Winter is here and for many kayakers, it's time to think about winterizing their kayak. Properly winterizing your kayak will ensure that it is protected from the harsh winter elements and is ready to hit the water when spring rolls around.
Step 1: Clean Your Kayak
The first step in winterizing your kayak is to give it a thorough cleaning. Start by removing any debris or dirt from the exterior of the kayak using a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush. Pay special attention to the hatch covers and any areas where dirt and debris may have accumulated. Once the exterior is clean, move on to the interior of the kayak, making sure to remove any leftover gear or debris.
Step 2: Dry Your Kayak
Once your kayak is clean, it's important to make sure that it is completely dry before storing it for the winter. Use a clean, dry towel to wipe down the kayak, paying special attention to the hatch covers, which are often the most prone to trapping moisture. Leave the kayak in a warm, dry place to air dry for at least 24 hours.
Step 3: Apply Protective Wax
Once your kayak is dry, it's time to apply a protective wax. This will help to protect the kayak's exterior from scratches and UV damage during the winter months. Apply the wax in thin, even coats, making sure to cover the entire kayak. Allow the wax to dry for at least 24 hours before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Store Your Kayak
Now that your kayak is clean, dry, and protected with wax, it's time to store it for the winter. The best way to store your kayak is indoors, in a temperature-controlled space. If this is not possible, try to store it in a dry, sheltered area, such as a garage or shed. Avoid storing your kayak outside, as the elements can cause damage.
Step 5: Use Kayak Cover
If you must store your kayak outside, use a kayak cover to protect it from the elements. Kayak covers are designed to keep your kayak dry and protect it from dust and debris. Make sure to choose a cover that is specifically designed for kayaks and that is the right size for your particular kayak.
Step 6: Inspect your kayak before use
Before using your kayak in the spring, inspect it for any signs of damage that may have occurred during storage. Look for any cracks, leaks, or other signs of damage. If you find any damage, it's best to have it repaired by a professional before using your kayak again.
In conclusion, winterizing your kayak is an important step in keeping it in good condition for years to come. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your kayak is protected from the harsh winter elements and is ready to hit the water when spring rolls around. Remember to clean your kayak, dry it, apply protective wax, store it in a safe place, use a kayak cover and inspect it before use. Happy kayaking!