How to get into an inflatable kayak

How To Get Into An Inflatable Kayak

You’ve (probably) gotten or are planning to get yourself a new inflatable kayak. (If yes, well, congratulations!)

Most new kayakers usually struggle to figure out how to get in and out of an inflatable kayak smoothly because kayaks on the water can be very unstable.

This usually happens because of an imbalance of weight distribution within the kayak (especially on the water).

So if you don’t want to get soaked right before your kayak session, you should learn how to get into an inflatable kayak properly.

DISCLOSURE: The links on this page may be affiliate links, from which I earn a small commission if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA COST to you. I hope you find the information here useful. Thanks!

At A Glance: Easy Steps On How To Get Into An Inflatable Kayak

To start, here are 5 super easy steps that you should do to get into an inflatable kayak:

Step 1: Find a safe place near the water (at a dock, riverbank, etc.)

Step 2: Place your kayak on a still surface of the water (ideally, a still shallow water surface) 

Step 3: Slowly place both of your feet inside the kayak’s cockpit/deck and balance yourself until the kayak is stable

Step 4: Once it is stable, gradually lower yourself to sit in the kayak’s cockpit 

Step 5: Push yourself away from the water shore using your paddle and start paddling away.

Sounds pretty simple right? 

However, bear in mind, there are also different steps that you also need to consider, especially if you are trying to enter into your kayak from another entry point like a jetty, beach, riverbank, etc. 

So keep reading this article if you wish to know more tips on how to get into your inflatable kayak like a professional (even though you are secretly a beginner) & learn a few secrets about inflatable kayaks.

Related Posts:

How To Sit In An Inflatable Kayak

As mentioned earlier, methods to get into an inflatable kayak can be different based on the location of your entry point.

Here are some of the best ways to get into an inflatable kayak!

On Land / Shoreline

Step 1: Stand up in between your kayak

Step 2: Lower yourself, sit in the cockpit, and place your feet accordingly.

Step 3: Use your hand/paddle or even get a friend to help push you into the water area.

On Dock/Jetty/Riverbank

Step 1: Tie your kayak to any nearby ledge of a dock /jetty (to prevent your kayak from drifting). 

Step 2: Slowly lower your kayak on the water and parallel it to the dock/ jetty.

Step 3: Place both feet into the kayak cockpit with both hands on the dock (do not go hands-free when entering, unless you plan to dive in the water)

Step 4: Once stable, gradually lower yourself and untie the kayak.

How To Get Into A 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

If you happen to purchase a 2-person inflatable kayak, you may be wondering how exactly to get into one of these. 

Well, if you and your kayak partner do not plan to get wet at the start of your kayak session, then follow these super easy, simple steps:

Step 1: Get your kayak partner to help and stabilize your kayak boat first

Step 2: Let the heavier & stronger person first enter the kayak and sit as a stabilizer at the back of the kayak. 

(Ideally, they are the ones who will be the helmsman/helmswoman (i.e., the one who is stronger to control and steer the kayaks))

Step 3: Once the 2nd person has settled at the back of the kayak, let the first person sit at the front of the kayak.

And paddle yourself into nature!

Inflatable Kayaks 101: Beginner Edition

Since you may still be new to this super fun water activity, allow me to take this opportunity to share with you a few inflatable kayaking tips for beginners that are helpful.

What You Need To Know As Beginner Kayaker

How to get into an inflatable kayak

Everyone has to start somewhere. So let’s start off with the very basic knowledge that all beginner kayakers need to know:

Why Inflatable Kayaks For Beginners?

Those who are new to kayaking are likely to have one question on their minds:

“Are inflatable kayaks good for beginners?”

Inflatable kayaks are great for beginners because they are easy to transport as you can inflate or deflate them anywhere, making them convenient to bring when traveling. More importantly, inflatable kayaks are easy to set up.

Inflatable Kayaks: The Pros & Cons

As with all things, it is good to know the pros and cons of your kayak.

The Pros: 

  • Travel-friendly (can bring anywhere)
  • Easy set-up (inflate and deflate)
  • Cheaper
  • Wide design = very stable (great for beginners!)

