Whether you live near bodies of water or just love to go kayaking, you may have heard of how good inflatable kayaks are and how they are much portable compared to the hardshell ones.
They’re practically convenient, but one of the key aspects that often gets overlooked is how to store inflatable kayaks properly. While it may not be immediately obvious, carelessly folding up your inflatable kayak could harm its durability.
Proper care and cleaning before storing should be done, as there might be saltwater residue, mold, mildew, and other environmental damages that may cause your inflatable kayak to deteriorate slowly.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to store your inflatable kayak the right way. By applying this method, you will prevent your blow up kayak from slowly degrading over time.
Let’s dive in!
6 Tips on How to Store Your Inflatable Kayak
1. Wash your Inflatable Kayak with Fresh Water After Each Use
The most crucial step that you should NEVER skip before storing your inflatable kayak is washing them clean. When you use your kayak to explore open waters, chemicals, algae, and debris can stick to its surface without being completely visible to the naked eye.
Your inflatable kayak may look clean, but it’s not. If you let those residues build up long enough, it could lead to permanent stains or damage to your boat. To avoid residue build-up, you should wash your inflatable kayak after each use. You can use a mix of regular dish soap and water to wipe down any excess chemicals or algae around your kayak’s body.
However, NEVER wash your inflatable kayaks with these materials:
- Steel wool
- Abrasive scrubs
2. Rinse Your Boat with Fresh Clean Water
Once you’ve washed every inch of your inflatable kayak, it’s always a good practice to rinse it down with clean freshwater. Dish soap residues aren’t harmful. They could pile up and turn into nasty goo if you leave them on your kayak’s surface.
It’s generally better to rinse your inflatable kayak out of any residue before storing it. That way, you won’t have to deal with unnecessary cleaning the next time you want to take it for a spin.
3. Wait It Out to Dry
The worst thing you can do to an inflatable kayak is folding it up and storing it in a bag while it’s still wet. Any type of moisture leftover can expose your kayak to risks of mold and mildew, which could permanently damage it.
You should always wait until it’s dry before storing them. But DO NOT let your inflatable kayak dry under the sun. Excessive sun exposure without UV protection could slowly stretch the rubber materials inside your blow up kayak.
4. Storage Method Options for Your Inflatable Kayaks
Once your kayak is completely dry, it’s now time to pick the best and most practical storing method for you.
You can store your inflatable kayak both while it’s inflated or deflated, depending on several factors. Let’s go over them real quick:
Storing away your kayak in its inflated state is ideally the best option if you use it almost every day. It will save you some time from inflating and deflating before and after each use, therefore, more practical but less hassle for you. However, it’ll take up more storage space.
Still, inflatable boats are tougher when they’re rigid. They won’t get damaged as easily by scrapes and prevents rodents (like rats) from nibbling on the rubber.
If you only use your inflatable kayak not more than several times a month, you’ll find deflating it after each use more practical. Deflated kayaks take much less space, and if needed, you can pack them up nicely in their carrying bag.
Remember to always be cautious and careful about where you store them. Make sure that there are no rodents, mites, or other factors that can cause a hole in your inflatable kayak. But if you ever find yourself dealing with holes in your kayak, here’s our step-by-step guide on how to patch inflatable kayaks to help you.
5. Store Inflatable Kayaks Indoors
Whether you want to store your kayak deflated or inflated, inside storage is always the better option for inflatable kayaks. Inflatable boats, in general, don’t get along well with sunlight exposure, especially for an extended period.
If you don’t have any other option and have to leave them outside, always cover up your inflatable boat with a light-colored tarpaulin to deflect as much sunlight as possible.
6. Use UV Protection
The last but just as important aspect of prolonging your inflatable kayak’s life is using UV protection spray before taking it out during the day. Just like humans, inflatable kayaks can suffer damages from too much UV exposure.
If you often use your inflatable kayak for a long trip, like fishing or touring, spraying it with UV protection is always a good habit to have.
As durable as today’s inflatable kayaks are, they are not immune to overtime damages. You can prevent some of these long-term damages by knowing how to store your inflatable kayaks. Proper care such as washing and rinsing it after each use is necessary to eliminate any chemicals or algae residue on your boat. It’s also generally better to store your kayaks inflated, but you can choose to store them deflated, as long as you do it with proper cautions.
There are many other guides available, but these points on how to store your inflatable kayaks are the ones you always have to keep in mind.