Launching your kayak well gets you off to a good start. You want to avoid injury when lifting or handling the boat, or damage to the kayak. And you don't want to go for an embarrassing swim just as you push off - we've all done it! These tips and techniques can help make launching an enjoyable and safe experience.

Launching in small waves

Launching through a surf zone is out of the scope of basic skills.

When launching through small waves or a small shore break, you can use the same techniques as for flat water.

  • Choose your launch spot carefully to find the best conditions.
  • Keep your kayak at right angles to the waves.
  • When getting ready on the beach, waves may hit you and knock the kayak sideways. Lean the kayak to one side and use your hands to swing the bow back.
  • Timing is the key.
  • If helping someone else to launch, keep an eye on the waves, and stay on the sea-ward side to avoid being hit.
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