Have you just purchased a kayak and want a recommended way to store it ? Hopefully your retailer has given you some good advice on this relevant to your kayak, if not you will find this advice useful. Below I clarify the most common questions asked of me over my years in Kayak sales which will help you to look after your new investment.
Store them flat or on the side?
In most cases storing your kayak on its side is best as kayaks are stronger in this position. This is especially important with roto moulded plastic kayaks when on hard surfaces. If you leave them flat on the hull for a period of time the weight of the kayak can cause the hull to deform, especially if the surface is uneven causing pressure points. Some exceptions to this would be if your kayak has a flat hull with channels in the hull design and with internal bullhead’s which offer better structural strength. Avoid leaving it on a trolley but if you do be sure to set the trolley under the scupper holes as it will be stronger. If you are going to store flat on the ground turn the kayak upside down to protect the hull, this will also discourage others from using the kayak as a storage bench!
Storing your kayak outside
For many people the only option is to store the kayak outside, either on the pontoon, in the back yard or at easy access to the water etc… for those in this position I recommend a couple of things. If you can, cover it up. Although most kayaks, both composite and plastic, have UV stabilized protection long term storage out in the sun will shorten the lifespan of your kayak by making the material brittle over time. If leaving them in direct sunlight make sure the hot air can escape from any storage compartments, in the case of sit on tops without hatches leave the drainage bung undone. This will be enough to allow the hot air to release, by not doing this you can risk distortion to the shape and in the case of composite you could pop a join. Avoid leaving the kayak in a position where it will gather leaves and mould, for the fisherman I recommend you make sure it is well cleaned of any fishy stuff or you might find the local Tom cat will leave its stench on your kayak, I speak from experience!
Hanging from the garage roof/rafters
Hanging the kayak is great for keeping them out of the way and under cover. There a few off the shelf products available for slinging your kayak using webbed straps and simple pulley systems, or as in the above pic using a Surf to Summit wall hanger which will hold 2 kayaks & 2 paddles (holds Surf boards & SUP also). My advice if you are customizing a solution is to make sure you have wide straps wrapped around the kayak to spread the load support. Do not hang from the bow and stern handles only unless you want more rocker in your kayak! I have seen a 5 meter plastic sea kayak hung in a tin shed in QLD for no more than a week, where the owner went to take it for a paddle only to find it resembled an ugly U shape!
Can I stack them on top of each other?
Seldom is this recommended as this would usually mean they are on the hull, however if you have kayaks that stack very well into each other & spread the weight distribution evenly then it would be possible to store them on supports upside down on top of each other.
I hope that has been helpful, see below my video showing the Surf to Summit storage solutions I use, a great way to look after your kayaks and keep them out of the way when not in use. Also check out my Facebook gallery for more storage images.