The Perfect Sport Buyers Guide

How to get back in a kayak? [2 Easy Steps]

How to get back in a kayak

Kayaking is a wonderful activity to participate in. There are several possibilities to enjoy the beauty of nature on a tranquil lake or the excitement of whitewater rafting on a raging river. 

However, there are two unavoidable truths about kayaking: you’re on water, and your kayak will ultimately tip over and throw you in it.

An unintentional capsize, on the other hand, is nothing to be concerned about, as it occurs to every kayaker. Swimming unintentionally is, after all, a component of the sport.

However, knowing what to do if your kayak flips is critical. You should know how to swiftly and securely return to your kayak.

What to do if your kayak flips over and how to get back into it are discussed in the article. But first, let’s look at why a kayaker falls into the water.

Why does a kayaker fall into the water?

If you are an expert at launching and landing your kayak and only do it on days when the water is glassy, you may never fall out.

If you’re anything like the paddlers, you’re always looking for new ways to challenge yourself and improve your abilities. 

Others like us have a tendency to get in the path of factors that cause people to fall out of their kayaks. As a result, we spend a significant amount of time climbing back into our kayaks after falling out.

Some conditions have an impact on kayakers who fall into the water.

The wind, waves, and wake:

The feared trinity of kayaker anxiety: wind, waves, and wake (and maybe whales). If you’re going to fall out of your kayak, one of these three forces is almost certainly to blame. 

Either a strong gust of wind will blow you off your feet, a stray wave will knock you down, or the wake of a huge, fast-moving cottage-country mini-yacht will wreak havoc on you. Additionally, a whale may knock you out of your kayak. That would be incredible.

Design of kayak and paddling skill:

The design of your kayak and your paddling skill are two important elements that influence your chances of falling out.

The sort of kayak you’re in has a big impact on your chances of flipping over. It also decides how to get back in once it has flipped over. 

We’ve emphasized the differences between the two major types of kayaks and how to get back into both to make things as plain as possible.

Sit on kayaks:

Sit-on kayaks are typically recreational kayaks with a broad beam that makes flipping them difficult. 

Because you sit on top of the boat rather than inside it, your center of gravity is higher, increasing the likelihood of the kayak capsizing owing to rapid weight shifts. 

In general, getting back into a sit-on kayak is easier since there is no interior area to empty water out of, no spray skirt to deal with, and getting your legs positioned is much easier.

Sit in kayaks:

Sit-in kayaks may appear more unstable and prone to capsize to many beginners. However, because your body is within the hull, your center of gravity is lower, making it more difficult to turn your kayak over with abrupt body actions. 

When you turn over in a sit-in kayak, there’s a lot more to consider than when you flip over in a sit-on kayak. If you have a spray skirt on it, you’ll need to know how to depart it while keeping that in mind. 

Sit-in kayaks will absorb water as well, so you’ll need to bail it out before re-entering it.

Condition of water:

The type of water in which you paddle your kayak has a significant impact on the likelihood of it flipping. If you’re merely paddling on calm water, the chances of flipping it are little to none. 

However, if you’re in a sea kayak and go out in harsher seas, you risk being hit by a huge wave or other sudden shift, which may overturn your kayak. Before taking a kayak out in any water conditions that might be dangerous, such as whitewater, make sure you attend a water safety training.

Is it simple to flip a kayak over?

No, but given the appropriate circumstances, they can flip.

The majority of recreational kayaks are well-balanced and do not readily capsize or tip over. 

Of course, if you’re paddling in white water, there’s a good chance you’ll capsize.

If you’re on calm seas, though, it’s not an issue to be concerned about. As a result, the answer to the question “Do kayaks easily flip over?” is no. It is mostly determined by two things. 

The kayak you select is really essential. Recreational kayaks are suggested for most beginners since they are among the most stable and have a low danger of turning over. 

On the other hand, ultra-light boats, which are usually used by professionals, are considerably simpler to flip over. These kayaks are narrow and quick, which is why they are used by experienced paddlers.

The sort of water you’re in is also a role.

It’s quite unusual for a kayak to capsize in calm water unless the weather chooses to turn against you and throw massive waves your way. When paddling in whitewater or fast-moving water, though, it’s quite simple to flip over.

