If kayaking is one of your passions in life, something that makes you instantly happy once you’re out on the water – one of the main things you need to do is make sure you take proper care of your kayak.
I mean, kayaks are pretty durable pieces of equipment anyway but if your kayak is one of the loves in your life then you want to make sure that it is being properly kept and maintained.
It’s just like owning a car; you clean it, wash it and service it to maintain its longevity. Now, I’m not saying that a kayak is as hard to maintain as a car is but it’s a possession that you care for so you want to look after it.
So, let’s have a look at some of the best ways you can take care of a kayak.
Use of a trolley
Having the use of a trolley has many benefits. Firstly, it helps to keep the kayak off the ground so that the bottom of the kayak is not being scraped and scourged by stones, rocks or tarmac.
Secondly, it makes it easier on you as the trolley does all the heavy lifting. Transporting a kayak from your car to the water can be quite strenuous and if it’s too heavy can possibly cause injury. Simply having a trolley, will help to reduce long-term damage your kayak can be caused by dragging it across rough surfaces.
Check the hull for damage
Always check the hull (the bottom of the kayak) to see if there are actually in adhesions, if so these can be buffed out. In the case of a depression of the hull, simply adding heat will help it to pop back out into its original shape. Leave it out in the sun for the day, this will do the trick!
In the water
Once you’re out kayaking in the water try to avoid bumping or hitting against any rocks. I know that this seems very obvious but if the tide or an expected wave pushes you towards a rocky area try to paddle diagonally through the wave and if needs be use your paddle to slowly push away from the rocks and back out into the open water.
Out of the water
Once you’re out of the water and taking your kayak home, it’s best to place it in a dry area such as a garage or a shed. Simply turn it upside down and let any excess water drain out. You can also take a dry cloth to it and dry the water off this way as well.
There are a few ways you can store your kayak easily.
Having a heavy duty wall mount will keep your kayak off the ground and free up more space. If your garage is already full you can even look into this hoist storage system. It’s designed to hold up a weight 100lbs so you can rest assured knowing that your kayak is safe and secure.
If you don’t have a garage or a shed you can leave it outside in a safe place and with this docooler waterproof covershield, your kayak will be shielded from the outside elements. Click the link here. You can also cover it with a piece of tarp. Just place stones around the four corners to keep it in place.
Cover the cockpit
If you have a sit-in kayak, you’ll want to get a cockpit cover. These are reasonably cheap and will help to keep out any bugs.
They are also waterproof so if you are leaving your kayak outside it will keep the rain out; making sure the hull stays dry and free from mould developing.
Cleaning your kayak
You want to make sure to clean your kayak regularly enough, I would recommend cleaning it after you have been out on the water and then just upkeep every couple of months.
If you were to leave your kayak without cleaning, overtime grime and salt can begin to corrode the hull of it making it less effective in the water. This is the last thing you want when far out in the water.
So, you can use normal dish soap, warm water with a sponge and dry cloth to clean it or try out this ArmourAll Kayak and Watersports cleaner. It helps to keep your kayak clean throughout, protects and restores it like new.
Look after your foot rests
Overtime and with consistent use the foot rests in your kayak may start to become weak and loose. You want to make sure these are taken care of properly.
Every time after you finish kayaking and come home perform the cleaning ritual on the kayak. Now check the foot rests and bridge to make sure they are stable and rigid. If you find that they are slightly loose, just make sure to tighten the screws with a screwdriver.
If you feel that you there is too much wear and tear on the foot rests, you can purchase new foot rest parts on Amazon. Simply click here.
Keep it out of the sun
Long exposure from the sun will not only begin to fade the colour of your kayak but it can make it weak. The plastic will be begin to thin out and can be prone to cracking. Leaving it out in the sun for a few days will be fine but if it’s constantly laying out exposed, the structure of it will begin to deteriorate.
Check all rigging
If your kayak has rigging, just check on it every now and again. Simply test it but pulling on it to make sure it’s still taut so that anything you hold and store within it, will keep it safe and secure.
With exposure to salty water, the rope can become rigid which makes it more prone to splitting. When you are cleaning the kayak, give the rigging a wash to clean off any salty residue so that it doesn’t harden in.
Just make sure to check the rigging before you head off also.
As I said, kayaks are made of very strong, durable materials and are built to take a few knocks here and there.
However, if you really do want to improve the longevity of your kayak take advantage of these points discussed. It will make sure your kayak holds it value for many, many years to come!
If you have any questions, please drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you!