How To Wet Exit From Your Kayak

Wet Exit Your Kayak

The wet exit method is used in a situation when there is a tip over of your kayak. Unless you can roll, you’ll have to wet exit from the boat. This is among the first skill kayak beginners would have to master.

The Dry Exit is usually the preferred way to exit kayak. But there are certain situations in which you’ll be left with no choice rather than performing the wet exit.

Beginner’s First Skill

It is one of the first skills to be learned due to its many importance:

  • The beginner needs to know how to get out or leave a kayak when it eventually capsized.

It is important the learner demonstrate their mastery of this skill. Beginners tend to be anxious and scared just before their first wet exit. They also have this fear of being trapped inside the cockpit when the boat capsize and they are underwater. Teaching this survival skill will give the students the boldness and confidence to learn other skills.


However, there are possibly two drawbacks why the wet exit method is not the first skill to be learned.

1. It can make beginners develop an escape attitude that will make some paddlers want to always escape from the kayak. This will probably result to not learning the proper maneuver of the paddle. The Northern native paddlers didn’t consider this method as a good option due to the extremely cold nature of the waters in which they paddled.

For the Northern native paddlers, performing a wet exit of the kayak in this kind of water might lead to death due to exposure to cold. They had to develop other techniques and skills which would help them not to leave their kayak even after they capsized. Hence, we emphasize here that despite the numerous benefit of mastering the wet exit, it is very important to learn other skills and techniques. Some experts might suggest you master a wet entrance before a wet exit.

2. The fact that the learners and student have high chances of getting cold, the advantage of learning and mastering the wet exit method surpasses the cold or chilliness you may experience, and it is important to master this skill.

There are certain ways the cold or chill factor can be removed, one is by ensuring the students are covered properly for the immersion. Depending on how you teach and and the environment you teach in you can make plans for students to learn in cold water also, so as to develop versatility and endurance in whatever water they find themselves.

It is good to start the wet exit skill training in a heated pool so that no one falls sick or catches a cold and also to learn the skill thoroughly in a conducive environment.

How Is The Wet Exit Done?

There are several steps involved in a wet exit. First, stabilize yourself while tipping over by placing a firm hand to the side of the Kayak. You should attempt this while still maintaining a grip on the paddle.

As soon as the boat tips over and you’re now underwater, if you have put on a spray skirt you should try to release it. Just try to get ahold of its release rope which is found at the front of the compartment.

Pull the rope in order to release the skirt. Once you’ve released the skirt, your knees should be brought close to the chest so that you can easily push yourself from the Kayak. If you have a life-jacket on, it will bring you safely to surface of the water.

How To Keep Your Stuff Safe?

We highly recommend that you should place your stuff in the compartment bin of your kayak or it is held very strong to a tie down to make sure you’ll not lose some stuff. Try as much as you can to hold onto some stuff while still holding strong to your paddle and the kayak.

It’s important you take priority of maintaining strong grip of these two. It could be an issue for you if you get yourself in a situation when you do not have a paddle.

How To Get Back Into Your Kayak?

When alone, you’ve got the option of swimming to the shore with the paddle and boat or try out self-rescue while in the water. Your paddle has got two options. If your paddle has got a float, which is just a small flotation device which slides over the paddle, and the water is calm, you can try to use the paddle as a leverage to start up into your kayak.

If the water is very rough and you have no paddle float, you will have to flip the kayak, then try to stash your paddle in the compartment or place it at the top of the compartment so it can be used later as balance.

In order to turn over the Kayak, firmly hold one side and then turn it gradually. The Kayak would easily steady itself. If you’ve got a paddle float, then place the paddle on top the kayak, while the float is in water.

Swim to back side o the kayak and then firmly grab the side of your boat. If you have a paddle float you can place your feet around the paddle to be used to climb to the top of your boat.

Don’t worry if you don’t have one, pull yourself to the top using your arms. Get a hole of your kayak and now your legs can swing into the compartment and you can lower your body to the seat.

Having a partner can be useful to support the boat holding the two paddles while assisting you to climb back into the kayak. Then you can swing your legs and get into the compartment and lower your body to the seat.

Wrap Up

Every new kayaker must perform and master the necessary skills – The Wet Exit of A Kayak and the Re-Entry.