How to properly store your kayak


  When your adventures on the water are over or kayaking season ends, you wonder how to store your kayak correctly. Kayaking beginners and experts alike can benefit from knowing how to keep their kayaks. From the best way to hold an outdoor kayak to other short- and long-term storage tips, the following information will ensure you can use your kayak for many seasons.

  Take care of the investment that is your kayak so you and your family won’t be disappointed to see a damaged kayak come boating season. Follow the tips below for kayak storage and learn the importance of proper care to maintain your kayak for years to come.


  You love the freedom and adventure of kayaking, so you need to take steps to care for your kayak. Properly storing your kayak will help it last longer because it will:

  •   Please protect it from the elements: Rain, snow, and sun can take a toll on your kayak. Store your kayak correctly, and you will prevent damage, warping, discoloration, and other problems that the weather can cause.
  •   Avoid damage and warping: While the elements can damage your kayak, how you store it can, too. Correctly keeping your kayak will prevent dents, distortions, and other damage to its sides or bottom.
  •   Protect it from theft: You should also make sure that you protect your kayak from theft. Proper storage in a locked area will keep your kayak safe and away from anyone trying to take it away.
  •   Keep yourself and others safe: If you hang your kayak incorrectly, be it from the ceiling, wall, or another surface, you risk falling on yourself or others. Even if you are lucky enough that no one is near the kayak when it falls over, it could still be damaged.

  There are many good reasons to store your kayak correctly. But what are the best ways and places to keep a kayak? Below you will find tips on several storage locations and methods to help you preserve your kayak through any season.


  You’ll need short-term storage when your kayak isn’t out on the water for a few days or a week. Consider short-term kayak storage in the following situations:

  •   everyday use
  •   Going on vacation
  •   Brief periods of inclement weather
  •   Shorter off-season periods for those in temperate climates
  •   Take a break from kayaking for any reason

  Even if you use your kayak daily, you should store it carefully. The damage won’t necessarily happen overnight – unless your kayak falls off the wall or ceiling or another incident occurs – but incorrect and repetitive storage could take its toll over time. You can also leave your kayak vulnerable to theft with short-term storage, as you may not take extra care for a day or two of storage.

  Not sure where to put a kayak for a few days or weeks? Depending on your climate, you can opt for outdoor or indoor storage. Short-term storage is more flexible than long-term, but keep the following tips in mind for proper storage:

  •   Keep it accessible: Since you are only going to store the kayak for a short period, you do not want to hold it in a place that is difficult to access. Roof or wall storage in areas with other objects in the way will not be convenient when you want to take your kayak out on the water.
  •   Take the time to store it carefully: When storing your kayak for the short term, you may not want to spend the extra time to store it properly. Even if your kayak is only in storage for a week, you still have to put in some effort to keep it safe and secure from damage.
  •   Lockable: Keep your kayak safe from theft, even if you only store it overnight. Use a padlock if you hold it outdoors, or keep the indoor area locked and protected with alarms, cameras, or other security tools.

  With proper storage, you’ll quickly reach your kayak when it’s time to hit the water and rest assured while you’re out of the water that it is safe from theft and potential damage. Since you will be striving to store the kayak for the short term, be sure to do the same for extended periods to ensure even more protection.


  Short-term storage is manageable, but how do you store a kayak for the winter and other protracted periods? There are many kayaks, and depending on your style, your long-term storage options may vary. An inflatable kayak, for example, is easy to store in winter. Deflate and roll or fold it so it stays in a cool, dry place until kayaking season returns.

  In the case of other varieties that are not collapsible or collapsible, you have to consider the space available and how to store the kayak properly in the long term. As you prepare to store your kayak for a few months or a couple of seasons, make sure:

  •   Calculate your space: With short-term storage, space may not be an issue, but when you go to store your kayak for the next few months, think carefully about where you are going to put it. You don’t want your kayak to get in the way of other items you need, and you certainly don’t want to store it in high-traffic areas.
  •   Keep your kayak clean: In addition to where to store it, you need to know how to prepare it for storage, especially for long periods—the best way to maintain your kayak while in storage is to clean it before putting it away. Wipe down the outside and inside, and then dry it well to prevent moisture buildup. Getting it out of storage will be easier with a cleaner kayak, and damage will be less likely once the storage season is over.
  •   Take similar steps for short-term storage: Although the kayak doesn’t have to be accessible for daily use, it does need to be on hand early in the season. Store it with other seasonal items or ensure it’s out of the way but relatively easy to access when the warmer months roll around. You’ll also want to protect it from theft by locking the storage area and taking other security precautions.

