5 Things Not to Do When Storing Your Plastic Kayak

Kayaks in storage


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Almost nobody really gives any thought to storing their plastic kayak when they set out to purchase one. That not-so-little detail usually gets left to happenstance after the fact. While that might be ok when we first buy the boat, after time it can cause problems. No one wants their kayak in their livingroom, and just laying it down in a garage isn't the best policy either.

So often when we come back from a kayaking trip it is late, we’re worn out, and our gear is still wet. It’s usually the night before a workday and all we can do is get the kayak off the roof of our car or out of the bed of the truck and throw it in the garage or backyard. It then stays forgotten until the next trip. While a long-term kayak storage strategy can take the time to develop and setup, there are some things not to do when storing your kayak in the meantime.

Here’s a List of 5 “What Not to Dos” when it comes to Storing Your Kayak

Don’t Lay Your Kayak on a Hard Surface

  • Plastic kayaks deform very easily. They will develop flat spots and dents in the places where the kayak contacts the ground or hard spot. You will notice this deformation after even only a day or so.

Don’t Hang Your Kayak from the Grab Loops

  • When a plastic kayak is hung from its grab loops, it tends to sag under its own weight, pulling down in the middle, thereby developing a banana shape. Hanging a kayak using straps is a good idea, just don’t do it from the grab loops.

Don’t Leave the Cockpit of Your Kayak Uncovered

  • Whether you store your kayak inside or outside, an open kayak is an invitation for spiders, ants, lizards, snakes, squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents and bugs to make their home or nest in it. And, while the kayak can always be washed out, the damage these unwanted guests can do to the foam and rubber attached to the kayak is often beyond repair. Not to mention you may not even know you have a passenger in the boat with you until it's too late.

Don’t Leave Your Kayak Exposed to the Sun

  • The sun perhaps does worse damage to plastic than anything else and is, therefore, a plastic kayak’s worst enemy. The UV rays fade and break down the plastic that kayaks are made of, causing them to become brittle over time. It also degrades any rubber, foam, or plastic accessories you have attached to the kayak.

Don’t Leave Your Kayak Unlocked

  • With the increased popularity of kayaking and the availability of vehicles such as pickup trucks that can quickly haul one away, kayak theft has been on the rise. Leaving a kayak unlocked in the same place time and again is asking for it to get stolen.

Of course, plastic is the most durable material that kayaks are made out of. While paddling or portaging, they often get banged around and make contact with rocks. Over even a short period of time, a plastic boat will show signs of normal use, wear and tear. What you don’t want to have happened is damage occur to the boat due to systematic storage issues that will cause your hull to deform or become brittle. You also don’t want to get bit by a red ant or a spider anywhere in the cockpit, let alone a more sensitive area. Therefore, adhering to the above guidelines will help you to prolong the useful life of your plastic kayak and leave the damage for actual paddling trips, not while sitting in the garage.