practice how to climb back in to an ocean kayak

Before we go kayaking in Monterey, the De Anza College Outdoor club offers potential participants a chance to paddle a kayak a little in the De Anza pool and intentionally fall out of, then try to climb back into, an ocean kayak. (This lesson is not required for any of our kayaking trips.)

getting back into a kayak photo by Sumana Praharaju: woman in a kayak gives a hand to another woman trying to climb in

Details about this lesson are at kayaking / canoeing lessons

People wear their lifejackets and mostly practice with a partner, as they should learn not only the skill of climbing back in, but of balancing while your partner climbs back in.

We usually start with people in a kayak who then fall out and right the kayak:

Mimi and Karen start to flip kayak: Mimi and Karen right the kayak:

Then one partner climbs back in while the other balances the kayak from in the water:

Mimi climbing into kayak: Alexander Verne climbs in:

The first person either can stay lying on the kayak to balance it, or perhaps put their feet in the water, or just balance by shifting their weight:

Mimi balances as Karen climbs in: Alexander balances as Troy climbs in:

Georgine starting to climb into kayak: Georgine climbing into kayak:

William starting to climb into kayak: William climbing into kayak:

and finally, success:

Troy seated in kayak:

I missed the photo opportunities of a second person trying to get in and dumping their partner back into the water, but maybe I’ll do better next time.

Most people who go on our Spring Break or October Monterey ocean kayak day trip don’t get in the pool and practice this ahead of time.

Below is what it looks like on Monterey Bay when a trip member falls out of a boat. We paddle in large or small groups so there is always someone near you to help steady your boat:

ocean kayak april 07 climb back in one:

ocean kayak april 07 climb back in two:

ocean kayak april 07 climb back in three: