How to Kayak Sit on Top: Ensuring Your Safety in the Water

How to Kayak Sit on Top

The excitement of kayaking using a sit-on-top kayak can suddenly end if you, as a user, do not follow the right safety tips. Safety in the water and during your leisure activity will start by you knowing how to kayak sit-on-top. So, we decided to create this article, especially for beginners.

Even if you are not a beginner, you need to keep revisiting the issues we discuss here as things are always changing and new discoveries are always being made. Even though kayaking may look like an easy thing to do, there are a lot of things you will need to learn.

Learn the Right Way

In order to ensure your safety when you use the sit-on-top kayak, ensure that you are doing it well. The only sure way through which you could learn is through finding an instructor who is properly satisfied.

The American Canoe Association is responsible for certifying instructors. So, you might want to look them up and get some advice about available instructors in your area.

Even though you can learn the skills of kayaking on your own or from a friend or relative, when you work with an instructor you tend to learn important skills at a pace that is much faster.

The main advantage of taking lessons from a qualified instructor is that you will not need to have the money to buy equipment as you can use that which belongs to the person or school that is giving you the lessons.

Again, when you eventually buy your own equipment, you will have a better idea of what you are doing than you would if you try to do so relying only on conventional wisdom. Things you will learn from an instructor will include the likes of how to get into and out of your sit-on-top kayak and also get some safety tips.

How to Get Into a Sit-On-Top Kayak

This task looks easy when you are watching someone more experienced do it but once you are trying it yourself for the first time, you will notice that it gets a little more complicated. A good instructor will tell you that the trick lies in maintaining a low weight on the center of the SOT kayak. Follow the steps below to get into the kayak.

  1. When getting into the kayak, get the front part to float in the water while the back remains supported on the sand. While you will need to ensure that the kayak is far enough into the water, you also need to ensure that the water does not wash it away.
  2. Ensure that the kayak is properly angled into the water. This angle should be around 35 degrees. Ensure that the left side of the kayak is on the side of the shore as this is the side from which you will get into the kayak.
  3. As you get ready to sit on the deck, grab the paddle. Even though you can always have someone hand you the paddle when you are already sitting on the kayak, this is not always possible. That is the reason why you need to learn to sit in with it.
  4. While facing the water, stand near the left part of the kayak close to the seating area. Use the left hand to hold the paddle and leave the right free to help you hold on to the kayak as you get your balance.
  5. Before sitting on the deck, bend your knees and get the right foot into the kayak and then sit. Only lift the left foot into the boat when you are firmly located in the seat. To keep the kayak from tipping over, do not grab to the side of the kayak, rather hold on to the back of the seat so that you can keep your weight in the middle.

Techniques for Paddling

Once you are able to get into the kayak, you can now start paddling. In order to do this with success, you will need to rest on the seat comfortably and ensure you keep the boat stable.

Your grip on the paddle should remain relaxed. The power you will use when paddling emanates from your torso; using it properly will help you to take the strain off the arms.

In order to move forward, you will need to stroke in a manner that is both deep and even. To begin, paddling, the blade should be placed at a parallel angle to the foot while you wind your torso.

Once the hand gets to the hip, the paddle can now come out of the water and you can unwind the torso. This process will then be repeated on the other side.

Kayaking sit-on-top is not a difficult thing to do. However, in the beginning, you will need the help of those who already know. It’s best to approach a professional.

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