How To Keep Water Out Of A Kayak – With Pro Guideline

Fishing is by far the most fun inter-generational activity. Everyone loves fishing and it’s one of the favorite pastimes in the United States. And for those who love fishing. Kayak is a fantastic watercraft specially made for fishing and paddling.

However, Kayaking is quite risky and can be hazardous sometimes, especially when someone does not know how to operate a kayak.

But as Thomas Jefferson once said, “With great risk comes great reward.” Considering the fun you’re going to have by going on a fishing trip, it’s worth taking the risk.

But keep in mind that no matter how great the reward is, you should never put yourself in danger. You need to stay afloat and not allow water to get inside your kayak while you’re paddling.

Let’s get into the ways of keeping water out of a kayak!

How To Keep Water Out Of A Kayak – A Safety Guide

How to keep water out of a Kayak

In this writing, you’ll get to know how to keep water out of a Kayak so that you can have a safe ride on a Kayak.

Stick around till the end to find out all the necessary safety information you need to know about riding a Kayak. So, let’s proceed further.

Materials Needed

1. Bilge Pump

2. Spray Skirt

3. Scupper Stopper Plug

Methods Of Keeping Water Out Of A Kayak

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

If someone wants to keep water out of a Kayak, then there’s no better way other than going to the root of the problem and stop water from getting into the kayak because prevention is always better than cure. It’s best to prevent water from getting inside the kayak in the first place.

The best way to avoid water from getting into your kayak is using a spray skirt. A spray skirt is waterproof protection for the inside of your kayak that fits tightly over the cockpit. However, spray skirts don’t work on sit-on-top kayaks and can only be used in sit-in kayaks.

If you install a spray skirt on your kayak and water still gets inside, you have a leak, which is most likely caused by a loose-fitting or a faulty storage hatch. So, make sure to leave behind no loose ends through which water may get into the kayak.

Now, if you’re using a sit-on-top kayak, then you must get a set of scupper plugs. Scupper Plugs are essential for plugging the scupper holes of your kayak and draining water out of the kayak.

Don’t forget to plug your scupper holes with the scupper plugs before going into the water.

When Water Gets Inside The Kayak Anyway

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to stop the water from getting inside your Kayak.

In those unfortunate cases, there are several methods you can use to drain the water out of your kayak. The easiest and most common way of emptying out water is using a Bilge Pump.

If you don’t know what a bilge pump is, it’s a water pump used to remove bilge water from kayaks.

Bilge Pump is an easy-to-use device that comes in all shapes and sizes, but you should get small and portable hand-operated ones that are most suitable for kayakers.

Bilge Pumps are must-have equipment for kayaks. The hand-operated lightweight pumps can be placed wherever you want and whenever you need it so that you have a quick way to remove water out of the kayak not only on the surface but also when you’re out there on the water.

If there are still traces of water after pumping out water using a bilge pump, you can use a simple sponge to soak out the remaining water from the kayak. Sponges can do wonders when it comes to soaking out the remnants of water the bilge pump couldn’t drain away.

When You Don’t Have A Bilge Pump

You can empty the water out of your kayak manually when you don’t have a bilge pump. In order to do that, you need to follow some mandatory steps. The procedures of manually draining water out of your kayak are given below.

First, you have to determine how far the shore is from you and how far you have to travel to reach the dry land. Then, you need to grab the bow of your kayak and swim along with it until you reach the shore.

Make sure you don’t lose your paddles in the process. Once you reach dry land, you have to empty out the water from the inside of your kayak by flipping it upside down or using the following method.

Swim to the bow and grab your kayak by the bow. Kick your legs as hard as you can and use your arms and shoulder to push your body out of the water and lift the bow of your kayak with both of your hands until the cockpit is free of water.

You can also swing the cockpit side to side to ensure that all of the water drains out. Repeat this procedure repeatedly until the water in the kayak fully drains away and once the water is fully drained, you can flip the kayak right side up and climb onto the cockpit.

Again, you can remove the remaining water using a simple sponge, as we previously suggested.

But having a bilge pump would help you immensely so, we would suggest you get a bilge pump because sometimes it’s almost impossible to drain out all the water.

This method is applicable for Sit-in Kayaks. However, for sit-on-top kayaks, you can just simply unscrew the scupper plugs and it will drain away water from the kayak.

If you’re on the water and water fills in your kayak and starts to sink then, you should head to the shore immediately. Do not attempt to lift a kayak full of water. Instead, flip it over and allow it to drain enough water so that you can lift the kayak.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s The Difference Between Sit-In Kayak And Sit-On-Top Kayak?

The difference between a Sit-in Kayak and a Sit-on-top kayak is the sit inside the kayak.

Both of these kayaks have a sitting area in the middle called a cockpit by which the kayak is operated. But the design of the cockpit is different from one another. Sit-in kayaks are more confined compared to sit-on-top kayaks.

2. What Type Of Kayak Is Suitable For Me?

If you’re a beginner in kayaking, we suggest you go for a sit-on-top kayak because it’s more suitable for beginners and easy to operate.

However, water can hardly pass through a sit-in kayak so, if you don’t want to get wet then, you should consider getting a sit-in kayak. Sit-in kayaks are best for cold and rough weather so that you don’t get wet.

3. How Do I Keep Track Of My Paddles While Swimming To The Shore?

It’s extremely important to keep track of the paddles otherwise, the paddles will drift away in the water. Paddle tether comes in handy in situations like this. So, you have to get a paddle tether in order to perform such tasks.

4. Is Practice Necessary?

Obviously. Practice makes a man perfect and you should definitely study and practice the aforementioned techniques before going into the water. To perform such tasks, practice is definitely required and it will increase your expertise.


Kayaking alone in the water is certainly a daunting task to perform. Keep in mind that while on the water, your first priority should always be to save yourself and not provoke any kind of danger because there are numerous cases of accidents occurring due to water getting inside the kayak.

But knowing how to keep water out of a kayak will surely reduce your chances of falling victim to such kind of incident.

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