If you have ever been in a kayak on the open water, then you know how exhilarating, refreshing, and relaxing of an experience it is. There’s something about being alone on the water with beauty surrounding you that rejuvenates the soul. If you have never been kayaking, it’s easier than you might think – as long as you’re not attacking class five rapids – and it’s nearly a guarantee you will enjoy it. It’s also a nice sport to get involved in not just for exercise, but to get away from it all.
When you go kayaking, there is one step that is necessary prior to all others, and that is to launch the boat. If you have a fragile boat and are launching from a dock, then you’re probably going to need assistance. However, if you have a plastic boat and you’re launching from a dock, then you should have no problem launching the boat on your own. As a safety precaution, make sure you’re wearing a life jacket prior to attempting anything. No matter how experienced you think you are, anyone can bump their head with a simple slip and go unconscious. Wearing a life jacket can save your life.
The first step in launching a sea kayak from a dock is to grab the handle at the stern of the boat and place your other hand underneath the rudder area of the stern. At that point, lift the boat using your knees. Using your knees should allow you to keep from injuring your back. Once you feel you have a good grasp on the kayak, point the bow of the boat toward the water. Then, you will slowly slide the bow of the kayak, as well as the rest of the kayak, into the water. Make sure you lower the stern carefully into the water toward the end of this procedure. Also, make sure your paddle is within reach. You will need it if the kayak begins to float away, which will happen more than you think, regardless of what type of water you’re on. Congratulations. You’re ready to enter the kayak and enjoy your new adventure.
When you are done kayaking and need to get the boat back onto the dock, same as before, grab the handle on the stern and use your other hand to place hand under the stern where the rudder is. Use your knees to lift, only this time you will be lifting the kayak out of the water. Slowly pull the kayak onto the dock and slide it onto the shore. Congratulations once again. You now know how to get your kayak in and out of the water from a dock.
Kayaking is a highly rewarding sport. Take advantage of it.