Kayak Maintenance: How to Care for Your Kayak Year-Round
When we did our Lemonade Challenge for Kayakers at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we did a blog post on using that downtime to clean and maintain your kayak equipment. In this article, we have expanded on those concepts so that the next time you go out, your kayak will be in pristine working condition and will remain that way for years to come.
Types of Kayak Materials
There are several distinct types of materials from which kayaks are made, so the tips that follow may vary, depending on the kind you have. Rotomolded kayaks are made from polyethylene, which is a type of plastic. Polyethylene kayaks tend to be the least expensive, heaviest and require very minimal kayak maintenance. Most recreational and whitewater kayaks are made from this material.
There are also thermoformed or polycarbonate plastic kayaks, which are slightly lighter weight and require a bit more care than rotomolded kayaks. Fiberglass is a popular material for sea and touring kayaks. Fiberglass kayaks can’t withstand the types of impacts that polyethylene kayaks can, but they are generally more scratch resistant. Kevlar is similar to fiberglass but is lighter and more expensive. Kayaks made from wood tend to be favored by DIY kayak builders and finally, in yet another category, there are folding kayaks and inflatable kayaks.
For this article, we focus primarily on polyethylene kayak maintenance wi