The Cons:

  • It can easily drift away due to its light material
  • Wide designs may affect its speed performance and it may be slower compared to other kayaks
  • Not ideal for harsh & rocky environment

Inflatable Kayak vs. Hardshell Kayak

Previously, a hardshell kayak was the big toy for water sports junkies, thanks to its strong material, durability, and better control when maneuvering in between river rocks during whitewater rafting.  

However, over the years, there has been significant interest in inflatable kayaks (thanks to their easy setup & the fact that they are beginner-friendly). 

Types Of Inflatable Kayaks

How to get into an inflatable kayak

Inflatable kayaks are popular among paddlers because they are easy to deflate and are travel-friendly. They come in all sorts of types and designs, so it’s crucial to know what you’re looking for before making your very first inflatable kayak purchases.

Psst…if you’re looking for a bargain, then check out this list of recommended inflatable kayaks here:

1. Best Budget Inflatable Kayak

If you are on a tight budget and looking for the cheapest inflatable kayak near you, check out this kayak!

Intex Challenger Kayak

how to get in and out of an inflatable kayak

This inflatable sit-in kayak might be the best cheap inflatable kayak for you! It’s spacious for a solo kayaker with an amazing storage net and high-quality PVC material.

Kayak Detail Specification:

  • Size Length : 274.3 cm (9 ft)
  • Width : 79 cm (2.6 ft)
  • Weight: 29.9 lbs / 13.5 kg
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs / 100 kg
  • Seat Capacity : 1 person
  • Type of Kayak : Inflatable Sit-In Kayak

What we like:

  • Sleek design & bright color = highly visible on the water
  • Has removable adjustable seat
  • You get a paddle, removable skeg, carry bag, and high-output pump
  • Travel friendly

What we don’t like:

  • May drift away due to lighter material
  • Carry bag quality = below average

2. Best Inflatable Kayak For Long Distance

If you’re looking for the best inflatable kayak for ocean exploration, then you should consider this inflatable touring kayak:

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Touring Kayak.

how to get in and out of an inflatable kayak

This bright yellow touring kayak is a great choice, especially for adventurous families, as it has enough room even for a child. 

Kayak Detail Specification:

  • Size Length : 441.9 cm (14.5 ft)
  • Width : 101.6 cm (8.4 ft)
  • Weight: 33 lbs / 14.9 kg
  • Weight capacity: 600 lbs / 272.1 kg
  • Seat Capacity : 1 person
  • Type of Kayak : Inflatable Sit-In Kayak

What we like:

  • Sleek design & bright color = highly visible on the water
  • Lightweight despite its long design
  • Very spacious and comfortable
  • Travel-friendly & quick set-up (take 9 minutes to inflate*)
  • Includes 2 adjustable adult seats and 1 child seat

What we don’t like:

  • Very long; may need assistance to carry 
  • Narrow design = not ideal for wide-shaped user

3. Best Inflatable Whitewater Kayak

This inflatable kayak is for you water sports junkies! 

The Driftsun Rover 120/220 is highly versatile as it has 7 rapid self-bailing drain plugs, which can quickly help keep you from being drenched throughout your water activity.

how to get in and out of an inflatable kayak

Kayak Detail Specification:

  • Size Length : 260 cm (8.5 ft)
  • Width : 91 cm (2.9 ft)
  • Weight: 22 lbs / 14.9 kg
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs / 136 kg
  • Seat Capacity : 1 person
  • Type of Kayak : Inflatable Sit-In Kayak

What we like:

  • Comes with removable skeg and travel carry bag
  • Has adjustable seats and footrests
  • Has action camera mount
  • Shorter design = faster and better control

What we don’t like:

  • Quite pricey
  • Limited space: not great for tall individuals

Do You Have To Buy A Kayak As A Beginner?

How to get into an inflatable kayak

If you’re still unsure whether to invest such an amount of money in kayaks, then you may also try to consider renting an inflatable kayak first.

