How To Get Out Of A Kayak With Bad Knees

Kayaking is one of the most popular hobbies out there and can be really exciting, but it can be difficult sometimes if you have an injury. Let’s explore how to get out of a kayak with bad knees in this article.

Kayaks are famous for being light weight. Which makes them easy to handle and as a result, one of the most used paddle crafts. They are so small in size with the average size of a kayak being 9-12 feet. Their depth is also shallow. They do not have the weight capacity to carry more than 3-4 people so most kayaks can have space for one person only.

The cockpits or the seats of kayaks only has the place for one person to sit. This is why kayaks do not even have enough room inside for you to move. Even if you do not have any problem, getting in and getting off a kayak can get difficult. And these can be even more difficult for people with bad knees.

But as Kayaking is a hobby, what would you do if you had bad knees? Would you give up your hobby for this? Well, you do not need to worry. We understand your love for your hobby. That’s why today, we are going to talk about how you can get out of a kayak if you have bad knees.

What does bad knee mean?

As we were talking about how bad knees can threaten your hobby, Kayaking and how difficult it is to get out of a kayak with bad knees.

First, we need to know what is a bad knee. Bad knee is a special condition of knee joints. Bad knee is actually pain caused by excessive movement of the knee joints. It may happen from running long ways, doing lunges, squats etc. Simply it happens when you overdo any exercise of legs, knees, hips for a long time without giving any break.

These exercises are good for the body. But when someone does them too fast and too much of them, it can harm the body. Exercising without having knowledge about the exercise, not having enough breaks, increasing the frequency, intensity and time of exercise too fast, going for tough exercises first etc. can be responsible for bad knees.

This is a common problem among people nowadays. When you row a kayak, your knees do not have enough room to move. You keep paddling for too long; your knees just stay in the same position for a long time. These make your knees hurt and stiff. These are the reasons why getting in and especially getting off from a kayak can be a tricky task for people with bad knees. Now, let us have a look at ways how to get out of a kayak with bad knees.

How To Get In And Out Of A Kayak

Ways to get out of a kayak

As we mentioned earlier, getting out of a kayak is not only a tough task for people with bad knees. But it can also be difficult for anyone who kayaks. Most of the time, your skill of getting on and out of a kayak improves with time and experience. And here are some ways to get out of a kayak easily.

  1. Way A: Drive your kayak diagonally to the shore. Then simply just drag out your legs out of your seat on the kayak. Twist on your seat and try to reach to the ground. Once you do, slowly stand up and get out the kayak. You can tell someone to hold the kayak steady for you while you get out.

This is the better way to get out of a kayak if you have bad knees. This way does not include you getting wet, and you can get out with less effort. This is a great way to get out of sit on top kayaks easily.

  1. Way B: If you use this way to get out of your kayak, you will have to get wet. This way is a bit difficult than the other. We will recommend you going for the first way unless your knees are too bad. For this, paddle your kayak to a place where there is waist length of water. Roll-off your kayak into the water.

The resilience of water will decrease the pressure from your knees. It will give you a little relief. Now slowly push the kayak to the shore. Then get out of the water yourself. Following these two ways to get out of your kayak will solve most of your problems. Using these ways, you can kayak easily without worrying about your bad knees. These ways require less effort yet give a lot better results.

Do’s and don’ts for Kayaking with bad knees

Other than using these ways, here are a few things you need to know if you are a kayaker and have bad knees. These are some basic rules to clear out what you need to do and what not to get help with bad knees while kayaking.

 The do’s

  1. Choose the right kayak: If you have knowledge about kayaks, you must know the kayaks can be of different types.

Kayaks come with two kinds of seats. The sit-on-tops and sit-insides. Sit inside kayaks have their seats in the inside part of the kayak. On the other hand, sit-on-Top kayaks have their seats and the cockpit outside the kayak. This makes getting in and out of the kayak easier. As the cockpit of sit-inside kayaks is inside the kayak, it is usually hard to get in. When you are a patient of bad knees, it gets harder.

2. Get your kayak from a shop: Kayak is a vehicle that is related to your comfort and ease in so many ways. Because your kayak needs to be comfortable for your safety while riding.

