Kayaking can be perfect for stress-busting and enjoying some quiet time amidst natural settings. This is one of the most common and popular adventure activities that people enjoy. There are special kayak destinations in the world where people go for kayaking. In general, we know that people hire kayaks when they plan an adventure trip or so. But there are kayaking enthusiasts who purchase their own kayak and carry the same with on a kayaking adventure tour. Available in different styles, sizes, and colors, you can choose the one which suits your choice and preference in the best manner.
However, just purchasing kayaks is not enough. It is important that you also need to know the right ways to store them. Generally, kayaking is done in the summer months and the kayak remains practically out of use during the winter and the monsoon months. During this period it is important that the kayak is stored properly so that no damage is inflicted on the same. Since kayaks are quite large in size, it is important to find the right place for storing it. It must also be ensured that the kayak remains safe from theft during storage.
Tips to Store Kayak Safely
Listed below are some handy tips that you can utilize to ensure your beloved kayak is stored in the best manner:
Ensure You Clean The Kayak Well
Naturally, a kayak that has been used extensively has to be cleaned before you can store it. The kayak’s underbelly part is likely to be laden with sand, grime, mud, and dirt. Therefore, proper cleaning is necessary. Take the kayak to a place where it can be rinsed and cleaned well. You have to wash the fabric sections separately. The rest of the kayak can be cleaned using mild detergent and water. This cleaning can be done a couple of times in a year. Refrain from using any kind of abrasive surface brush for rubbing on the kayak surface for cleaning it. Be patient while cleaning the kayak as you might need to rinse it several times till the whole soap goes away. Once done, dry the kayak properly but avoid direct sunlight.
Proper Protection Against Sun, Rain & Harsh Weather Conditions
Kayak hull materials vary from one another. They are made of Kevlar, plastic, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. It has been seen that direct sunlight can degrade these materials greatly. Prolonged exposure to any harsh weather condition will cause degradation. It is best if the kayak can be covered with a protective covering. Water-resistant covers are available so that rain or snow does not have any impact on the kayak directly.
Uniform and Even Weight Distribution
This is one of the most important considerations when it comes to storing the kayak. When there is an uneven weight distribution, there are high chances that the kayak hulls might become deformed or bend. During storage, the weight of the kayak has to be supported duly along its length. Wide nylon straps or padded cradles are used for the support so that the curve of the hull is supported well.
Find The Right Storage Location
After the kayak is well cleaned and dried, it is time to find the right location for its storage. Ideally speaking, the best place for storing kayaks is indoors. The kayak should be kept away from direct sunlight and not be affected by weather conditions like snow, rain, wind, hail, etc. Also, ensure that there should be no pest infestation in the place where the kayak is stored. However, some kayaks are really large and do not fit indoors. Shifting them to the basement, terrace or any other place would be an arduous job. Such kayaks have to be stored outdoors with necessary arrangements and precautions so that the kayak remains in good and proper shape.
Innovative Indoor Storage
There is nothing better than storing your kayak indoors as that will not only give you peace of mind but also ensure that the kayak will be well protected. You can choose from various kinds of innovative kayak storage ideas. You may install folding racks on the wall on which kayaks can be stored in a hanging manner. You may also tie it well to the racks. Some people also hang the kayaks from ceiling mounted rings. Make sure that the kayak is never hung only from its ends. There are high chances of the cord snapping off and the kayak might hang loose. Refrain from hanging the kayaks from carrying toggles or from grab loops as they might be risky. Safety straps should be used so that the kayak is fastened properly with zero chances of falling.
The Right Temperature
While storing the kayak indoors, choose a place with the right temperature and humidity level. If the humidity level is high, that may lead to mold formation. If the climate is too dry and hot that may damage the plastic coating of the kayak. See that the place where the kayak is kept has no water leakage issue. There are high chances of damage to the kayak from constant water seepage.
Additional Tips For Kayak Storage
You can do the following to ensure your kayak is stored outside and remains in shape.
- Do not put the kayak on the ground. Set up a rack like structure and put the kayak on it.
- Keep the kayak protected from direct sunlight exposure.
- Protecting it from snowfall and rain will also be necessary.
- Check for mold and mildew formation from time to time.
- The fabric seating components should be stored separately. You can store that part indoors.
Places Where Kayaks Shouldn’t Be Stored
Whether indoors or outdoors, long-term storage, or short-term storage, kayaks should never be stored in some places. Some of these places are as follows:
A Place Which Is Accessible By Small Animals
Your kayak might become a favorite home for many small animals and pests during storage. Make sure that you don’t give the small animals such a scope. Cover the kayak properly so that there are no entry points for animal and pest infestation.
In Well-Travelled Areas
Low ceilings are not a good place for storing kayaks as it hampers movement of people. Also, if mounted on walls, the kayak might cause inconvenience for people where lots of people move around and it is a well-traveled area.
Around Items Which Are Frequently Used
When the kayak is hung from the wall or suspended from the ceiling, you definitely don’t want it to come in the way of items that you frequently use. You might get injured or damaged items if you knock down the kayak or if you reach around or behind the kayak to get something you need.
Direct On The Ground
When stored outside, do not keep the kayak directly on the ground. Direct contact of the kayak with the ground might cause damage due to freezing temperatures or moisture build-up. Cover the ground with waterproof material and place the kayak on it.
Choose from the above-mentioned kayak storage ideas. You can store kayaks indoors or outdoors as per your ease and convenience and your home area and settings. When stored and maintained properly, kayaks remain in good form for a long time.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.