There are many inflatable kayak rentals that are readily available for beginners! 

These are great options because you can still enjoy the sport without burning your wallet. Heck, you can even rent a kayak for as cheap as $50! (Now that’s a bargain!)

So, here are some recommended businesses that provide such rental services.

Outdoor Geeks

Things you may need to know:  

Kayak rentals are available for both delivery & store pick-up.

  • Delivery: orders must be placed 10 days in advance for confirmation and the kayak will be delivered 1 day before your rental date.
  • Pick-Up: orders must be placed 5 days in advance for confirmation and the kayak will be available for pick up 1 day before your rental date.

Plus, If they’re late to deliver, they claim it’ll be rental-free. (That sounds amazing!)

Booking Period: No restrictions so far, but if you’re uncertain, you can always give them a call at (303) 699-6944 or email them at contactus@outdoorsgeek.com.

Outdoor & Adventures

Things you may need to know:  Kayak rentals are only available from the rental booth at Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island, Washington.

Booking Period: Available from May until September, subject to weather conditions.

Age restriction: Recommended for those aged 8 and above (2 adults must accompany a child).

How To Paddle An Inflatable Kayak

Now that you know how to get into an inflatable kayak, it’s time that you also learn how to paddle.

All you need to know is that there are 4 basic paddle stroke techniques (yeap, just 4 techniques)

  • Forward Stroke (front to back) = To move forward.
  • Reverse Stroke (back to front) =  To move backward
  • Sweep Stroke (sweeping motion) = To turn direction
  • Draw Stroke (side paddle towards kayak) = To move closer to dock or another boat

That’s it; just keep practicing! 

If you’re still unsure about how to exactly perform these paddling techniques, then check out this video where this gentleman will show you the proper paddling techniques.

Tools That You Should Have In Your Inflatable Kayak

You should seriously consider getting these items once you have already decided which inflatable kayak to buy: 

  • Automatic pump for an inflatable kayak (this might be one of the best pumps for an inflatable kayak!)
inflatable kayaking tips for beginners
best ways to get into an inflatable kayak
best ways to get into an inflatable kayak
best ways to get into an inflatable kayak
best ways to get into an inflatable kayak

FAQ

How Do You Get Into A Kayak If You Have Bad Knees?

If you have bad knees you may find it easier to get into a sit-on-top kayak rather than a sit-inside. A sit-on-top has an open cockpit which can make it easier for most people to get in and out of, compared to an enclosed cockpit on a sit-inside kayak.

Check out how this bad-ass grandma demonstrates how to enter a kayak safely.

Do Inflatable Kayaks Pop Easily?

Inflatable kayaks do not pop easily! Thanks to its highly durable material and a protective vinyl layer on the bottom deck. Plus, most modern inflatable kayaks have been one of the most robust kayaks in the market as they have higher resistance to punctures or tears. Nonetheless, you still need to take extra precautions to avoid damages or leakage. 

Conclusion 

If you are already here at the end of this article, well then you can proudly say;

“I know how to get into an inflatable kayak !” 

In summary, just remember these 5 easy steps on how to get into an inflatable kayak:

Step 1: Find a safe place near the water 

Step 2: Place your kayak on a still surface of the water

Step 3: Slowly place both of your feet inside the kayak’s cockpit/deck and balance yourself until the kayak is stable

Step 4: Once it is stable, gradually lower yourself to sit in the kayak’s cockpit 

Step 5: Push yourself away from the water shore using your paddle and start paddling away.

I hope you find my article helpful for you and if you know any friends who are also new to kayaking, share this article so that they benefit from this too!

More To Explore

Women Wandering Beyond

Hello and Welcome!

Hi there. My name is Aisha Preece. Founder and owner of Women Wandering Beyond.

Learning how to adventure and explore through the world transformed my life and helped me become a happier person.

I want to help you do the same.
My female adventure travel site is dedicated to helping women travel more, step outside their comfort zone and experience wonders of the world beyond their wildest dreams!

Ladies, we are going on an adventure!

Search for something specific

follow our adventures