Even with the best of knees at your disposal getting in and out of a kayak can be a bit of a tricky process, but when you have bad knees it can become a real chore.
However, there’s no need to give up kayaking just because your knees aren’t what they used to be!
We’re going to explain some of the best methods for getting into a kayak with bad knees.
What kind of kayak should I use?
We recommend that you purchase a sit on top kayak if your knees are getting a bit long in the tooth.
Sit on top kayaks have a lot more room, and don’t constrict your legs. This makes them much easier to get in and out of in general.
Sit top kayaks also tend to allow you to keep your legs straighter when you sit in them, which might or might not be a benefit in your specific case. It really depends on what’s causing your knee pain.
1) Paddle towards the shore until the water is about knee deep.
2) Twist in your seat, put your legs outside the kayak so your feet are touching the floor.
3) Just stand up. You can push off the kayak with your hands if you’re careful, and that should relieve some of the stress on your knees.
This one involves you getting a lot more wet, but it’s still a good option if your knees are really bad.
1) Paddle into some shallow water that’s about waist high.
2) Roll off your kayak into the water.
3) Now you can stand up and your natural buoyancy should take some strain off of your knees.
4) Push your kayak to shore
Things to avoid
This might not need saying, but don’t go for a pedal kayak unless your doctor has suggested low impact leg exercise as a cure for your bad knees. Usually they suggest cycling, but a pedal kayak uses the same motion so it would work just as well.
Also, don’t buy your kayak online. Make sure you can try out your kayak in the shop and make sure it’s a correct fit for you. As someone with bad knees you’ll need to work around that by buying the right kayak for the job. So test, test, and test some more.
Things to seek out
If you haven’t already, then go to the doctor. There’s many possible treatment for bad knees, and a simple cortisone injection every 6 months might be a more preferable option than having to roll out of your kayak each time you want to exit.
Another thing you can do is enlist the help of a private instructor. They’ll have likely taught people to kayak who have much more severe disabilities and they’ll be able to help you work around your needs.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re kayaking with a group of people you can just ask them for a hand. Kayakers are a friendly bunch, and you should have no trouble finding a helping hand.