Kayaking on the Hudson

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kayak Basics: How Long do Kayaks Last?

How long will a kayak last?  I get this question every time I go out and talk to people about kayaking.  The answer: It depends how you care for it.  I’ve seen 5 year old kayaks that look like they are done and I recently purchased a 15 year old kayak that looked and paddled like it just came out of the showroom.  Most kayak materials don’t like sunlight (especially plastic) and weather is not much of a friend either.  So kayaks that are stored indoors tend to do much better than ones stored outdoors.  You can tell if a kayak has been exposed to sunlight because it will be faded and in extreme cases you will see tiny little cracks in the plastic.  This means the plastic has become brittle and the kayak is now susceptible to impact damage.  Longevity also depends how you store the kayak.  Kayaks should be stored on their side or hanging in some sort of straps.  Kayaks that are stored on their bottoms tend to get dents or caved in hulls.  To keep your kayak in top condition: Wash it after each use.  Treat plastic and rubber parts (could be the whole kayak) with 303 Protectant (sunscreen for your stuff), store your kayak properly and indoors.

See you on the water,
Don Urmston

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