Firstly, it should come with features that will help you have a good grip on your kayak. Such as paddle compartments, fishing rod holders, storage etc. Secondly, the kayak must have enough space for you to fit in comfortably. If you are not comfortable in that thing, you would not be able to row your kayak, which, in some cases, can be risky too.

Finally, the kayak should last long . You would not want to spend your money on a paddler, which is not even going to last.And to make sure that your kayak has all of the qualities you need to buy the kayak in person. If you purchase your kayak online, you won’t be able to understand if you are comfortable inside the kayak. So, go buy your kayak in person from a shop. Make sure to sit in the kayak and check if everything is okay before you buy the kayak.

3. Get professional help: There are professional trainers and instructors out there who will help you to learn Kayaking even with bad knees. Reach out to one of them. They will understand the intensity and importance of your condition and help you according to that. As their tips will be based on your problems, it will be a lot easier for you. They will help you with medications and exercises. So you will be able to kayak even with bad knees.

4. Make sure your paddles are in place: Kayaks have different compartments for your paddles, fishing rod and other equipments. Keep these equipments especially your paddles in their place. It’ll make some more place in your kayak. In this way, your kayak will stay organized too.

So, you won’t create a mess or face problems while you get out of the kayak. Your kayak might not have a specific space or paddle compartments for your paddles. In that case, just hand your paddles to a friend while you get out or get in.

5. Use knee guards: When you have a condition like bad knees, sitting in a small place for hours can get uncomfortable for you. This even might make your condition worse.

To get rid of this, using knee guards can be helpful. As it kind of holds your knee by wrapping around it, it can decrease pain and give you comfort. Also, using knee guards on the sides of your cockpit will give you comfort. It will save your knees from hurting.

6.Keep your legs a little high: One of the main problems kayakers with bad knees face is staying in one position for so long. This might hurt their knees more. To get rid of this, a little thing might help.

Place a pillow or dry bag under your thighs. This will give your knees a little elevation, which will be comfortable after sitting in one place for long.

7. Better to kayak in groups: Kayaking can be done both alone or in groups. But nothing can be more fun than Kayaking in a group. This can be a group of your friends, or just kayakers hanging out together.

There will be times when you will need someone maybe to hold your kayak, your paddle or help you get out of the kayak. A group member can be really helpful when you have bad knees and having problems getting out of your kayak. So, it’s better to kayak in groups so that you can get some help when you need it.

The don’ts

  1. Listen to your doctor: We do not recommend to go for Kayaking if your doctor forbids you. You must see a doctor for your bad knees and tell them elaborately about your condition. If they ask you to stop Kayaking, just stop right there.

They know and understand your condition. So, listen to them. Cause, Kayaking with severe bad knee condition might lead you to other problems. And you won’t want that.

But if you have slight problems like stiff knees or bad knees, and your doctor suggests you some light exercises, you can continue kayaking only if your doctor permits you to. In knee conditions, where you need some exercise, pedal kayaking can actually help. Doctors generally suggest cycling, but pedal kayaking can do the same thing as it gives your knees some movement.

2. Do not hesitate to ask for help: Suppose you need help to get on or out of your kayak, ask for help from other kayakers. Sometimes you need someone to hold your kayak steady or the paddle while you get on the kayak or get out of the kayak. Do not hesitate to ask them for help. They will help you even if you do not have a bad knee. Just ask for a hand whenever you need.

3. Do not get into the water without practice: First of all, just getting into water without having proper knowledge and practice is always a big ‘No,’ even if you do not suffer from bad knees. It is more crucial when you do have a knee condition. Kayaking needs enough skill, experience and knowledge on several things.

You can not hop into the water without knowing these. And to acquire this knowledge, know more, practice more. And do not forget to have life jackets and floating devices. These would not directly help you with your bad knees. But these will make sure you stay safe and protected even if you face any problem.


Most of the people kayak as a hobby. And bad knees can actually be an obstacle for kayakers. Getting into the kayak and getting out can be a problem for them. But you would not want to give up your hobby for these reasons.

Today we discussed how to get out of a kayak with bad knees. We talked about things that will help you get out of your kayak even if you have bad knees. Overall, Kayaking gets difficult with bad knees. And getting out of the kayak is the most difficult part of that. By following these ways, getting out of a kayak would get easier for you. You will be able to carry on with your hobby without worrying.