How to Enter and Exit a Kayak with Bad Knees

A bad knee is never good news for anyone. Any pain on the spine, knees, or hips can ruin an individual’s lifestyle. Doing regular chores becomes a task. And participating in adventurous sports or going for an adventure trip just remains a fantasy. Neither one has the energy, capacity, nor dares anyone to ignore that pain. It’s almost audacious to even think of any such trip because when it hurts, it hurts relentlessly.


However, not all adventurous sports require the use of the cores or joints of the body. For instance, kayaking. Kayaking is all about paddling. That means the only body parts you are going to use vigorously will be the arms and the shoulders. So, if these body parts are hale and hearty, there is no need to be disappointed thinking your life is ruined due to the bad knees or hips.

Importance of Learning and Practicing

In the case of paddling a kayak, the only time your knees or hips will contribute, is when you will get into or out of it. That is it. All the while, you paddle, the spine, knees, and hips somewhat are in rest. So, all of you kayakers with a knee problem, cheer up, and at once take some initiative to study how you can get in a kayak without hurting your knees. And after you are done with your voyage, analyze a bit. Then practice getting in the kayak as well as how to get out of a kayak with bad knees.

To help you in your analysis, we are going to now share some tactics by discussing the precautions and process of getting in and out of a kayak with bad knees.

How to Enter and Exit a Kayak with Bad Knees

Primo – Right Kayak

Choosing the right kayak is crucial, even for the most experienced kayaker. However, if an experienced kayaker, presumably, is not paddling the right one, he can tackle it.

The situation turns upside down, in case of the very same kayaker when he has a knee problem. His experience will be of little use. So, choosing the right kayak will be your first step to take.

The sit-on-top kayak that doesn’t run with the pedal is the best for easy entry in the kayak and exit from it. An enclosed cockpit of the sit-inside kayak will make the entry and exit hard. And unless your doctor allowed you to pedal, you can’t do it. So, sit-on-top kayak with a paddle it is.


Let us tell you that getting on the kayak is harder than getting out of it. So be patient. Often, the kayaker completely forgets about the bad knees and takes the steps with full force, because it’s not hurting all the time. But after putting pressure on the knees, the pain reoccurs, and one realizes the mistake. Take your knees seriously and work slowly. You have all the time in your hand when you are on a refreshment trip.

Getting In a Kayak

There are a couple of ways to enter a kayak. We are going to discuss the easiest way of all.

Right Spot

Take your sit-on-top kayak a bit deeper in the water from the shore. Not too far, though. Wade it in the water until the water is about to touch your knee.

Getting In

Now turn your back to the kayak. Sit on the seat, as if you are sitting on a tool or chair. Hold the vessel of the kayak with both hands and put all the pressure possible on the sides. Then take up your legs on the kayak.

One at a Time

Take up one leg at a time. The good thing about a sit-on-kayak is that you sit on it, spreading your legs straight. So, your knees are not stifled in any way. Now, time to paddle the kayak and have fun.

Getting Out Of a Kayak

When you are done wandering on a kayak and ready to get out, make sure you come as close to the shore as possible.

Water Level

Water till your calf is apt. And if you do not want to paddle that far, the knee level is fine.


Now, you are in knee-deep water. It’s time to exit the kayak. You are sitting on the kayak facing the cockpit and tapered hull. To get down, turn a bit. When you feel it will be easy for you to swing your legs and place them on the surface, only then, slowly place your legs in the water, again one by one.

Use Of hands

You should definitely hold the vessel of the kayak to get up. Doing this, you are giving as little pressure on your knees as possible. In easy words, stand up slowly holding the kayak vessel. Now push the kayak and walk towards the shore.


Before you jump on your kayak, not literally, you have bad knees, remember! Anyhow, before taking a kayak trip, you need to take a few precautions.

Doctor’s Approval

Consulting a doctor is one of them. Ask them whether you are allowed to kayak or not. If they show even a slight apprehension, avoid and wait for the doctor’s approval.

Knee Pads and Dry Bags

Sitting on a kayak, spreading your legs straight, is comforting. But what will provide more comfort to your legs are knee pads and dry bags. Wearing knee pads or knee pads on the sides of the cockpit keeps your knees in comfort and protected. And bags underneath your knees will keep them a bit elevated.

Legs in Motion

Make sure to move your legs from time to time while you paddle. Otherwise, they will stiffen and cause knee pain due to not moving for a long time. Stretch a bit before you get in your kayak. That will also help your knees.

What you’ve been missing –

Do Kayaks Attract Sharks?

What Size Kayak Do I Need?

What Size Kayak Paddle Do I Need?

What Should You Do When Approaching a Low-Head Dam in a Canoe or Kayak?

Final Words

Humans are created in such a way that hurdles are not enough to stop them from what they love to do. They always find ways to do what they love. So, when a kayaker loves kayaking, no amount of knee pain will stop them from enjoying a kayak trip. That is why all the methods and precautions. We hope you are going to follow them and have a happy kayak journey.

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