Kayaking is a great sport, but a kayak and related accessories take up a lot of space. Also, a kayak has to be stored properly to protect it from damage.
Storing kayaks in South Africa
In South Africa, UV rays, moisture and extreme heat are the kayak owner's worst enemies.
Leave your kayak outside for any length of time, and the material will slowly degrade, potentially resulting in a deformed hull and compromising the integrity of the kayak's body architecture.
Outside kayak storage tips
If you do choose to store your kayak outside, you can mitigate the effects of the harsh conditions by following these tips:
- Before you store your kayak - whether inside or out - hose it down with fresh water, drain the water out of the inside of the hull, and leave it in a well-ventilated area to dry. Remove and clean all accessories, such as paddles, spray skirts and deck bags, and stow them away inside.
- Store the kayak out of direct sunlight. Choose a shady area under the roof eaves, in the garden or even under a wooden deck. You can also apply a UV resistant coating, such as Liquid Armour, to the surface to protect the craft from scratches, dents, water damage and sunlight.
- Erect a loose-fitting tarpaulin over the hull. Suspend the tarp in such a way that rainwater cannot accumulate in the contours of the craft. Any undue weight or pressure can lead to instant degradation of all kayak materials, from wood and plastic to fibreglass and carbon fibre.
- Avoid leaning the kayak vertically against a wall or fence, as it will eventually bend or crack in places. Rather lay it on its side on a blanket or a couple of towels, and flip it over every so often.
- Thread a chain or length of steel wire through the stern and bow hatches, and chain the kayak, on its side, to a fence strut or pole. This will act as a deterrent to criminals.
Kayak storage: best practice
Storing your kayak outside may be easy and convenient, but if you want your craft to last a lifetime, inside storage is your best option. Here are two best practice storage tips that'll extend the life of your wooden, plastic or composite kayak.
An average kayak is around 4.5 metres in length. During long or short term storage, supporting the hull in a couple of places is crucial. Ideally, the kayak should be supported on both its bow and stern, about one-third of the length in.
There are two ways of attaining the required support; strapping the kayak, upright, onto a wooden rack, or suspending it, face down, from the ceiling. Both solutions are as effective.
The ideal way to suspend your kayak is by sliding it into two wide straps that are looped and attached to the ceiling. To alleviate pressure points caused by the edges of the straps, we advise you to place padding between the bottom of the kayak and each strap.
This applies equally to kayaks that have been loosely strapped onto a wooden rack. You can use old bath towels or any other soft material.
Storage for kayaks at XtraSpace
The dimensions of a kayak mean that you need plenty of interior storage space to house it. One craft will easily take up one side of a double garage – space that few people have, or that may be put to better use.
A practical solution is to house a kayak in a self-storage unit.