How to Store a Kayak Like a Pro
Congratulations on your kayak purchase! You have found a fulfilling hobby to enjoy with friends and family and are having all the fun in the world! Then Winter comes and you think “Ohh shoot Where am I going to put this thing”? Thankfully there are plenty of indoor and outdoor solutions that can best suit your needs on how to store a kayak.
Table of Contents
Getting Started: Kayak Care
The first step before choosing your storage solution is cleaning your kayak. Leaving residue from salt, sand dirt and other stuff can stain and eventually disintegrate your kayak. Besides, what’s the point of buying a beautiful kayak if it is decorated with brown stains and mold everywhere?
To do this you can use bug remover and put it in a spray bottle and spray all over the kayak. Next simply use your hose and spray all over the kayak and the stains will vanish! This method also takes little time, effort and best of all no scrubbing needed!
Indoor or Outdoor Storage?
So the first question you have to ask is Indoor or Outdoor Storage? In an ideal world you should always choose Indoor Storage if you can because it will keep up the longevity of your kayak and protect it from the elements. We realise that not everyone has that option though. In this guide we will show you the best solutions for the more common plastic kayaks. Expect a guide on Fiberglass and ABS kayak storage later on.
Use Indoor Storage If:
- You have room in the garage
- You own and Inflatable Kayak
- You want Your Kayak to be sheltered from the elements
- You don’t mind renting space
- You are a Do it Yourselfer
- You don’t mind getting a Storage Rack
- You don’t want to find anything living in your kayak
- You want to keep it clean
Use Outdoor Storage if:
- You have no Garage
- If you have a Sheltered Space away from the elements
- You Live in a Cooler Winter Climate
I personally Store my kayaks in a garage hanging on a rack on the wall. However in the past I would store them on the ground stacked up onto each other. This is the wrong way of doing things as it puts unwanted pressure on the floor of the kayak and tends to flatten it out overtime. As a result my Sun Dolphin started turning into a Sun Whale (Terrible Joke I know).
Indoor Kayak Storage
This section will be dedicated strictly to indoor kayak storage.
How to Store a Kayak in an Apartment
There are basically three ways to store your kayak in an apartment.
- Clean it thoroughly and hang it on the wall (I doubt the wife would like that one, maybe put it in the man cave?)
- Store it it outside
- Get an Inflatable Kayak from the Get Go.
Out of all these options getting an inflatable kayak is by far the most space efficient and cost effective option available. Inflatable Kayaks are often gawked at because people relate them to dinky pool toys but this is far from the truth these days. They are made from a combination of PVC and Drop Stitch material making them even more durable than hard shelled kayaks! Quality Manufacturers like Sea Eagle and Advanced Elements are industry leaders in this category.
Inflatable kayaks usually fold into the size of a hockey bag or backpack depending on its size. If you love paddling but don’t have the space available inflatable kayaks are a great way to go!
How to Store a Kayak in a Garage
How to Store a Kayak on a Wall (Buying a Wall Bracket System)
- Find a Sturdy Structure
- Find a Structure such as a wood beam
- Do not Make your hanging Point on a Drywall or Plywood
- Find Out Where to Put the Kayak
- Measure the kayak
- Measure appropriate supporting points on the bow and Stern (Usually the diameter of the cockpit)
- Make Sure Bracket is perfectly level
- Install into the wall using a drill or recommended tool in the instructions
- Hang the Kayak on its Side
- Place foam or towels on the brackets so that it is not digging into the yak
- Place Kayak onto it’s side (The Side of the Kayak it it’s strongest Point)
- Place it on the brackets, Make sure Kayak is placed in the Middle
- Insure Kayak is properly balanced and not lopsided
How to Store a Kayak on a Wall (Do it Yourself PVC Kayak Rack)
- Purchase PVC Pipe and Joints
- Get 10 Feet of 1 inch PVC Pipe, 4 PVC Joints and Six 1 inch PVC Mounting Clamps
- You will be creating a 1 ft by 4ft rectangular frame that will secure your kayak against the wall standing up right
- Assembling the PVC Frame
- Cut the PVC Pipe so that it two pieces are 1’ Long and two pieces are 4’ Long
- Attach these pieces by gluing the joints together using all purpose PVC glue.
