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.

Flat water launch

There are a variety of ways you can launch your kayak to suit your capabilities, your kayak, and the launch area itself.

A flat water launch from a smooth, sandy beach makes for ideal conditions. The simplest way to launch is to take your kayak to the water's edge and push your kayak's bow out into the water at right angles to the beach.

To stabilise the kayak while getting in, place your paddle behind the cockpit coaming. Lean on the paddle to get in, keeping your centre of gravity low. Take care not to damage the paddle.

  • Keep the grab handle out and accessible when doing up the skirt.
  • Lean forward and use your knuckles on the beach to slide the kayak further into the water.
  • You may need to 'shimmy' along the sand till you are fully launched.
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