During a kayaking trip, it is impossible to completely avoid a flip. However, there are a few things you can take to avoid capsizing. As previously said, the weather is a key element that might threaten the kayakers’ safety. 

It is simply the best option for avoiding bad weather. Before going out on the lake, always check the weather forecast. If the weather is bad, don’t get into the sea since there will always be another time.

Safety Tips to avoid fall into water:

You must consider your safety first, just like you would in any other activity. You should always use a personal flotation device whenever you go out in the water (PFD). 

It makes no difference how experienced you are at swimming or how quiet (or shallow) the water is. 

There’s always the possibility that if it capsizes, you’ll strike your head and be knocked out. People have been known to drown in as little as a few inches of water, so it’s always better to be cautious than sorry. 

If you are not wearing a PFD and are knocked unconscious, your odds of surviving a flipped kayak are slim to none.

How to get back in a kayak in the best way?

Depending on the style of kayak used for kayaking, there are several methods for returning to the kayak after falling into the water. The methods for returning to a different style kayak are mentioned below.

Returning to Sit-on Kayak:

Do you know what to do if you’re paddling along in your sit-on-top kayak and a huge wave knocks you over? The first step is to remain calm. If you begin to panic, you will use a great deal of energy, which will deplete you and render you unsuited for a safe recovery. The following is a step-by-step approach to putting you back into a secure upright posture on your kayak.

  1. You’ll need to flip it back over first. To do so, go closer to the middle of it, where you were previously sat.
  2. Now that you’re in the proper position, reach across the kayak and grab hold of the edge, pulling the kayak towards you with both hands. To assist in pushing the kayak into its upright posture, use your knees to press on the side of the kayak closest to you.
  3. To begin, make sure the paddle is securely fastened when the kayak is upright.
  4. Allow your legs and feet to come to the surface of the water with one hand on either side of the kayak.
  5. Pull yourself up to the point where your abdomen is precisely over the seat, ensuring that you are secure in this posture before proceeding.
  6. Swing yourself around and sit on the seat once you are comfortable and steady enough; following that, you will be able to pull your legs and feet into place and be ready to begin paddling again.

Returning to Sit-in Kayak:

If you’re paddling along in your sit-inside kayak and you suddenly find yourself upside down, don’t panic.

Do you know how to come back to a standing posture in a safe manner? In the event that your sit-inside kayak capsizes, the following instructions will explain to you how to raise yourself upright.

Method 1: 

When a sit-inside kayak capsizes, flipping it back over may be difficult. An “Eskimo roll” is an option for more experienced kayakers.

This may be accomplished by staying inside the kayak and using a combination of hip and paddle actions to flip the kayak back into an upright posture.

Method 2:

Another approach is the “wet exit,” which involves the paddler entirely exiting the kayak. 

The cockpit will fill with water throughout this procedure, and you will need to drain the water as well as re-enter it after it has been turned upright. 

You should always kayak with a “buddy” because if you capsize, you will almost certainly want their aid. Your companion can assist you in keeping your kayak steady as you return inside, as well as removing the water from the cockpit before you do so.

The following are the procedures to help you turn your it upright and get back in it safely:

  • To begin, position yourself next to the kayak, close to the cockpit. 
  • Reaching beneath with one hand on each side, swiftly tugging and pushing it over so it flips away from you to prevent getting additional water in the cockpit.
  • Next, reach across to the opposite side of the kayak and pull yourself across the kayak, bringing your legs to the surface.
  • Turn over and slip your body into the kayak, feet first, once you’re comfortable in this position. You’re now ready to resume paddling and head back out on the water.

Read: How To Transport A Kayak In A Truck?


The number of kayaks is rapidly rising nowadays. Unfortunately, many people do not follow safety precautions. 

There have been tragic occurrences in the past that resulted in the deaths of people, and the causes were none other than “disregarding the golden principles” and “not being prepared.”

Re-entering a kayak in deep water is a difficult task that requires a great deal of practice. Even professionals find it scary at times and under particular circumstances. In calm water, you can try out the strategies mentioned above. However, have someone with you to protect your safety in the event that something goes wrong.

In a short amount of time, you can master flipping an upside-down kayak, but getting on board is the most difficult part. When attempting to enter the kayak, you may turn it over. This is why it’s crucial to keep someone nearby; you never know when you’ll need assistance. Most essential, when paddling, always wear your PFD.