Whether you live somewhere you can use your kayak year-round, or you can only use it seasonally, knowing how to properly store your kayak when it is not in use is essential. If you do not store your kayak correctly, you risk warping, mold, mildew, and discoloration. Storing a kayak properly does not take much time and will keep your kayak in good condition for years. The following tips on how to store a kayak should be followed if you want to give your kayak the best chances of avoiding damage.
Choose a storage space that will fit your kayak.
You don’t want to choose any space where your kayak will have to be up against anything. Prolonged pressure from other objects will cause the kayak to become deformed.
Make sure your space is climate-controlled.
Wherever you store your kayak, you want to make sure it is not exposed to extreme temperatures, moisture, or direct sunlight. Extreme heat can cause your kayak to warp, and extreme cold may cause it to become brittle. Direct sunlight will cause fading, and if hot enough, will warp the kayak. Depending on what climate you live in, this may disqualify sheds, garages, and attics as viable options. The best place to store a kayak is in an interior climate-controlled storage unit. These units stay at a consistent humidity and temperature year-round and are not exposed to moisture, pests, or sunlight.
Wash and dry your kayak thoroughly.
Take a day to scrub your kayak and remove all residue from its last use. Avoid strong chemical cleansers, and instead, use soap and water. Once the kayak is clean, dry it completely. Residual water may lead to mold and mildew, so make sure to be thorough.
Remove any fabric.
Take out any fabric from the seat of your kayak, clean it according to the instructions, and store it separately from the kayak. Make sure it is completely dry before storing.
Storing Your Kayak:
When storing your kayak, you want to make sure you distribute weight evenly down the hull. If weight is not evenly distributed, the hull will bend. If you are hanging your kayak, you’ll want to place the straps about 1/3 of the way toward the center, placed horizontally across the hull.
When transporting and storing your kayak, you may need to strap it down. When doing so, make sure it is secure, but do not strap it in too tightly. The constriction from the ties can cause the body of the kayak to deform over time.
Never lay your kayak on a hard surface when you are storing it. It is best to keep it off of the ground entirely, but if you have to, there are a few things you can do. Place padding down in multiple places down the hull of the kayak. Make sure to use a soft material like blankets, pillows, or bubble wrap. Every month or so, flip your kayak. This will help make sure it does not reshape from the pressure points it is sitting on.
Lastly, consider the placement of your kayak within the storage space. If you plan to use it frequently, you’ll want to place it in the front of the storage unit, shed, or other space. Make sure to keep the seats and other fabric close-by for easy access as well.
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