Having bad knees is no fun, but you shouldn’t let it keep you from doing the things you love to do. Kayaking has a reputation for being bad on your knees. In fact, it might be difficult to figure out how to get out of a kayak with bad knees. However, there are definitely things you can do to keep the strain off your knees. Whether you’re just getting back from injury, or the years are finally catching up to you, here are the things you can do to keep healthy.
Before you get started, you should talk to your doctor. They can give you advice on what you can and can’t do, as well as ways to avoid injuries. They may be able to give you stretches and exercises to strengthen your knees and keep them healthy and strong.
Invest in Quality Equipment
Now more than ever, it’s important to purchase the right kayak to keep your knees safe. A sit-on-top kayak will immediately take a lot of strain off your knees. A sit-on-top kayak doesn’t cover your knees and gives you more freedom to move. They also allow you to keep your legs straight if that is more comfortable. This type of kayak tends to be a lot easier to get out of as well.
When buying a kayak, you should splurge for quality. I recommend that you purchase your kayak in person to make sure that it’s comfortable and the correct fit for you. If your knees are bad, then this step is even more important. Don’t be afraid to test a lot of kayaks before picking the right one. You’ll be glad you did.
Do your research about what equipment you will also need and pick nice tools. A high-quality paddle will require less work from you, as they have grooves to make their movement more efficient. That will put less strain on your arms and back while in use.
Investing in a comfortable seat or a backrest will go a long way to preventing soreness. You don’t want stress on your hips or back as you kayak, since that can also strain your knees.
Techniques to Get Out of a Kayak With Bad Knees
The way you kayak can also increase the risk of injury your knees. Using the proper technique can prevent these types of injuries. Professional kayakers use specific techniques that put less strain on their knees. If you’re not a professional yourself, then taking lessons will help you learn the best ways to protect your knees
If you don’t want to pay for lessons, then instead you can look up tutorials or videos on techniques used by professional kayakers. Proper technique helps you stay safe while kayaking and prevent yourself from getting injured. This includes methods for positioning your legs while kayaking.
Elevating your legs or wearing knee pads will relieve pressure on your knees and make your ride more comfortable.
It’s also important not to push against your kayak’s movements. Adjusting your paddling technique to use the kayak’s movements as momentum will alleviate the energy and strain from having your own muscles do it.
Your legs stay still for the majority of kayaking, and your knees can get stiff and start to hurt after too long. It is good for you to stretch regularly and especially before going on trips. Stretching will let your muscles relax and will keep them from getting stiff on long rides.
Tips for How to Get Out of A Kayak with Bad Knees
Going for lower impact rides will put a lot less stress on your knees. Not all your rides have to be big adventures on rushing rapids. Search for a flat water pond or a narrow lake to go for your rides. Smaller lakes that have minimal boat traffic are less likely to put you at risk. A peaceful kayak ride can still be enjoyable and it will allow you to take in the sights.
The biggest challenge when kayaking with knee pain is getting into or out of the kayak. There are some tried-and-true tips for how to get in or out of your kayak in this scenario. Here’s what I recommend:
How to Get Into a Kayak with Bad Knees
To get into the kayak, push it into shallow water or leave it partially on the bank if you have someone who can push it into the water.
Stand next to the kayak with your back to the side of it and use your arms to push against the top. If you have a partner, let them hold it steady for you.
Lower yourself to maintain balance, then wiggle backwards into the kayak. Lift your legs into the kayak, one at a time and using your arms to lift them if need be. Have your partner push your kayak into the water.
How to Get Out of a Kayak with Bad Knees
To get out of the kayak, pull the kayak close to the shore into the shallow water or run it up the bank for extra stability.
Throw your legs over the side of the kayak into the water and plant them on the ground. Brace yourself on the kayak to balance yourself and get back up. Make sure you wear a personal flotation device (PFD), especially when getting out into the water.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help either, whether it’s from other people in your group or strangers also out kayaking. Kayakers are friendly and will be more than willing to help you out. They can help you balance or push you into the water.