Inflatable kayaks are a wonderful item to own. They give you the chance to experience the wild waters of a nature reserve, or explore a grand viaduct from below; all whilst being able to be compressed back into your bag. However, if you don’t take care of your inflatable kayak, there is a chance that they will degrade and lose their ability to inflate. So to keep your inflatable kayak in tip top shape, here is our guide to looking after them.
Whilst there is always the chance your kayak might get damaged on an outing, there are regular things that you can do to prolong the life of your kayak.
You should always rinse your inflatable kayak off with fresh water, such as from a tap or a hose, if you have used your kayak on the sea.
Salt water over time will corrode your Kayak. You might get away with not rinsing it a few times, however neglecting to do it long term will lead to damage.
Your kayak will pick up bits of grime, and oils from your skin and anything you are wearing, so they need to be cleaned off before they build up. Furthermore, the valves within the kayak may collect sand and dirt, and these should be cleaned out as well. Both of these can be done with warm water and soap, rather than any advanced solutions.
Mold and things like mildew grow in warm, wet locations; so you need to make sure you dry off the kayak to protect the material and also prevent mold and mildew.
If you allow mold and mildew to take hold, you are more likely to damage the material, leading to leaks and punctures.
UV rays can over time damage the material of a kayak, just like it does human skin. To prevent this, you can get a “marine sunscreen” to coat your kayak and protect it.
If you fully inflate your kayak and then go and take yourself out into the hot sun, the air within the kayak will expand due to the heat, which will put extra pressure on the seams. To prevent a tear or puncture in the seams, if you are kayaking on a hot day, make sure to let out a little air.
The storage of an inflatable kayak is an easy task compared to a traditional rigid kayak, due to it packing down into a small bag. But you do need to make sure that you store it in a dry place to prevent anything perishing or encouraging the growth of mold.
Inflatable kayaks are brilliant, and extremely convenient for someone who doesn’t have the room for a rigid kayak or roof rack to transport one.
However, there is always a risk of it perishing over time. But if you follow the advice listed here, your inflatable kayak should survive many future adventures that you can look forward to.