Protecting one’s property is the most important thing in owning it. Its lifetime and functionality will only be as good as its care and maintenance, no matter what it is.
The more specific the commodity, the more attention it needs simply because it also means it has special requirements.
Kayaks are a great example of this. As highly specialized paddling vessels, they are very versatile and can be applied in many different situations.
Kayaks are typically used for recreation and fishing, but bird-watching, hunting, adrenaline-fueled whitewater sessions, and even photography are all areas that benefit from them.
Without it, certain water-based activities cannot be done effectively.
Therefore, if you are passionate about spending time on the water, you have to know how to protect your paddling boat.
In the remainder of this article, we talk about a hidden danger that not a lot of kayakers think about.
Protecting the Kayak
As high-use, heavy-duty vessels that are often exposed to harsh elements like rain or even snow, strong winds, and other weather-related issues.
Of course, there are physical dangers in the water as well such as rocks, timber, and other debris.
Simply transporting the kayak to and from the water as well as handling and storing it comes with potential dangers.
Wear and tear, scratches and dents, it is all very common and usual with kayaks.
However, they are built to withstand it all since that is what they are supposed to do. Protecting the kayaker and allowing optimal paddling conditions, is what kayaks are all about.
Sturdy, capable, and durable, most of them will last for many years with proper maintenance.
However, there is one thing that can ruin a kayak beyond repair that we still did not mention: the Sun.
While it gives life to the planet and although we would not survive without it, the Sun is also capable of running many things.
It gives us burns and makes our skin red if we do not protect ourselves correctly, it is too bright for our eyes and it limits vision when it is the strongest.
With inanimate objects that lack proper care, the UV rays coming from our solar system’s star are very dangerous.
Not only can it melt certain materials, but most objects go pale over time and lose many of their properties.
Kayaks tend to be the same if not protected.
Protecting Kayaks from the Sun
The only way to protect your precious kayak from detrimental UV rays is to invest in proper storage and maintenance.
That comes in a variety of possibilities, but to be perfectly safe you should really make sure to do all of them.
It is better to be safe than sorry, especially with an investment like a kayak, a commodity without which the activity is impossible.
Storing it Out of the Sun
First and foremost, you simply have to always keep your kayak completely away from direct Sun exposure. There is no getting around it and it is the most important part of it all.
Whether it is inside storage or a place outside where you will cover it, it needs to be in a shade.
Better yet, make sure it is a dark and dry area. Your garage or some kind of shed you have on your property would be perfect.
There are many storage solutions to help you, from overhead hanging rails to wall mounts that keep the kayak either upwards or sideways.
If this is not an option and you do not have any spare inside storage, worry not. You can get a kayak cover and cover your vessel whenever you are not using it.
There are special kayak covers that are meant for them. They maximize Sun protection and deflect their harmful influence on plastic.
It keeps both the inside and the outside protected as the whole hull is covered at once. There are even special, additional sections for the cockpit.
Just like with your car or motorcycle, you need a kayak cover to care for it the right way.
Kayak Sun Protectant
So we discussed storage, but what about Sun protection while you are using it?
Sunny and clear weather presents optimal conditions for kayaking, but it is not ideal for the material because it is exposed for hours.
Using it every day, or even every other day is basically the same as if it was standing in the yard, uncovered and unprotected.
There is a good solution for this too and it comes in the form of kayak protectants.
This is a spray that you apply to the entire hull of your kayak and it acts as a sunscreen for your paddling vessel.
Exactly what sunscreen does for human skin, this protectant does for the plastic body of kayaks.
Coating it with this spray will deflect most of the harmful rays and prevent their damaging properties on the kayak.
The brittle plastic underneath the spray will remain intact and not fail as time passes.
Not only is it effective, but it is also inexpensive and therefore perfect for everyday use. Always keep a spare bottle in your kayak gear.
Last but not least, there is a radical solution you can reach for too. If you are worried about your kayak, if it is already old, worn, and torn, you could try to kayak predominantly when the Sun goes away.
Long summer days are the best for this as it is still bright until 8 PM or even 9 PM without it necessarily being sunny.
If you strategize when you kayak and combine it with proper storage, your kayak will be thankful to you.
While we are on the topic of simply not exposing the kayak to sunshine, make sure to always cover it while it is being transported.
Whether it is inside of your car, on a trailer, or on the roof, make an effort to cover it with something.
You do not need a dedicated kayak cover or anything special.
Any old cover will do until you put it into the water and spray it with the protectant.
Meet Maria Alexander, the fearless adventurer steering the ship at KayakPaddling.net. Her mission? To convince you that life’s too short for dry land and that the best stories always start with “So there I was in my kayak…”