As a beginner kayaker, you will have thousands of questions regarding the safety and overall kayaking experience. And one of the biggest questions about kayaking adventure is how to get out of a kayak if it flips over. You know kayaking is fun and exciting, but there are also some dangers that you may face while kayaking into different types of waters.
So today, I’m going to answer this question in detail and teach you how you can get out of a kayak if it flips over. Plus, I will also teach you how you can safely re-enter a kayak if flipping it over.
So, read on and learn everything about Kayak flipping over.
When a kayak flips over, it will be a very difficult situation for most kayakers, especially beginners who have never faced anything relatable in their life. So, it is essential for them to learn how to get out of a kayak if it flips over.
There are two major types of kayaks available in the market: Sit-on-Top Kayaks and Sit-inside Kayaks. Both are great for different adventures but getting out of them when they flip over is quite a different procedure.
So, I have breakdown both methods separately, which will help you learn the exact steps.
Sit-on-Top Kayaks are the most common type of kayaks available on the market. Their overall design is quite straightforward and controlling them is a little easier compared to other kayaks.
But, do you know how to get out of your sit-on-top Kayak if it flips over in the middle of a lake or river? Here is the step-by-step guide that will help you.
When your sit on top Kayak flips over, the first step is to not panic and release the seat belt you are wearing. In most situations, people don’t wear any seat belts, or many sit-on-top kayaks don’t have any seat belts.
But, there are some after-market kayak seats that come with extra safety like a seat belt or anything like that. So, in order to get out of a kayak, you will need to release the seat belt.
However, you can skip this step if you aren’t wearing a seat belt.
You will have to push the Kayak with both feet. This will help you detach yourself from the Kayak. Pushing your legs with full force will help you go some feet deep in the water.
Now, you are free from everything on your Kayak and can swim back to the water’s surface. If you wear a life jacket or PFD, you don’t have to work hard to get on the surface of the water because your life jacket will push you upwards.
This is how you can get out of a sit-on-top kayak if it flips over.
Sit-In or Sit-Insite Kayaks are also very popular among kayakers. The procedure of getting out of them, especially when they flip over, is a little different. But, it will be easier if you carefully follow the steps below.
If you own a sit-in kayak, the first step to getting out of flipped Kayak is to release the spray skirt belts. Most kayakers use spray skirt with sit-in kayaks to keep themselves dry from water splashes. If you are also using it, you will need to quickly release the spray skirt belts in order to get out of the flipped Kayak.
But, if you aren’t using any spray skirt, then this step is not for you. You just need to free yourself from all the belts or cords from your Kayak.
After releasing yourself from any type of belt or cord, you will need to push yourself with the help of your feet and your hands. This will help you to release yourself from your sit-in kayak.
You may know that the sit-in kayaks hold your lower body inside that Kayak; that is why you need to push yourself with all the strength of your body and free yourself from Kayak.
Now, you are free in the water and will have to swim back to the water’s surface. If you are wearing a life jacket, swimming back to the surface will be easier for you. But, if you aren’t wearing a life jacket or PFD, you will have to use your strength to return to the surface of the water.
This is how you can get out of a sit-in kayak if it flips over.
Now you must be thinking about how you can re-enter a kayak after successfully getting out of flipped Kayak. So, let’s discuss how you can re-enter into a kayak if it flips over.
Re-entering a flipped kayak is a little difficult as compared to getting out of the flipped Kayak. But, if you strictly follow the steps written below, you will be back on your Kayak without struggling.
First of all, you will need to reposition or correct the flipped sit-on-top Kayak. Actually, sit-on-top kayaks are very easy to reposition when flipped. All you have to do is get yourself over the flipped Kayak and grab the other side of the Kayak.
Now pull yourself back to the water; your weight will help you reposition your Kayak without any struggle.
Now it’s time to get yourself on the Kayak from the water. For this, you will need to grab both sides of the Kayak from the center while also being on the water. You can do this easily by pushing yourself into the water.
Once you have successfully held both sides of your Kayak, it’s time to push yourself on the Kayak with the help of your legs. All you have to do is put your chest on the Kayak without unbalancing the Kayak.
Once you have put your chest on the Kayak, now you can easily climb back on your Kayak. It will be a natural process; your body knows how to climb on the Kayak once you have successfully balanced the Kayak with the weight of your chest.
Getting back into a sit-in kayak while being on the water is a little different procedure. So, let’s learn how to re-enter a sit-in kayak on your own.
First of all, reposition your Kayak with the help of your body weight. All you have to do is grab the hull of a sit-in kayak and rotate it on any side. This will reposition your flipped Kayak on the water.
But, there will be water inside your cockpit because sit-in kayaks have enclosed cockpits that are prone to be filled with water when flipped over. So, you will need to drain the water first.
For this, you will have to grab your Kayak from the hull and rotate it on 90 degrees. This will help you drain a large amount of water from the cockpit.
Now grab both sides of the Kayak above the dry storage compartment. The reason to grab this area is that the dry storage compartment tends to be waterproof, and thus it will allow you to put pressure on that area.
Now kick your legs inside the water and try to put your chest right on the dry storage compartment’s hatch.
Once your chest is on the hatch, you can easily climb on the Kayak without any struggle. But don’t forget to maintain the balance. Otherwise, you will end you flipping your Kayak again.
So, this complete guide will teach you how to get out of a kayak if it flips over. All you have to do is strictly follow the steps mentioned above and get yourself back on the Kayak without anyone’s help. This guide is suitable for beginners who don’t know how to deal with Kayak flipping situations.
Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you.