How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees

How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees?

Do you have knee problems and are wondering how to get out of a kayak with bad knees? 

Going kayaking when you have bad knees can sound scary or impossible but it doesn’t have to be. Most people with bad knees are very nervous about entering and exiting their kayak because they worry that it will be painful or cause more damage to their knees.

For people with certain medical conditions like bad knees, low-impact activities can be a way to get a good workout without aggravating your conditions. 

Luckily for those of us who love being out on the water, there are certain types of kayaking that fall under the category of low-impact activities and that we can do even if we have bad knees.

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Read on to find out all about how to get out of a kayak with bad knees and a lot more. Here are all the different things that we will talk about in this article:

How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees

The biggest question you are probably asking is how do you get out of a kayak? How you get out of a kayak is slightly different depending on whether you are exiting the kayak at a dock, a beach, or in the water. Read on to find out the best way to get out of a kayak in each situation.

How To Get Out Of A Kayak At A Dock

How To Get Out Of A Kayak At A Dock

When you are trying to figure out how to get out of a kayak at a dock, it can be hard to find the right leverage to pull yourself up and out as the kayak floats in the water. 

1. Bring your kayak close to the dock at the point where the dock is at its lowest point to the water. 

2. Hold on to the dock for balance as you pull yourself out of your kayak until you are in a sitting position on the dock. At this point, your feet will still be in your kayak. (Tip: Put all your weight on the dock when you are doing this.)

3. Lift your legs carefully to avoid putting too much pressure on your knees or bending them at the wrong angle.

4. If you have a friend with you, you can ask them to stabilize your kayak while you are doing this.

This video demonstrates how to get in and out of a kayak at a dock. 

How To Get Out Of A Kayak On Shore 

How To Get Out Of A Kayak On Shore

Getting out of a kayak when you are on the shore can be a little challenging since it can put quite a lot of pressure on your knees. Here is how to get out of a kayak on the beach or shore.

1. Paddle your kayak towards the shore and make sure that you are perpendicular to the shore. 

2. Paddle up as high to the sand as you can.

3. Move one leg out of the kayak at a time until you are straddling the kayak.

4. Use the front of the kayak to pull yourself up into a standing position. If you have trouble standing up, just keep sliding yourself forward until you are on the sand then get on all fours or roll to your side and stand up from there.

Watch this video for more details on how to get in and out of a kayak on a shore.

In The Water

How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees

Exiting your kayak while you are in the water can cause less strain on your knees since you can exit from more of a seating position compared to a squatting one when you exit on the shore.

You can try this at two different water depths and choose the one that works best for you. Here’s how to get in and out of a kayak in water.

  • Knee Deep Water

1. Paddle close to the shore and stop when the water is about knee-deep, usually around a foot deep. (Tip: You can use your paddle to measure how deep the water is.)

2. Swing your legs to one side of your kayak.

3. Turn so that your body is at a right angle with your kayak.

4. Move your body forward until your feet can touch the ground.

  • Waist Deep Water

1. Paddle your kayak until you are close to the shore and the water is about waist deep.

2. Take a look for any rocks or tree stumps around you.

3. Flip your kayak over so that you end up in the water and can stand up. Since you are doing this in the water, there will be significantly less strain on your knees.

Note: It’s important to learn the right way to flip your kayak and how to get out of a flipped kayak especially if you are in a sit-inside kayak.

This video shows you how to get in and out of a kayak in shallow water.

Best Way To Get In And Out Of Different Types of Kayaks If You Have Bad Knees

There are different types of kayaks and how to get in and out of a kayak with bad knees will depend a little on the type of kayak that you are using.

How To Get In And Out Of A Sit On Top Kayak

how to get in and out of a kayak easily

Sit on top kayaks are probably the best choice for you if you have bad knees. They allow you to have your legs straight while you are kayaking so that you are not putting too much pressure on your knees.

Sit on top kayaks are also the easiest to get in and out of since they are open and you don’t have to maneuver your legs as much to get in and out of them. Here is how to get in and out of a kayak easily.

Getting In:

1. Take your kayak out into shallow water that is just above knee level.

2. Face your boat towards the open water and perpendicular to the shore.

3. Straddle your kayak and sit on the seat. For more stability, place your paddle behind your back.

4. Adjust your legs and feet into the right position and you’re good to go!

Getting Out:

1. Bring your kayak close to the shore where the water is just above knee level.

2. Face your boat towards the shore and perpendicular to the shore.

3. Slide your legs off the kayak and stand up. Make sure you hold on to your kayak so that it doesn’t float out into the open water.

Watch this video to see a demonstration of this.

How To Get In And Out Of A Sit-Inside Kayak

how to get in and out of a kayak easily

Sit-inside kayaks are a little harder to get in and out of since you need to maneuver your legs into the kayak. It takes practice to find the way that works best to get your legs in without straining your knees. Take time to try different movements until you find the one that is right for you.

