sit in kayak
A range of techniques are essential for launching and loading kayaks. This article describes some of the most common kayak launching.

Types of Kayak Launching Areas

Paddlesports enthusiasts utilize a variety of areas when launching kayaks including traditional boat launching ramps, soft launch sites, beaches, shorelines, floating docks, and others.

In many cases, only basic equipment is necessary for launching kayaks. Typical gear includes carts, straps, covers, and proper clothing. Each type of launching area can have unique features that affect launching.

Soft launch areas along beaches and shorelines with gentle slopes into the water are often preferable for launching kayaks. Their soft surfaces tend to be less damaging to kayaks and other equipment. Soft launch areas allow paddlers to setup and float their craft before entering for a trip. Upon return, soft areas allow paddlers to disembark in shallow water before hauling their craft ashore.

Concrete boat launching ramps can present a number of challenges for paddlesports enthusiasts. Concrete ramps are generally designed for launching trailered powerboats and not small craft. Although usable in some situations, concrete ramps are one of the least preferred areas for launching kayaks.

In some areas, floating launch areas exist. These usually consist of a series of floating structures, with rails and other safety features. Kayakers usually carry or transport watercraft from a vehicle to the floating launch, then perform pre-launch setup. Once equipped, kayakers slide their watercraft towards the water, enter the craft, and pull themselves down the ramp.


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