If you're reading this, chances are you’re a kayaking enthusiast like me, and you’ve just bought the kayak of your dreams.
Now there’s only one problem to deal with. How will you store a kayak?
Kayak storage has several crucial steps. These include keeping your kayak off the ground, deep cleaning it regularly, and using lots of protective padding. If you’re short on storage space, you can also opt for wall hangers or ceiling racks. You also need to make sure your kayak comes with anti-theft measures and a first aid kit.
Whether you live in a small apartment in the city or have a house in the suburbs, storing your kayak can be a challenge.
Let’s talk about why you need to store your kayak with proper safety measures.
Most kayaks are made of a type of plastic called polyethylene.
These plastic kayaks can survive the test of time, but you need to be careful! Improper storage in the off-season will make your kayak susceptible to UV damage and hull-warping. That’ll severely reduce your kayak’s lifespan - and we don’t want that.
Let’s look at 11 ways you can keep your kayak safe in storage:
Table of Contents
1. Keeping It off the Ground
One crucial thing you can do is make sure your kayak stays off the hard ground by putting it on some soft yoga mats.
You can even put a few pool noodles underneath for a temporary fix. However, if you're looking for some long-term solutions, here are some things you can try.
2. Keeping It Indoors
The worst thing you can do to your new kayak is to keep it outside during the off-season. Exposure to rain, snow, and sunlight can rust parts of the kayak. It can also cause UV damage to the hull and ruin the plastic.
Here are some devices I think are great for indoor storage:
3. Wall Hangers
If you live in a suburban home with a garage or have some spare space in your house, wall hangers are a fantastic way to keep your kayak off the ground. It also minimizes the space occupied by using space that you would typically not use.
In addition, keeping the kayak stored sideways or facing down on these hangers will make sure that any water or dust isn't accumulated in the cockpit.
A pair of these wall hangers for your kayak will cost you only 20 to 40 dollars.
If you're short on space indoors, I’d recommend keeping your kayak facing downward. That ensures that no water accumulates in the hull and keeps those pesky insects out.
4. The Importance of Padding
Whether you're storing your kayak indoors or out, never try to put it up without any external padding. Instead, make sure that the mounts or hangers you bought have foam padding on the parts that come into contact with the kayak.
Most of these mounts are made of metal. That means when they come in contact with the plastic kayak, they can easily damage its body and might even chip away some of the plastic beneath.
5. Hanging Your Kayak From the Ceiling
Don't worry if you don't have enough space for mounting your kayak to the wall. I’ve come up with plenty of other ways you can store your kayak and save some space!
I love these padded ceiling mounts that wrap around your kayak and hang from the ceiling. There are several different types of these ceiling mounts, but they all work perfectly.
If you’re not sure how to hang your kayak to the ceiling, here is a simple guide you can follow.
You can also order a kayak rack tailored for the ceiling straight off of Amazon.
If you're looking for the ultimate space-saving solution, then this might be just the thing for you.
6. DIY Kayak Mount
Whether you’re on a budget or just have some spare wood or an old table lying around, you can use it to make your own mount.
Building a kayak mount seems a bit daunting at first, but it can be surprisingly straightforward. All you need are two identical wooden posts connected to arms that can be mounted on the wall or ceiling.
Make sure to use wood glue to make sure the rack is stable.
There are some excellent guides out there to help you make your kayak rack or mount. Just make sure you're using rubber or foam padding on any shelf that you make.
7. Storing Your Kayak at a Club
I know it can be frustrating to load and unload your kayak into the car every time you want to take it out for a spin.
That’s why kayaking clubs and marinas that offer their services of storing your kayak at a fee. That’s particularly convenient for city slickers who love getting away on the weekend.
Some clubs offer a rack or mount, while others provide sheds for storing your kayak throughout the year, with other facilities like showers, parking, and security. Some clubs also offer you cleaning and maintenance services.
To get more information on these clubs, you’ll have to look up kayaking clubs in your area. Note that fees for these services can vary a lot depending on where you live.
8. Storing in a Warm Place
Most kayaks are made of plastic which can become brittle at low temperatures. You don't need to worry about your storage temperatures that much, but if you live in a place where temperatures go below 20° C, you'll need to take some precautionary measures.
Wrapping up your kayak in an insulating blanket for the winter is an excellent way to ensure it doesn’t become brittle.
9. Turning It Over Once in a While
If you're storing your kayak in one place for an extended period, I'd advise you to change its position once every few weeks.
If the kayak is turned toward the wall, turn it around for a few weeks. Then, switch it over to the other side after a month or two.
That helps prevent any deformities that might occur due to constant excess weight on the same side.
10. Keeping Your Kayak Clean
A kayak doesn't have to look glossy and new. However, it's acceptable practice to shower down your kayak after each outing. That’ll eliminate the grime and salt that can prompt rusting and corrosion of the kayak.
Typically bringing the hose and showering down the kayak will get the job done. However, you should also plan on deep cleaning it with gentle soap water a few times each year.
11. Using a Kayak Cart
Hauling your kayak on the ground will thin and debilitate the material at the base. The worst outcome imaginable could prompt openings that will be difficult to repair and leave you with an empty wallet.
Kayak carts have multiple benefits since they will shield your kayak from harm in addition to getting to and from the water in a snap.
Other Storage Precautions
You can do a few other things if you want to extend your kayak’s lifespan and protect your investment.
1. Deep Cleaning for Long-term Storage
On a dry day, take out any loose equipment and set it to the side. That incorporates any removable apparatus extras, like a seat, deck padding, or rod holder.
Flip it around on a couple of kayak stands and foam it up with soapy water. Shower water all through the cockpit inside and crevices, getting any slackened sand, muck, and dead bugs to empty.
Try to allow everything to dry out before storing it away.
If you’re extra careful like me, use a kayak wipe to make sure everything is squeaky clean.
2. Keeping a First-Aid Kit
One thing you can never be too careful about is your safety.
That’s why you should always go through your first-aid bag, bailout pack, and emergency repair kit to ensure everything is loaded before parking your kayak in storage.
Then, if anything is missing, you’ll be able to stock up on items before taking out your kayak.
3. Anti-Theft Measures
A high-quality kayak is a significant expense. You can’t go wrong with some anti-theft measures to ensure its safety.
If you can't store your kayak in a house or a closed garage, think about locking a vehicle guiding wheel lock across the cockpit of the boat. That makes the boat unusable except when you remove the lock.
From one enthusiast to another, here are several key factors you need to remember to store your kayak safely:
- Keeping your kayak off the ground
- Storage-saving with the help of mounts and racks
- Maintaining a clean kayak, with several deep cleanings throughout the year
- Keeping a first-aid kit in your kayak at all times
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, and we’ll be sure to answer them. And don't forget the most important part of it all, go out and have lots of fun!