This is how to get in and out of a kayak from shore.

Getting In:

1. Take your kayak to the edge of the water so that your kayak is half in the water and half on the shore.

2. Face your boat towards the open water and perpendicular to the shore.

3. Straddle your kayak and put your legs into the kayak one at a time. 

4. Slide into the seat and adjust your legs until you are comfortable and stable.

5. Ask a friend to push you in or use your hands to slowly push yourself into the water until it is deep enough for the boat to float.

Getting Out:

1. Bring your kayak close to the shore where the water is just above knee level.

2. Face your boat towards the shore and perpendicular to the shore.

3. Slide yourself out of the seat and slowly lift your legs out one at a time until you are in a standing position.

How To Get In And Out Of An Inflatable Kayak

how to get in and out of a kayak easily

Inflatable kayaks are a popular choice among kayakers due to their portability and durability. But since inflatable kayaks are not as solid as non-inflatable ones, it can make getting in and out of them a little more challenging especially when you have bad knees.

Depending on whether your inflatable kayak is a sit-inside kayak or a sit-on-top kayak, you would get in and out as described above. In addition to that, you may need to find ways to stabilize it a bit more.

The best way to stabilize an inflatable kayak more would be to ask someone to help hold it for you when you are getting in and out of it.

This video has some different ways to get in and out of an inflatable kayak.

What Is a Kayak Exit Device And How Do I Use It?

Kayak exit devices like the KayakArm and KayakLeg can overcome any difficulty getting out of a kayak. A kayak exit device helps you get in and out of your kayak by stabilizing your kayak so that it moves less while you are trying to enter or exit your kayak. 

The KayakArm can only be used at docks while the KayakLeg can be used in other situations. 

Can I Kayak If I Have Bad Knees?

Yes, you can kayak if you have bad knees if you choose the right type of kayak and learn how to kayak safely and comfortably with your knee condition. Kayaking on flatwater (like a lake) is a comfortable and fun low-impact activity even if you have bad knees. 

Do talk to your doctor first before you start kayaking to make sure that it is right for you. 

What Is The Best Type Of Kayak If I Have Bad Knees?

If you have bad knees, a good choice is sit-on-top kayaks since it is easier to enter and exit them. As these are open kayaks, the open cockpit design will give you more space to move your legs around and keep them straight as opposed to closed-deck designs like sit-inside kayaks.

How To Kayak Safely And Comfortably With Bad Knees?

How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees

1. Talk To Your Doctor About Kayaking With Bad Knees

Before you start a new activity, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor first, especially if you have a condition like bad knees. Your doctor will be able to tell you if kayaking is a good idea for your particular condition. 

Your doctor will also be able to highlight specific things to be mindful of as well as provide suggestions on how to kayak more safely and comfortably.

2. Choose The Type Of Kayak That Is Best For Bad Knees

Choosing the right kayak is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that you can kayak safely and comfortably. 

If you have bad knees, sit-on-top kayaks are usually the best choice since they provide the most space for you to sit comfortably with your legs straight.

It is also much easier to enter and exit sit-on-top kayaks especially when you have bad knees. 

3. Take Lessons To Learn The Best Way To Kayak With Bad Knees

If you haven’t gone kayaking before or since you developed bad knees, it can be very helpful to take lessons so that you can learn to kayak safely and comfortably as well as find the best ways to get in and out of a kayak.

There may be certain techniques and tips that an experienced kayaking instructor will be able to show you to make your kayaking experience safe, pain-free, and most importantly, fun!

4. Start Slow And Find Out What Works For You

As with any new activity, it’s a good idea to start slow and avoid rushing into it. Take time to get comfortable with getting in and out of a kayak as well as being out on the water.

When you first start kayaking, it’s a good idea to go with someone else so that they can help you if you need it.

As you become more familiar and comfortable with kayaking, you will learn what works best for you and how to kayak in a way that is safe for you.

5. Do Exercises To Support Your Knees

There are certain exercises that you can do to strengthen your body so that your knees are better supported. A lot of these exercises target your core while some are functional exercises that will help you move better while kayaking. 

Here are some exercises for getting in and out of a kayak:

6. Explore Additional Equipment To Use While Kayaking

There may be other equipment that you could add to your kayak as well to make the kayak more comfortable while you are kayaking. 

 get in and out of a kayak
 get in and out of a kayak
 get in and out of a kayak

Final Thoughts

Kayaking is a fun activity and having bad knees shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it. There are different things that you can do to ensure that you are kayaking safely and comfortably if you have knee problems. 

One of the most important things is knowing how to get out of a kayak with bad knees. No matter if you are exiting your kayak at a dock, on a shore, or even in the water, you now know the best way to do it safely.

I hope that you will try these techniques the next time you are out kayaking and that you will be able to find the one that works the best for you. 

How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees

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