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How To Get Into A Kayak With Bad (Or Stiff) Knees And Start Kayaking

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Getting into a kayak can be tricky at the best of times but when you have bad or stiff knees, it can be even more of a strain on your joints. But kayaking is a sport that just about anyone can enjoy.

So we’ve put together this guide to show you how to get into a yak even if your knees aren’t quite in the same shape as they used to be.

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How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees (kayak exit for seniors)

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.

Wade In

One way of getting into a kayak that can be easy on your knees is to wade out with your yak until you’re calf or knee deep in the water. This raises the kayak up slightly, to a level that may be more convenient to sit in.

You can then simply sit down like you’re sitting on a chair, making sure you have a hand on either side of the vessel. Once your butt is in the seat you can carefully swing your legs around and you’re ready to go. It can help if you have someone with you who can stabilize your vessel while you get in.

How To Safely Get Into A Sit-on Top Kayak

Make sure you keep your paddle in the paddle holder (if there is one) or have a friend pass you it once you’re in.

You could also try this with a sit-inside but you may find it more difficult to swing your legs into a cockpit. You might find it easier to straddle the sit-inside and sit down in it before lifting your legs in one at a time.

Video: Gently Entering & Exiting The Kayak

Ok, Great! I’m In The Kayak, Can I Use Knee Pads?

Sometimes if you’re paddling over a long distance, your knees can get stiff, especially inside a cockpit where you don’t have much space for shifting around and moving your legs.

Knee Protection

Knee pads attached to the sides of your cockpit can provide some protection if your knees are resting on the edge. Alternatively, you might find it more comfortable to wear knee pads designed to offer support and reduce stress on your joints.

> NRS knee pads

Elevate Your Legs

Another thing that can affect your comfort level while you’re in the kayak is the position of your legs. And this can be whether you’re in a sit-inside or a sit-on-top.

So one thing that could help relieve some of the pressure on your legs is to place a dry bag underneath your knees. This can elevate your legs a little and give you a slightly different sitting position.

Remember to make sure the dry bag is secured to your kayak so that it doesn’t float away.

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As you can see, just because you have bad or stiff knees shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy kayaking like everyone else. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your comfort while you’re in a kayak and now you know how to get in one, there should be nothing holding you back.

Let us know how you get on when you next take to the water and if you have any tips or advice to share with others, leave us a comment. Don’t forget to share this guide with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts to encourage more kayakers.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Jeff Paisley

Kayak Monster has developed a kayak dolly that attaches to the kayak and stabilizes it while entering and existing the kayak. See the link below.



Great advice

Harvey Heaton

Once you are in the Kayak, having a propulsion system like Hobie’s mirage drive, stops them from seizing up and helps your back and shoulders as well

Jay Wirsig

The KayaArm is a new device $299 that attaches to your dock to stabilize your kayak for launching many people with bad knees and hips use it see http://www.kayaarm.com


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