As the cold weather approaches, you may find yourself wondering how to store your kayak for winter. A kayak is a large object, so finding a suitable space to store it safely may prove problematic.

Kayaking is a very popular recreational activity, with approximately 11.38 million participants in the U.S. alone during 2019. The sport is a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors and beautiful lake vistas.

However, as the chill of the air indicates the change of the seasons, you might find yourself wondering how you’ll store your kayak for next year.

How to Store Your Kayak for Winter

Snow and ice may damage your kayak and compromise its waterproof condition. So as it gets colder, you need to know how to store your kayak for winter.

The last thing you want is for the skin to split because of a severe frost or for the wind to send your kayak crashing across your yard. Therefore, it is essential to protect your kayak in the winter and secure it into a safe position.

If you have a garage, then you could store it away safely from the elements. Use a tarp to cover your kayak and secure it on its side with ropes. Or, if you have space, you may choose to hang your kayak in a rope sling inside a covered area.

Whether you keep your kayak inside or out during winter, you need to prepare your kayak for storage. A few basic chores like cleaning and surface filling of any cracks will help to see your kayak through the harsh weather.

Where to Store Your Kayak Inside

If you wonder how to store your kayak for winter, then the answer is inside, if possible. Kayaks don’t like the cold or ultraviolet light, so if you can keep it in a garage or shed, then all the better.

Storing it inside allows you to control the atmosphere, and if the storage area has a little heat, that is ideal.

If storing on the floor

The kayak shouldn’t lie flat on the ground, and you must spread the weight evenly to avoid warping the hull.

Also, if you use a rope to secure your vessel, don’t tie it down tightly, or the rope may damage the kayak’s skin. Additionally, use blocks of wood to slightly raise the kayak off the floor and cover the kayak with a tarp to prevent small animals or rodents from nesting inside.

Hanging your kayak

When you ponder how to store your kayak for winter, you could choose to hang it from the ceiling of your outbuilding. A kayak rack is ideal for this option, though you may use a rope to create a loose frame to suspend the vessel.

Suspend your kayak on its side with the cockpit towards you and the hull towards the wall. Alternatively, you may place the kayak vertically with the bow towards the ceiling.

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A couple of tips for storing

Kayak experts recommend that if storing your kayak horizontally, then tilting it on its other side once a month will keep the frame in optimum condition.

But, if you choose to store the kayak vertically, set it at a slight angle to keep it stable. Use a little padding to protect the stern and prevent scratching or cracking.

Man in Kayak on Water
Photo by Marsh Williams from Pexels

Storing Your Kayak Outside for Winter

If you are don’t have storage inside, then the only alternative is to store your kayak securely outside. The biggest hurdle is picking a location.

Keep in mind, excessive exposure to sunlight, moisture, and direct heat may damage your kayak.

Shady days

Ideally, find an area that is shady and reasonably protected. An area under the eaves of a roof, or even under the deck, may be the perfect spot.

The use of a weatherproof tarpaulin is vital to keep the elements off your kayak. The idea is to keep snow, dust, and animals away. Plus, the tarpaulin will help keep the ice and rain off the kayak, which would otherwise damage the hull.

It’s crucial to protect the kayak from snowfall. But if snow does get on your kayak, always remove any accumulation, or the hull may warp or crack.

Wind damage

If you store your kayak outside, you must strap it into position securely using a rope to prevent wind damage.

While you don’t want to crush the kayak with the rope, you must ensure the straps remain secure enough to prevent the wind from catching it.

Recommended Read: Finding the Best Tandem Kayak

Build a tent

If the kayak remains out in the open resting on blocks on the ground, then you could use a tarpaulin, poles, and some rope to create a makeshift tent.

Make sure the tarp doesn’t sag and check it regularly to ensure it remains taught. As mentioned, remove any snow accumulation to prevent any weight crushing the kayak.

Snow isn’t the only problem. Fall leaves may add unwanted weight atop the kayak. Remember, if you want to know how to store your kayak in winter, you must also consider the fall.

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Store Your Kayak off the Ground

If you wonder how to store your kayak for winter, then a kayak rack might be the ideal solution if you have a wall on which to fix the rack.

The rack will keep your kayak off the ground and provide a secure storage solution. Not only that, you can easily cover the vessel and the rack with a tarp for complete protection.

Prepare the Kayak for Winter Storage

Before you know how to store your kayak for winter, you must prepare the vessel for storage. And the preparation for storage is vital to maintain the integrity of the kayak.

Remove the seats

Any soft fabric elements or seats inside the kayak need to come out to store separately. While you may keep the paddles inside the kayak, it is worth wrapping them in weatherproof material to provide extra protection.

Soapy water

Use mild soapy water to clean the vessel inside and out thoroughly. Remove any dirt, sand, salt, mold, and fungus that encrusts the surface. Any buildup could warp the kayak if left unchecked.

Use clean water to rinse the kayak inside and out to remove any leftover soap and pat it dry with a towel to remove excess moisture.

Expanding cracks

Before you put your kayak to rest, use a repair kit to fill any cracks in the hull. If water penetrates the cracks and freezes, the cracks will expand and may cause irreparable damage.

Ultraviolet damage

While your boat may remain covered during the winter months, it is worth using a sun-protective spray to coat the boat.

A sun protective spray will condition the material against ultraviolet light and prevent the hull from becoming brittle.

Cover the cockpit

Use a cockpit cover to protect the interior of the kayak. Ideally, you will also use a weatherproof tarp to cover it, but at the very least, a good quality cockpit cover will give additional protection.

Recommended Read: Best Lightweight Kayaks For Your Next Adventure

Secure Your Vessel Against Theft

If you can’t keep your kayak under cover or hidden away from view, you may need to consider making it theft-proof.

Tips for keeping your kayak safe

Ideally, store the vessel out of sight and away from prying eyes. Placing the kayak in a position that makes it challenging to retrieve may also deter thieves.

Alternatively, use a steering wheel lock across the cockpit, or a security cable threaded through the grab loop. Secure the cable at a suitably secure spot.

However you choose to store your kayak, ensure that thieves cannot pinch your pride and joy.

Kayak Storage
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

The Option of Last Resort

You may not have an interior space in which to store your kayak. And you may not have a yard to store it over winter. So, you may wish to look for a secure space to rent. Check with your local canoeing centers to see if they have space for rental.

Canoeing centers and kayak outfitters may have the perfect storing solution. The disadvantage is that such storage will cost you money. But, at least you have peace of mind that your kayak is stored safely over the winter months.

How to Store Your Kayak for Winter Explored

Storing your kayak in a garage or shed is the perfect solution for winter storage. Store the vessel on blocks on the floor or suspended on a kayak rack.

If storing outside, prepare the vessel and secure it into position before covering it with a weatherproof tarp. Regularly check the condition of the kayak and keep it clear of leaves and snow.

Do you have any hints and tips for storing a kayak? Why not share your experience with us by leaving a comment below?

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. You’ll also find more of his helpful articles about outdoor recreation on sites like Trampolinify. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry making business and sells his creations online.


Featured Image by Sabel Blanco from Pexels