Once a kayak flips and the paddler makes a wet exit, they will have a few choices to make before they can continue on their journey. One of those choices is deciding how to get back into the kayak. There are a few different ways of re-entering a sit inside yak. The most popular method is called the back deck re-entry. This is also the easiest method and we describe, step-by-step how to complete this method with both a single kayak and a tandem. Keep reading to learn how to re-enter a sit inside kayak.
Practice Makes Perfect
The best place to practice the back deck re-entry is in deep water that is over your head but not so deep that you can’t touch the bottom with your toes. Do not kayak in deep waters until you have mastered this method and can do it easily each time.
Solo Kayak Re-Entry:
Whether you fall of your kayak or you get into the water for some snorkeling, getting back in is easy with a little practice. Follow these steps and you’ll be paddling again in no time:
1. Your kayak should be facing right side up. If it is not, then reach under the kayak, grab the lip of the cockpit and roll the boat over. You may also reach over the top of the kayak and grab the far side to roll it over. You might have to bail some water out of the cockpit before you can get in.
2. Grab the far side of the cockpit with your right hand and grab the close side of the cockpit with your left hand. While balancing the kayak, pull yourself up and across the cockpit opening.
3. If the kayak starts leaning towards you, fall back a little to keep it right side up. You may have to kick a little to get yourself on top of the kayak without it tipping.
4. While laying across the kayak, turn yourself over so your butt is in the cockpit with your arms and legs outside. Place two hands on the side of the kayak to balance the kayak while swinging your legs over and on top of the bow.
5. Place your hands behind the cockpit and lift your butt out and on top of the kayak so you are sitting on the rear edge of the cockpit. Put one leg into the cockpit and then another. When both legs are into the cockpit, you can slide your butt inside. Congratulations, you are now back in your kayak and ready to continue your paddling adventure.
Tandem Kayak Re-Entry:
Getting inside a kayak is easy when you are by yourself but it can be difficult when there are more two or more people involved. If you have fallen out of your tandem, chances are that your partner has done the same. Follow these steps to get both of you back inside the kayak.
1. The kayak should be right side up. If it isn’t, then work with your partner to roll it over and bail the water out of the cockpit.
2. Decide who will get into the kayak first. You must do this one at a time. One person should hold the kayak steady while the other person gets onboard.
3. The person getting into the boat should grab the far side of the cockpit with one hand and the close side of the cockpit with the other hand.
4. Pull yourself across the cockpit using forceful kicks and pulling with your arms. You may find that tilting the cockpit towards you makes this easier.
5. Flip around so that your butt is in the kayak and your arms and legs are hanging over the sides.
6. Brace yourself with your hands and swing your legs over the front of the kayak.
7. Put your hands on the rear lip of the cockpit and lift your butt onto the kayak, right behind the cockpit. Put your legs into the cockpit, one at a time and then slide your butt back in. Grab your paddle and brace the kayak while your partner gets into the kayak the same way you got in.
It is a good idea to practice these steps with your partner before going into deep water. The easier you can do this together, the better you will be when you really do need to get back into the kayak.