Picture it: you’re out on the water in your canoe, gliding past beautiful scenery, the sun on your skin, the breeze in your hair. Perfect. But first you have to get in the boat – and then you have to get back out! While they are remarkably stable, getting in and out on shore or from canoe docks, can be a bit tricky until you get the hang of it. Don’t worry: it’s easy.
Canoeing Basics: Getting In
Here’s what you do if you have a partner:
- Have your partner hold the canoe steady.
- Face the front of the canoe.
- Bend your knees, crouch low, and place your hands on one side of the canoe.
- Put your right leg in first.
- Move your right hand to the other side of the canoe. Note: you can, of course, put your left leg in first! If you do, simply move your left hand over to the other side of the canoe.
- Slowly and smoothly bring the rest of your body into the boat.
Easy as that.
If you are using a canoe dock:
- Position your canoe parallel to the dock.
- Squat down beside the canoe.
- Grasp the gunwale (the wide upper edges) on either side of the canoe.
- Lean and shift your weight so it’s over the center line.
- Place one foot in on the center line.
- Kneel so your center of gravity is low and you’re more stable.
- Place the other foot into the canoe.
If there are two of you, board one at a time. One will help keep the boat steady while the other boards. Once in, that paddler will help steady the boat and keep it from drifting.
Canoeing Basics: Getting Back Out
You’ve had a great paddle! Time to get out of the canoe.
- For those using canoe docks, make sure to secure your boat. If you’re on shore, make sure you’re parallel and close to land. You don’t want the canoe floating away.
- Put your hands on the side of the boat that’s closest to the shore or dock.
- Move slowly and smoothly to a low crouch, facing the shore or dock.
- Put your right leg over the side and bring your right arm over to grasp the dock. If on shore, use it to steady you.
- Once you’ve got one foot on solid ground, pull the rest of your body out.
AccuDock has a variety of kayak, paddle board, and canoe docks to make your next trip out (and back) as convenient and pleasant as possible. Take a look!