Kayak – How to Launch

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 50,535
    Kayak instructor Mike Aronoff demonstrates the different methods involved in launching a kayak.

    Mike Aronoff

    Mike is an American Canoe Association highest level Instructor Trainer Educator in both Coastal and River Kayaking as well as WW Canoe. He is also a British canoe Union Coach with the 4 Star award in Sea Kayak. He is the Chairman of the Coastal Kayak Committee of the USA and on the ACA Safety Education and Instruction Committee. Mike has co authored a number of books on paddling and wrote the ACA Kayak Trip Leading Course. He is a guest instructor in many parts of the US for various programs. He is the owner/general manager of Canoe Kayak and Paddle Co. LLC, a northern Virginia based paddling school and outfitter with an Annapolis, MD branch. Mike is also a registered Idaho Guide and leads trips there and locally. He is most active in certifying ACA paddling instructors in sea and river kayaking.

    Mike Aronoff: Mike Aronoff with Canoe, Kayak and Paddle Company. Let's talk about how to launch a kayak. There are several different ways. If you are on a sandy beach with general Ocean swell coming in thats one thing. It's a different way. We are going to show you how to launch a kayak from a low dock or pier or from a boat ramp like we are on or from a general slopping river bank. It's easy and it's safe. Probably more people fall in the water getting in and out of the kayak than any other time. So, having a little bit of a method makes a big difference. Let's take a look. It shouldnt come as a surprise, but the kayak is actually more stable when it's all the way in the water than when it's partly in the water. It's stable as long as the weight is in the center of the boat, then it's very stable. If you try to step on one side, obviously it's not stable. Here we go, set the back face of the paddle to the shore side, set it across behind the cockpit coaming, put your hands on the paddle shaft, and if you are going to tip your weight, your weight is going to be towards the shore and towards this paddle blade which is now bracing you. Slide into the kayak and there you are and I guess while we are at it, we might as well look at how to put on your spray skirt. I am here, I am stable, I only want you to wear a spray skirt, if you have had wet exit training, if you havent had wet exit training skip this part, dont wear the spray skirt.

    If you have put the back of the skirt on first, tug it up snuggly as it comes past your hips, bring your hands forward, making sure to have the grab loop out, put the skirt on, get your paddle in your hand, you are already pretty much in the water, just push off from the shore and you are off. face of the paddle to the shore side, set it across behind the cockpit coaming, put your hands on the paddle shaft, and if you are going to tip your weight, your weight is going to be towards the shore and towards this paddle blade which is now bracing you. Slide into the kayak and there you are and I guess while we are at it, we might still look at how to put on your spray skirt. I am here, I am stable, I only want you to wear a spray skirt, if you have had wet exit training, if you haven t had wet exit training skip this part, don t wear the spray skirt.

    If you have put the back of the skirt on first, tug it up snuggly as it comes past your hips. Bring your hands forward, making sure to have the grab loop out, put the skirt on, get your paddle in your hand. You are already pretty much in the water, just push off from the shore and you are off.