You've got your new boat. Now let's load it up and get out on the water.
Before hitting the water, it's a good idea to adjust any foot braces or seat components that you need adjusted. You will want to stow any gear that you plan on taking with you. Remember to keep things you may need close at hand. Waterproof bags for cell phones or keys are a great thing to have on hand as well.
Launching your boat from a variety of shoreline situations or docks can be challenging, but with a little practice it can be done in almost any waterside scenario.
To launch a sit-in kayak from a gradual sloping beach, put the boat in the water stern first and make sure the boat is floating. Then simply straddle the kayak, sit down, bring your legs in, placing your feet on the foot braces and your knees against the knee pads. Then, push off in reverse.
When one end of the boat is stuck on high ground, the boat can be very tippy. From a dock or a rocky shoreline, you'll need to position any boat parallel to the dock or shoreline and then carefully climb on board while steadying the boat. Keep your center of gravity as low as possible.
In any of these techniques, it's best to place your paddle in a position where you'll be able to get to it once you're settled into the boat. Using your paddle as a crutch or kickstand may damage or break your paddle.
When landing on shore, it's just the opposite of launching. Whichever technique you used getting into the boat will work in the reverse getting out. Wet feet are part of the game of boating.
Gear Placement in the Boat
Your boat was designed to work best when it's balanced, or the nautical term, "trimmed". Make sure it's trimmed forward to back and side to side.
A stern that is a little bit heavy is okay, but never have your bow heavy. This can make the boat hard to control, especially in the wind.
Safe & Smart
Now you're ready to enjoy your time on the water. And remember to always use good judgment and not be out in conditions that might capsize you. Knowing your local waterway and possible dangers that exist is key to good safety on the water.