  Knowing how to store kayaks in the winter is one of the most important considerations for long-term kayak storage. Unless you live somewhere with a mild climate, you will need to keep your kayak out of the cold and snow during the winter. Keep it in a climate-controlled area, which will be much easier if you store your kayak indoors, but you sometimes have outdoor options.


  When it comes time to store your kayak, long-term or short-term, you need to consider where it will go. Depending on your space, you may choose between keeping it inside or outside. Even if you don’t have to choose, you should know how to properly store your kayak inside or outside so it’s safe during the off-season and other times when you’re not using it.


  While your kayak is out of the water, you can store it outdoors for a short period. The best way to hold an outdoor kayak for extended periods is to keep it out of the water and under some cover. For example, mounting racks to a wall keep kayaks off the ground and easily accessible for seasonal use. Other options for long-term storage outside are:

  •   under a cover
  •   Under a roof or eaves
  •   On a covered porch
  •   With a waterproof and UV-resistant kayak cover
  •   Under a tarp, hung if possible

  You can store kayaks long-term outside if you live in a place with a mild climate. You have to make sure you check it regularly. When you check your outdoor kayak, look for weather or moisture damage, pests, and proper coverage. Please take all necessary steps to maintain a kayak stored outside, such as cleaning it, covering it, or moving it indoors.


  Indoor storage is the best option if space is available. One of the best ways to store a kayak is in the garage, but some kayakers opt for a shed, basement, or other storage areas. If you have a spare room, you can store your kayak there until it’s time to hit the water. How to keep a kayak in the garage, shed, or other indoor areas? Follow some of our top tips to keep your kayak correctly:

  •   Make sure you can control the temperature.
  •   Keep the boat away from windows to prevent sun damage
  •   Do not obstruct the walking paths

  While storing your kayak indoors is the safest option to prevent damage and theft, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your daily life, which could be inconvenient and even dangerous. You should hang your kayak properly if you store it on a wall or ceiling as an added measure to prevent damage to your kayak and injury to others.


  Storing the kayak vertically is best for short-term storage. You can use vertical storage inside or outside, although the longer you plan to keep your kayak like this, the better it will be to do it inside. To store your kayak upright, lean the boost against a wall with the cockpit facing. For the kayak to stand upright, place it at a slight angle. You must also position the kayak so the bow is in the air and the stern is on the ground.

  The kayak’s stern is usually more comprehensive than the bow, making the rear of the kayak slightly heavier than the front. The width and weight will create a more stable base for the kayak than the narrow bow. If you store your kayak upright, be sure to follow these tips to ensure proper kayak storage:

  •   Use padding: In the same way that hanging the kayak by the handles can strain the ends of the kayak, the stern will be susceptible to some pressure and tension when supporting the weight of the boat. To help relieve any stress, you should use padding under the stern. Towels or cushions will work fine, although some manufacturers have padding you can also look for. Placing the padding in a box provides excellent stability and a perfect place to place the stern.
  •   Secure it with pegs: Another common concern is how to stabilize the kayak’s bow so it doesn’t slide down the wall. The best way to prevent your kayak from falling over is to install support pegs on both sides of the bow. The pegs will support the kayak if the bubble tins or gets bumped.
  •   Use a roof rack: You may also want to look into shelves to store your kayak vertically. Vertical storage racks ensure adequate stability and are often fitted with a chain or rope to hold the boat in place. Consider making your vertical storage shelf if you’re handy or like DIY projects.
  •   Cover the bathtub: If you temporarily use outdoor vertical storage, you should consider covering the bathtub. This helps prevent moisture, pests, leaves, and other debris from building up in the tub. Even if you only store your kayak in this position for a day or two, you’ll have a much easier time getting back in the water if the cockpit is free of debris.

  Vertical kayak storage is an excellent option if you don’t have a lot of horizontal storage space. You must ensure your kayak is adequately secured to prevent it from falling over and limit this storage method to short-term use.


  Just as it is helpful to know how to store a kayak properly, it is also beneficial to understand how not to keep it. The following are places, conditions, and methods to avoid storing your kayak.


