle and Headwaters Kayak, you’ll see how to re-enter a sit-inside kayak from the water.

Self-rescue is an important skill to learn about and practice if you’re a kayaker. Dan and his son, Ethan, demonstrate re-entering alone and with another kayaker to help out:

How to Re-Enter a Kayak from the Water: On Your Own

If you capsize your kayak and you’re near shore, your best bet may be to swim over with your kayak and paddle, empty the water out and re-enter there.

If that’s not an option you’ll want to, first, secure your paddle. Then get your kayak back upright by swimming to the stern end, grasping the top and bottom with your hands and flipping it over.

Then boost yourself up on the stern end of the boat, swinging a leg on each side. Keep your head and body as close to the boat as you can and shimmy up towards the cockpit.

re-enter a sit-inside kayak

(If your kayak is full of water, this will be harder! You may first want to grab your bilge pump and pump out as much water as you can.)

Put your hands on either side of the cockpit and keep pulling yourself up until you can drop into the seat.

How to Re-Enter a Kayak from the Water: With a Partner

If you’re kayaking with someone else, a T-rescue is much easier.

The first step is to get as much water out of the kayak as you can. In this case, Ethan swims over to the stern end of his dad’s kayak and hangs on. Dan brings the capsized kayak around to form a T over his own, then lifts the close end out of the water and over the top of his kayak, letting the water drain out.

Once most of the water is out, Dan flips it over and back on the water, bringing it alongside his own kayak. He’ll brace it at the cockpit, then, making it much easier for Ethan to climb back in.

re-enter a sit inside kayak with a partner

Practice in Warm Water

Kayak self-rescue and re-entry is something you can practice in warm water until you’re comfortable with it. Learn how to do it alone and practice with a kayaking buddy.

That way if the unfortunate event of a capsize happens while you’re out on the water, you’ll be ready for it and won’t be learning under pressure!

How can we help you choose your next kayak paddle? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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