A very common question I get at the shop is what can you do to make your kayak last years. There are a few things you can do to help your kayak last for a very long time. I have several customers that are paddling a kayak that is 10+ years old and that kayak is still in great shape.
The first thing you can do is keep it out of the sun when you aren’t using it. Most kayaks have a UV protective added during the molding process. This helps a ton, but storing your kayak in the a shaded area, in a barn or garage or even just cover it with a tarp.
The second thing you can do is if possible, buy a decent kayak. I have harped on this before and I will again, but a cheap kayak from Bass pro or Academy is just that, a cheap kayak. Disposable kayak is the term most used for these type of boats.
The third and I feel the most important thing you can do to add years of paddling life to your kayak is DO NOT Dog Scooch your kayak over the rocks. By simply removing the occupant weight out of the kayak when you hit those low areas of the river will do wonders for the life of your kayak. Nothing will kill a kayak faster than a paddler that refuses to get up and out at low areas.
The pictures below show what can happen very quickly if you do scooch your kayak.
So with just a little bit of effort its very easy to make your investment of a kayak last for years and years. Happy paddling and thank you for reading.