How To Empty A Kayak In The Water? With Ultimate Steps

Is it not fun kayaking? Such an incredible sport it is! Not only do you get to experience nature with all its beauty, but you also get some exercise done for the day when kayaking.

But, sometimes, this experience may turn out to be a total nightmare if you somehow tip your kayak, filling the cockpit with water.

So, instead of jumping at the opportunity to go kayaking, the first thing you need to do is learn how to empty a kayak in the water. That will prove to be a life hack that you will come to appreciate when the time comes.

Without further ado, let us dive straight into the process of emptying water from the cockpit of your kayak.

How To Empty A Kayak In The Water – Steps That You Need To Follow

How to Empty a Kayak in the Water

Estimates Cost: 0 dollars

Time Needed: 2-10 minutes

The process is straightforward. Within the needed time, you can get it done with a lot of hard work. This knowledge will not only help you make your kayak lighter but also may save your life.

Materials Needed

  • Paddle float
  • Bilge pump
  • Paddle
  • Sponge
  • Physical strength
  • Bailer

Steps On Emptying A Kayak In The Water

You can empty water from your kayak in different ways. If you bring a bilge pump with you when kayaking, you can efficiently pump out the water.

But, if you do not have one, you have to get the job done manually. There are a few steps that you can follow to get this done with or without help from someone else.

Step 1 – Understanding Kayaking And Staying Calm

People risk their lives for many kinds of sports, careers, or even just for fun. Kayaking is a risky sport, while it is an entertaining sport. For some people, it can get addictive. Ultimately, it has both fun components as well as risk factors.

All kinds of people go kayaking. Even people who do not know swimming go kayaking, which can be life-threatening.

On the other hand, some people are either completely oblivious to the risks of having their cockpit filled with water and its consequences or are way too confident even without ever having to deal with this kind of situation.

So, most people will start panicking straight away when they get the cockpit of their kayak filled with water.

But, if you do your research well and understand the sport of kayaking a little bit better, there will be fewer chances that you will get scared out of your mind.

On the other hand, if you are someone who goes kayaking frequently, you will have to learn to stay calm through experience.

Step 2 – Bring A Paddle Float With You

Without a paddle float, it gets tough to get back on your kayak. If you do not have a bilge pump to drain the water, then a paddle float makes it super easy to right the ship, not just help you get back into your kayak.

There are two kinds of paddle floats out there. One is called inflatable bladder float, and the other is closed cell foam paddle float.

Both with pros and cons, an inflatable bladder float is most famous for its ability to save space in your kayak. In contrast, a closed-cell foam paddle float is excellent because you can use it right away when you need to.

Just buying one without doing your research well might get you in trouble. So, make sure you pick the right one depending on your kayaking needs.

Step 3 – Attaching Your Paddle Float To Your Paddle

If you are out on the water with your kayak and do not have a paddle float, then you can be in a lot of trouble, depending on your luck.

A paddle float can easily fit right into the blade of your paddle. Now, what that does is that it transforms your paddle into an outrigger, which eventually helps get the first step done of emptying a kayak.

Creating an outrigger means that, after you have attached your paddle float into your paddle, it will float parallel to your kayak.

Now, you can get back into the cockpit of your kayak by climbing onto the float first and then back into your kayak with the support you will get from the spoken float.

Step 4 – Place The Bow And Paddle Of Your Kayak On Your Shoulder

The front of the kayak is primarily known as the bow of the kayak. It is an essential part of your kayak.

The bow of your kayak will cut through water to make way for the kayak itself and ensure the speed at which your kayak will be moving and aid you with paddling.

This part of the kayak can be weighty, and you are supposed to lift it and place it against your shoulder, preferably on the shoulder with more strength. You have to put your paddle against your shoulder, where the kayak bow is not placed.

Step 5 – Lift The Kayak

Now comes the hard part: to tip the kayak to empty the kayak’s cockpit off of the remaining water.

If you somehow get water into your kayak, it gets heavier. You do not want your kayak to capsize with water that got filled in the cockpit of your kayak.

So, what you need to do is gently lift your kayak while being quick about it. To keep yourself from getting pulled down, start kicking yourself upwards or pull down your paddle. That way, you will drain the water out of your kayak.

Step 6 – Repeat The Process

After you have tipped the kayak the first time, there will remain a lot of water inside the cockpit of your kayak.

That is why you need to repeat tipping the kayak using all your strength till there is just a little bit to no water left inside your kayak. As a final touch, you can use a sponge to thoroughly soak up the rest of the water.

If this gets way too tiring for you to do, you can always keep a bilge pump or a bailer with you to finish the job.

Step 7 – Emptying Kayak With Assistance

If you are kayaking with another person, let us call them your friend; with their kayak, you are in luck. Because that will help you with your nerves, and you will have someone to help you empty a water-filled kayak as well.

Let your friend hold your paddles for a while. While keeping your kayak upside down, place the bow of your kayak onto the deck of your friend’s kayak. To do this, you can start pushing your stern down.

At the same time, your friend has to pull up the bow of your kayak in the air, if possible.

Now, slowly but surely, the water in your kayak will start to flow away from the cockpit, and eventually, the cockpit will start emptying.

You can still use a bilge pump or even a bailer to empty the last of the water if holding onto the kayak turns out to be too much for you and your friend.


1. What Can You Use To Empty Your Kayak Off Of Water?

If you get water in the cockpit of your kayak, you can use a bailer or a bilge pump to get most or all of the water out of your kayak.

But, if you do not own those, you should at least keep some paddle float to help yourself get back onto the kayak.

2. How Do You Empty A Kayak Filled With Water By Yourself?

You can use a bilge pump or a bailer, or you can use a paddle float. Attach the float to your paddle and place the bow of your kayak on one shoulder while placing the paddle on the other shoulder.

Lift the bow and pull down on the paddle at the same time till the water comes out.

3. How To Empty A Kayak With Assistance?

If you find help somehow, place the bow of your kayak on the helper’s deck in an upside-down position.

You can help them by pushing up your stern. Let your helper lift the bow as much as possible till the water comes out.

Final Words

Kayaking is a one-of-a-kind sport. But, it has its flaws as well. Yes, I am talking about when a kayak somehow gets filled with water.

When this happens, most people start panicking, which is the wrong way to go about it. Stay calm and collected while planning out what to do next.

You may ask, how to empty a kayak in the water? There are a few effortless ways to drain all that water out of your kayak by yourself, as described in this very article. Even with assistance, it is straightforward to get the job done together.

Ultimately, if the primary goal is to drain water out of your kayak, always make sure you are prepared for the task before you get on your kayak. Because, no matter how hard it seems, it is an effortless thing to do.

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