Getting in and out of your kayak isn’t the easiest task even in those who are fit and healthy. What more if you have bad knees? I understand the challenges of getting out of a kayak if your knees aren’t the way they used to be.
Don’t worry, I’ll help you out with the most effective tips. Read on to learn how to get out of a kayak with bad knees.
1. Find support
Find a tree or other object you can use as an anchor, if you went kayaking alone. You’ll use this strong and sturdy object as your anchor or support.
Tie your kayak to that anchor. Make sure you can paddle up close enough so you can tie it up with a rope. Hold one end in each hand and pull tight until they’re taught. Tie a knot at the point where the rope intersects and pull yourself up after.
2. Shallow Water Exit
When you paddle to the place you land your kayak in, stop short of allowing your bow to push up to the shore. Then use your paddle to see if you’re 6-12 inches of water before using this exit technique.
When you’re sure about the water depth, swing both your feet out to one side of your kayak and turn your body, facing perpendicular from the kaya. Scoot towards the edge gradually, until your feet touch the surface. Then let go of the paddle and push off the edge of the kayak, standing up.
3. Drop Yourself Exit
This exit technique is only suitable for those who are fine with getting wet. With this exit method, paddle until you’re offshore and in waist-deep water. The water should be deep enough to cover half of your paddle shaft length.
Make sure that there are no rocks or tree stumps on the sides of your kayak. Either do a visual check or use your paddles to feel the bottom.
Now, flip your kayak over! You can find the bottom using your feet and stand up without much strain on the knees compared to squatting onshore.
If you can’t tip your kayak, grab the handle the opposite of the direction you’ll flip over.
4. Ask a friend
If you’re paddling with other people, you can ask them for help for exiting. That way, you are safe AND dry. Paddle as far up to land as possible and toss your paddle to the ground so you have both hands free.
Turn your body perpendicular to your kayak with your feet touching the ground on one side of the kayak. I recommend that if your left knee is in more pain than the right, get out of the right side of the kayak (or vice versa).
Now, ask your friend to help you up. He should be in a stable position, knees bent and feet at least hip width apart. Grab each other’s forearms and count to three so you’re both in sync as you try getting up.
Make sure your partner won’t let go of you right away. Hold him for a few seconds or have him accompany you until you’re stable enough to stand and walk on dry land.
5. Crawl out
This may be your last resort if all the other strategies mentioned above haven’t been the best for you. While this method looks odd to others, who cares? It’s effective and gets you out of the kayak without worrying about your knees.
When doing this exit technique, make sure your kayak’s bow is far up to land. After that, throw your paddle to land so your hands are free.
Now, your body needs to be perpendicular to the kayak and your feet on the ground. Roll your body towards the shore, with your stomach on top of the kayak. Then slowly and carefully back up onto your hands and knees on the shoreline, crawling up to the shore, and flip over so you can sit down.
After that, you can slowly stand up and you’re good to go!
6. How to make it easier next time
Fortunately, there are ways to help make it easier to get out of the kayak next time. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Stretch daily, which can help with your bones and joints, including your knees. That way, your body will find it easier to move and have more flexibility without much strain.
- Elevate your legs as you paddle rather than keeping it squished in the kayak for hours! This helps with blood circulation, resulting in less stiff knees as you get out. Also, change your posture in the kayak now and then to help take some of the strain away from the knees.
- Make sure you get the kayak suitable for your body. Sit-on-top kayaks are a great choice for those with bad knees. Also, invest in the right equipment that will help with your knees, such as a footrest and knee pads or braces.
- Consider taking kayaking lessons. Your certified instructor can teach you about how to enter and exit a kayak efficiently. He’ll also teach you more about paddling techniques that help you and the knees.
Wrapping It Up
There are so many ways you can get out of the kayak, even if you have bad knees. These techniques are also great for those who are fit and healthy since they can prevent knee strain that may build up over time. But before you even start kayaking, ask your doctor about it, he can recommend exercises and medication for your knees, as well as what kayak to use and how to stay safe.
Hopefully, you learned more about how to get out of a kayak with bad knees! Do follow any of these tips and exit strategies so you can enjoy kayaking to the fullest. Good luck!