  Short-term or long-term, indoors or out, there are some areas where you should never store your kayak:

  •   Any place accessible to wildlife: Small animals may love to make a home in the cabin of your kayak. Don’t give pests a chance to hide in your boat and give you a scare when the season returns. Store your kayak indoors or cover it adequately so animals don’t feel at home in it.
  •   On the ground: Keep your kayak off the ground, especially outside. Contact with the ground could cause damage due to moisture or freezing temperatures. Hang your kayak or cover the earth as best you can with tarps or other waterproof and weather-resistant materials.
  •   Around frequently used objects: Remember that whether you suspend your kayak from the ceiling or hang it on the wall, you don’t want it to get in the way of other objects you use. You risk knocking over the kayak, causing damage or injury, by reaching behind or around it to get to something else you need.
  •   In high-traffic areas: Walls or low ceilings that you or others often pass by are not a good option for storing your kayak. It could be unsafe for passersby or inconvenient for you and your home.


  Even if you store your kayak indoors, you must ensure that indoor storage does not expose your kayak to:

  •   Moisture: Just because your kayak is suitable for use in the water does not mean that it can be stored with it. Whether you live in a humid climate or there is moisture in the areas where you plan to keep your kayak, take steps to prevent moisture damage. Use a dehumidifier or choose spaces not exposed to rain and humidity. Moisture buildup can warp kayaks, cause mold and mildew, or degrade their material over time.
  •   Sun: If your garage or other storage area has windows, keep your kayak out of the sun. The sun’s UV rays can cause discoloration, but sunlight can damage certain kayak materials with prolonged exposure. Use window coverings or store your kayak where sunlight cannot reach it.
  •   Heat: Extreme heat can cause your kayak to warp. Keep kayaks away from heaters during the colder months and keep storage areas heated during the hotter months for the perfect balance.
  •   The cold: Of all the elements, the cold is the least worrying. Still, storing your kayak in a heated area during cold months is a good idea to prevent continual freezing and thawing, which can cause damage. Ensure the place where you store the boat is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid the possibility of freezing.


  The way the kayak is placed for storage has a significant impact on its condition. Be sure to avoid storing your kayak:

  •   With tight straps: If you secure your kayak to the roof of your car with tight straps, prolonged storage creates a pressure point that can deform your kayak.
  •   Cockpit side up: Placing your kayak on the storage bars can create dents in the bottom and warp the boat. So how do you store a sit-on-top kayak or similar models? The most innovative option to avoid cuts is to turn the kayak upside down.
  •   Sideways: Again, when storing a kayak on storage bars, be careful where you point it. If you support the kayak on its side, you risk denting the side supported by the bars. Remember that storing the kayak upside down is the best option.
  •   Hanging by the handles: If you turn your kayak by the handles at the front and rear, you will put tension on the ends. The kayak can warp and bend at the ends if hung by the handles.
  •   On a cart with wheels: Use only carts with wheels to transport your kayak when it’s time to store the boat; store the car somewhere else. A coach with wheels could put pressure on the opposite end of your kayak. It also creates an unsafe situation because the kayak could roll into someone or something.


  •   The above tips will help keep your kayak safe from theft and damage during storage season or daily use. If you’re still concerned about proper care, we’ve got some additional tips in the form of an FAQ to help. Some of the most frequently asked questions from kayak owners are:
  •   Can a kayak be stored upright? You can keep your kayak on its side or upright on one end, but it’s best to do it for one day. If you do this for longer, you risk damaging or deforming the kayak’s body by staying on one side too long. Especially in upright storage, the kayak’s weight will pressure itself and can bend the end of the boat resting on the ground or other surfaces.
  •   Do I need a kayak rack? Whether you opt for indoor or outdoor storage, you’ll want a way to keep your kayak off the ground or floor. In that case, you may need a kayak storage rack or another way to hang the boat. You can choose frames with padding to reduce the impact of pressure points. If you plan to use roof storage, you can opt for a system with straps instead of bars. These storage systems typically have a lower profile.
  •   Where can I store a kayak in an apartment? If you live in an apartment and want a kayak, choose an inflatable or collapsible option for easy storage. There is still hope if you have already invested in a non-folding kayak. You can hang it on your apartment wall if you have the space – and family or roommates who don’t mind – but a more convenient option might be to find a rental warehouse or store it outside for the short term.
  •   What do I do with the accessories? Just like you want to take the proper steps to store your kayak, you should do the same for its accessories. It would help if you cleaned your paddle, bilge pump, and other equipment before putting it away, ensuring everything was dry.


Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

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