- Your Rectangle is now formed!
- Allow Joints to dry
- Installing PVC Frame to the Wall
- Place the Top of the Frame 5 Feet from the Ground
- Screw the clamps into the stifs of the wall in a Straight Line, One Clamp Per Stud with 16” per sud for 3 clamps
- Place your Kayak Vertically (Standing Up with Cockpit facing out)
- Place Bow into the rectangular holder
- Push Stern towards the wall so that it stands
- Place a Towel, Blanket or cushioned something on the ground where the Stern Sits
- Grab a strap (like a ratchet strap) and place it around the kayak and the PVC Rack
- Do not Over Tighten! Make sure it is just snug
- Check it every once and a while to make sure kayak is not sagging (it shouldn’t if it is not over tightened)
If you do decide to store your kayak on the ground make sure that it is laying towards it’s side and that it is resting on two planks of wood underneath. This will insure that the floor of the kayak will not be dented lying on the ground over time.
Outdoor Kayak Storage Ideas
Not everyone has the room to store their kayak inside and not everyone has a garage! While Outdoor Kayak Storage is not the most ideal practice for storing a kayak, for many it’s the only option. Let’s go through a few viable options for outdoor kayaks storage
Outdoor Kayak Storage Basics
- Keep your Kayak Under Shelter (something with an awning is ideal)
- Cover the Cockpit of the kayak
- Cover it with a tarp to protect it from the elements (with the tarp not touching the kayak)
- Find a Place to lock up your kayak
One of the worst things you can do is have your kayak exposed to UV Rays. Extended UV Rays created by the sun can weaken the material of your plastic kayak and can essentially disintegrate the quality materials over time. The quick solution is to place a tarp over the kayak however, you want to do this carefully. You do not want to essentially wrap the tarp around the kayak in outdoor conditions because this will trap moisture in your kayak which will make it grimmy. What you should do is suspend the tarp over the kayak so that it is in a tent like formation which prevents moisture and mold from covering your yak.
Covering the cockpit of your kayak is good practice because this prevents rodents and other insects from making your kayak their winter cottage. You can do this by covering the cockpit with a garbage bag. You should also make sure to cover up any drainage or scupper holes to insure no creepy crawlies get into your yak.
Lastly we go to theft prevention. While we try to think of people overall as “good” there are some “bad apples” out there who would like to make a few quick bucks off of your yak. Ways to prevent this are to keep it away from plain view, place a steering wheel lock in the cockpit and run a chain or cable through the kayaks scupper holes (if you have a sit on top) or the grab loop of the kayak. Yes Grab Loops can be cut but potential thefts always go for easy targets. Spending time just crouching and cutting a grab loop is time consuming and increases their chances of getting caught! If you have a Steering Wheel lock in the cockpit on top of that chances are they will not want to go through all that effort to sell a kayak with a steering lock going through it.
Buy a Storage Rack
Building a Kayak Storage Rack
There are many ways you can go about and do this. Methods can range anywhere from using PVC Pipes to wood and metal materials used. What I would do regardless of what material you use is make sure there is lots of padding where the kayak sits. You can achieve this by using foam or cut up pool noodles to achieve this. The Below video is a great guide in how to do this using wood
Building a PVC Kayak Rack
There are many storage options available for your kayak, you just have to get creative! If you follow this guide you will get more life out of your kayak which will make you a much happier paddler.
Thanks for Reading!
Derek is a keen water sports enthusiast who has over 20 years of experience in canoes, kayaking and more recently paddle boarding. On weekends he can usually be found on some sort of floating device be it a kayak, paddle board or even a floatie on his lazy days.
Some of his favourite memories include: snorkelling in Cozumel, Mexico, paddling with seals in White Rock, Canada and trying SUP Surfing in Tofino B.C. . When he is not working on his website or paddling he enjoys motor sports and ice hockey.
Come join our growing paddling community below!