Kayak Maintenance For Beginners: What You Should Know

Kayaking is undoubtedly one of the best watersports for anglers. The sport part aside, you can use your kayak for fishing too. For those two reasons, kayaks often take a beating. And if not adequately cared for, these inflatable boats can wear out even before their due time.

So, what can you do about that? Is there a way to maintain your kayak to make it last? 

Yes, there is! And in this article, we shall share all the tips with you – we even recommend some products that can help.

Note: this article is in two parts, namely:

  • The factors that might limit the longevity of your kayak, and
  • The maintenance tips you need for each stage of kayak use

3 Factors That Might Limit The Longevity Of Your Kayak

Kayak Maintenance For Beginners

Your Choice Of Kayak

The first factor that determines if your kayak would stay up to 7-12years (even with maintenance) is the type you choose. So, ensure that you pick the right boat for your trips. But how?

Understand the different makeup of the several kayaks on the market and their purpose. This short guide can help:

  • Rough and rocky rivers: whitewater and seawater kayaks are the fitting boats for these water conditions. For that reason, they only have a short lifespan.

Pro tip: using your kayak in seawater means exposure to the salt in the water. To avoid the side effects, make sure to clean it with lukewarm freshwater and a clean rag after each exposure.

  • Smooth and calm water: recreational, sit-on-top, and touring kayaks are the fitting boats for rivers with fewer obstacles. And because of the conditions, they often have a long lifespan.

Bottom line: where you use your kayak determines its lifespan as much as its makeup material. So, carefully choose the one that meets the requirements of your hobby or work.

Suggested reading: Best Fishing Kayaks

Temperature & Moisture

Regardless of the makeup of your kayak (be it fiberglass or polyethylene), if you expose it to long hours of harsh temperature and moisture, it won’t last. Perhaps that’s abstract; let’s be specific.

For example, when your canoe stays too long in the sun, the UV light can deteriorate its components. And just like the sun, snow can have similar damage on your kayaks.

But what if you can’t avoid leaving your kayak in the sun and snow?

Then, invest in a kayak cover. For that, we’ll recommend the GYMTOP Waterproof Kayak Cover. It is the best aid for all types of weather. Plus, it is affordable and built for kayak fishing.

Handling & Frequency Of Maintenance

Even if you have the best kayak, not handling it rightly means it won’t last for its money’s worth. So, take time to use your inflatable beauty the right way. And you can start by hauling it rather than dragging it.

Most importantly, don’t only apply one-off maintenance routines on your kayak. Instead, have a care plan for pre-season, in-season, and even off-season. And ensure you keep to the schedules at all times.

That said, let’s enlighten you about kayak maintenance in detail.

The Kayak Maintenance Tips For All Round The Season


Pre-season kayak maintenance centers on taking your canoe from storage and preparing it for the activities ahead. Here are the particular steps to take:

Check For Hull Damage

Storing your kayak for a long time without use can often deform its hull. So say that happened to your kayak; exposure to heat can help you correct the deformation. Just put it off in the sun for a few hours till the deformed hull pops back to its full size.

Check The Rigging And Your Emergency Gear

After the hull, inspect your rigging components. You can start with the bungees, pad-eyes, and perimeter lines. Also, ensure that your skeg, cables, and pedals are in perfect working condition.

Afterward, inspect your emergency gear too. Accidents can happen while kayak fishing, and you don’t want to take chances. So, check your first aid kit and refill the empty containers.

Replace Worn-out And Old Accessories

This step is the last round of inspection you’ll facilitate during the off-season. As such, you’ll do a final check on your kayak. In particular, you will be on the lookout for old or worn-out accessories. When you find them, do well to replace or repair the old-timers.


The highlight of in-season kayak maintenance centers on handling and weather protection.

Don’t Drag, Use A Cart Instead!

Earlier, we advised against dragging your kayak on hard surfaces. Hard surfaces aside, don’t even drag your kayak at all. If you did, you’d be subjecting the underpart to damage.

Bottom line: don’t drag your kayaks; haul them. And luckily, you can invest in a kayak cart. For that, we’ll recommend Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart.

Protect Your Kayak From Sun

Sunlight, in particular, can be detrimental to your kayak’s lifespan. It can weaken the body and expose the boat to damage. And while kayak cover can limit when the boat is in storage, you can’t use it when you’re angling. As such, you’ll need a protective spray. For that, we’ll recommend 303 Marine Aerospace Protectant.

The best part: you can use the same spray to clean your kayak after each use. That way, you’ll ensure deep cleaning of tough stains and salt compounds.

Close The Cockpit When The Kayak Is Not In Use

Aside from the sun, you always want to protect your kayak from rain and snow. And beyond weather elements, critters are also a thing. So, to protect your kayaks from all that, always cover your cockpit after each outing.


Off-season kayak maintenance center mostly on adequate storage and cleaning. Here are the particular tips to follow: 

Check Your Rigging Components Again

Your angling trips have been fast and thick. And the chances are that your deck cords and lines would have already worn out. In that case, the off-season is the perfect time to inspect and replace such components.

And at times, you don’t necessarily need to replace all your rigging components. A simple loosening and tightening can do the trick.

Thoroughly Clean And Dry Your Kayak

This tip is the last commandment of a kayak owner. At all times, always keep your boat clean. That cleanliness is even more important now that your boat is going into storage.

So, use lukewarm and soapy water. Most importantly, use a scrub and sponge. And wait until the kayak is dry before moving it into storage.

Voila! Now, you have adequately cared for your kayak. Rest assured that it will last long for you to enjoy your money’s worth. Have fun!

For that fun part, read this:  How To Plan A Simple But Exciting Fishing Staycation!

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