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How to Store a Kayak: A Thorough Guide

The aftermath of any hobby is never particularly exciting, whether it be the clean-up job after a day of baking or washing your smelly sports kit and trainers. Kayak storage is no different.

kayaks on a storage rack

Just like baking and sports, the part that comes after the fun is just as important as the prep.

Knowing how to properly store your kayak will keep it in good condition ready for the next time you fancy taking a trip out on the water, whereas improper storage can result in damage leaving you to spend the season watching from the sidelines instead of skimming the water

.From the best method of storage to the great indoor versus outdoor debate, this article will provide you with plenty of tips to keep your kayak in great condition all year round. 

Indoor Storage vs. Outdoor Storage

Before we go any further, we need to address the question of whether you should be storing your kayak indoors or outdoors.

inuit kayaks in storage

Understandably, not everyone is going to have a big enough space to store their kayak and its equipment indoors, but is outdoor storage really so bad?

If we’re being honest, it should really be a last resort. Storing your kayak outside exposes it to extreme weather conditions which means it’s more likely to sustain damage during storage.

It’s not impossible to store a kayak outdoors, but it makes your job a lot harder. To save space in your home and save your kayak from a winter season spent out in the cold, you can always choose to have your kayak stored somewhere else.

inuit kayaks in storage

A lot of the kayak schools, rentals, marinas, clubs, and beaches have kayak storage available to rent out.

Key Preparation for Storing Your Kayak

Whilst the thin material that kayaks are manufactured with is excellent for water performance, it’s vulnerable to warping when stored for long periods. To prevent damage from occurring, always keep your kayak at an angle or erect, balanced, and covered.

kayaks and canoes on a rack

First, decide where to store your kayak. It needs to be a large enough space that it won’t come into contact with other objects or make it difficult to utilize the room.

The chosen location should maintain a regular temperature that doesn’t fluctuate between getting too hot or too cold.

Make sure it stays above freezing and below 100℉ at all times. Direct sunlight can also damage the kayak as this will warp the exterior and cause the surface to fade.

Keep your kayak in the shade and away from any nearby heat sources. Before you can store the kayak you’ll need to give it a good clean, making sure to do both the interior and exterior so it’s practically gleaming.

red and yellow kayaks in storage

Ensure all the soap is washed off after. Dry the entire kayak using a towel or cloth to prevent a breakdown of the kayak’s surface and a breakout of mold or mildew growing inside due to excess moisture during storage.

Even when you store your kayak inside, you should use a tarp or a kayak cover to stop dust from settling on the surface and to stop bugs and rodents from settling into a new home.

Different Ways to Store Your Kayak

There is some debate over which of these methods of storage is best for your kayak, and some of it will depend on the available space and the size of your kayak, so we thought we’d go through three different ways to store a kayak for you.

kayak hanging upside down in storage

We’ve focused on indoor storage as this is the best option.

Ground Storage

For the kayak to be evenly balanced, you’ll need to find a flat surface that is level with an adjoining wall for the kayak to rest against.

Ideal indoor spaces include garages, basements, or sheds, although you can also store your kayak on the ground outside.

  1. Store Horizontally: You can store a kayak on its side by tilting it and letting it lean against the wall with the cockpit facing away from the wall. Don’t allow it to lie flat as this puts a lot of stress on the kayak, which is the same as hanging it from the ceiling. Instead, prop it up so it’s resting against the wall at a slight angle, and switch to the other side every month or so to prevent dents from forming where it holds the weight. 
  2. Store Vertically: Your other option is to store the kayak vertically, leaning against the wall at an angle with the cockpit facing away from it. The stem should touch the ground while the bow is closer to the ceiling, and to protect the kayak, you can place padding underneath it to create a cushioning barrier between it and the floor.

Wall Storage

The first rule of mounting your kayak on a wall is to avoid drywall and plywood. A strong wood beam or durable metal pipes are required to provide adequate support, so choosing the right mounting location is essential for successfully storing your kayak this way.

kayaks stored on a wall

You’ll need to buy a rope or bracket storage system, of which both are equally as safe but the latter is more expensive.

A rope unit holds the kayak up with ropes, whereas a bracket unit supports the kayak as it rests on the brackets. Install the unit on the wall first making sure you have closely followed the instructions in the user manual.

Once you’re certain it’s secure, you can hang the kayak horizontally on its side. The cockpit should be facing away from the wall and the back should be lying flat against it.

kayaks on a storage rack

Secure the kayak on either side of the cockpit, as this is the strongest point of the whole thing. Whether you’re using rope or brackets, always make sure it’s supported on each side.

Make sure you’ve balanced the kayak properly by checking if the rope or brackets are equally as far away from the ends of the kayak as each other.

The positioning around the cockpit should do a good job of centering the kayak anyway, but adjust them if you need to.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to storing your kayak, you don’t want to cut any corners. If you want to avoid any damage and just unnecessary wear and tear overall, it’s in your best interest to learn how to properly store your yak.

Of course, the methods may require a bit of adjusting, depending on the type of kayak you have. Hope this helps!

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