Get Back In A Kayak

How To Get Back In A Kayak

Kayaking is fun, adventurous, and thrilling, the adrenaline is on another level. It is all screams, joy, and laughter until the kayak flips over. What do you do? How do you get back in? the whole fun turns into a scare if you don’t know what to do.

If you are new to kayaking, you may think that your days are over, but no need to worry. You can get back on the kayak quickly and easily. You need to learn how to get back in a kayak. I have put down a guide on how to get back in a kayak safely after flipping over. You will also get advice and kayaking tips for future kayaking events.

Kayak Safety

Before the kayak flips, let’s talk about safety, shall we?

It is important to protect yourself when going into the waters. Whether you are in a sit-in kayak or a sit-on-top kayak, you must wear a personal floatation device or life vest. This protective gear is essential regardless of the kind of waters you are going in.

Not wearing the life vest could be the greatest obstacle to you getting back in the kayak safely, especially if you are paddling where there are large water waves.

How Easy It Is For A Kayak To Flip Over?

Various factors contribute to how easy it is for a kayak to flip over among them kayak type/design and water conditions.

1. Type Of Kayak

There are two kinds of kayaks: sit on top kayak and sit-in kayak. The Sit-in kayak is designed in such a way that the paddler sits in it. The stability of such a kayak depends on how the hull is designed. Kayaks with long and narrow hulls are less stable compared to the wider and shorter hulls. A flat hull also makes the kayak more stable and less likely to flip.

It is not easy to topple over from a sit-in kayak since you can offer extra stability with your knees against the sides of the hull. Your body is also inside the kayak sealed with a skirt.

A sit-on-top kayak is designed to be stable in the water. At the first glance, this kayak looks wobbly and unstable but they have flat hulls for stability.

There is enough room and a convenient design for using your feet for extra stability. This is the best kind of kayak in case of a capsize and is good for beginners.

2. Water Conditions

The type of kayak you use may not have as much effect on flipping over as the conditions in which you are kayaking. There is a high risk of flipping over if you paddle in the sea where the water is rough. Kayaks are less likely to flip if you go to inland waters or a calm lake.

Kayaking in the sea poses a greater challenge because of the large water waves and unexpected conditions. The possibility of flipping increases further if you decide to settle on the white water kayaking.

How To Get Back In A Kayak [In Details]

Experienced, seasonal, or newbie kayaker, whether in a sit-in or sit on top kayak, at some point you are bound to fall out of the boat.

Wait a minute, there is no reason to panic or get scared! If you do, it will be difficult for you to concentrate, thereby increasing the danger.

If you are a beginner, you probably would start wondering which is the safest way to get back in the kayak.

The easiest way to get back in is to locate the paddle>turn the kayak>if it is upside down)>secure the paddle on the kayak>mount the kayak>get back in the boat> and remove any excess water. That is it! Start paddling again.

While this is the basic way of getting back in a kayak, how you get back depends on the type of kayak you are using.

How To Re-Enter A Sit-In Kayak

Getting back in a sit-inside kayak is a bit technical. If you have been kayaking for some time now, you can use the Eskimo roll. This means you stay inside the kayak and right by moving your hips and the paddle.

If you are new to kayaking, you may have to get out of the kayak and get back in, only that some water will get into the boat.

Follow the steps below.

  1. Turn the boat so it’s no longer upside down: position yourself on one side of the kayak near the hull. Grab each side of the hull on the bottom of the boat then pull up and push over so that it flips away from you. The faster you do this, the less the water will get in.
  2. Re-enter; reach to the opposite side of the boat and hold one side. Let your legs float to the surface and lift the rest of the body on top of the kayak.
  3. Make sure the kayak is stable, sit and slide your feet in the cockpit
  4. Remove any water in the boat
  5. Start paddling again

How To Get Back In A Sit On It Kayak

Generally, it is easier to get back in a sit-on-top kayak because there is less to deal with. There is no spray skirt to deal with, no water to get out and no hassle getting your legs in position.

  1. Turn the kayak to its right position: secure your paddle, swim to the sides of the kayak, and hold the edges of the hull with both hands. Kick your legs, push the kayak up and away from you. This pushes the kayak to turn it right side up.
  2. Re-enter the boat by grabbing one side of the boat and letting your arms and legs come to the surface. Pull yourself up until the abdomen is on the seat.
  3. Get back in position: ensure you are stable first then spin your butt until you are comfortable on the seat. Then swing your legs into position.
  4. Start paddling again


Kayaking is not a risky sport, the worst you can get is embarrassed or wet clothes. Now that you have an idea of how to get back on a kayak if it flips over, you can enjoy the sport without panicking. Remember safety is paramount anytime you are going in the water.


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