How to Properly Store Paddle Boards, Kayaks or Canoes

how to properly store paddle boards, kayaks or canoes

There are few things that are as fulfilling and peaceful as a quiet day on the water, balancing on a paddle board or floating along in a kayak or canoe. But what happens when you head home and realize you haven’t sorted out a storage system for your vessel? 

Don’t fret! There’s no need to summon back all that stress you managed to melt away on your relaxing adventure. Instead, turn to our guide on canoe, paddle board, and kayak storage ideas. Below, we’ll provide three steps to consider before storing your items and then individual storage tips for each kind of vessel.  

Step 1: Clean Your Boat or Boat

Don’t store any boat or board without properly cleaning it first. Rinse it down, removing any saltwater, mud, and sand, and then make sure it is fully dried. If your canoe or paddle board is still damp when you put it away, it’ll become a breeding ground for all sorts of mold and fungus. 

Step 2: Protect It From the Sun 

Sure, there’s nothing better than taking your canoe or kayak out for a paddle on a sunny day, but long-term sun exposure does a number on your gear. The sun’s rays can damage all kinds of materials, including the plastic and fiberglass of your vessel. Sunlight can also cause fading, oxidizing, and even cracking, which can ruin the finish of your paddle board, kayak, or canoe. The sun, coupled with high temperatures, won’t do your water vessel any favors. 

Indoor storage is the best option to prevent sun damage, but if indoor kayak storage isn’t an option, look into other ways to protect your gear. You can drape a tarp over your vessel, leaving some space between the two to avoid trapping moisture. You can also look into a UV spray, which is basically sunscreen for your canoes and kayaks. If you go this route, just make sure the spray is compatible with your vessel’s materials. 

Step 3: Avoid Cold Temperature Protection

Just like the sun, cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards, too. Freezing temperatures and moisture go through freeze-thaw cycles, which means snow or rain can get into your vessel’s seams or joints, and then expand and contract, causing fractures and cracks. In the same vein, if heavy snow piles on top of your vessel, the weight can further cause bends, dents, and cracks, and other damage. The best way to avoid this? Store your vessels indoors, keeping them away from moisture and extreme temperatures. 

Once you’ve taken the above steps into account, there are generally three ways of storing your vessels indoors: suspended, on the wall, or on the ground. When storing any type of boat or board, make sure you always distribute the weight evenly and avoid setups that are too tight, which can cause pressure points, leading to damage. 

How to store canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards

With that in mind, let’s break down each solution, discussing specifics for each type of vessel. 

How to Store a Canoe

If you’re wondering how to store a canoe in an apartment or home, suspended storage is a great way to get your canoe up and out of the way, without taking up too much space. This storage concept involves installing a hanger on the ceiling and a sling wrapped under the hull. There are various setups you can explore, including pulley systems that help you easily hoist your canoe up and down from its perch. 

Another canoe storage idea includes using your wall space—secure racks to your wall that conform to your canoe’s hull. For canoes, in particular, store them upside down on the gunwales. This setup is great for increasing airflow, which in turn helps prevent mildew or fungus from growing inside. 

While storing your canoe on the ground isn’t the most favorable of these options, sometimes it’s the only way. Just take care not to store it directly on the ground, as that can create too much pressure on the gunwales. Instead, place it upside down on a set of sawhorses or a rack specifically designed for canoes. 

How to Store a Kayak

When it comes to kayak storage ideas, they’re quite similar to canoe storage options, with a few exceptions. 

Suspended setups are always doable. Purchase a suspension rack designed for kayaks with wide straps that can support the base, and then place your kayak with its hull facing the ceiling. As tempting as it may be, never hang your canoe by the grab loops because it can cause the sides to bend.

Another prime way to save space is to go the wall rack route. You will want to store your kayak on its side when using wall racks. You can choose padded metal hooks, nylon strapping, or a combination of the two. 

As for ground kayak boat storage, just like with canoes, you won’t want to store your kayak directly on the floor as it’s just asking for an accident—not to mention, boats can easily collect dirt, dust, and mold this way. Take advantage of sawhorses or foldable racks. While storing a kayak vertically (for example, leaning it against the wall) might be okay for a day or two at a time, you won’t want to do this long-term, as it can damage the kayak’s base. 

How to Store Paddle Boards

Again, paddle board storage solutions align with the above suggestions, but they, too, have their own specifications. 

If you want to take advantage of vertical space, choose the suspended option. There are plenty of paddleboard suspension racks available, or you can always jerry-rig your own with webbing straps. When doing so, be sure to place your board with its hull facing upward. Another option is to make use of your rafters. You can gently slide your board into the rafters on the ceiling and take advantage of the already established weight distribution. 

Wall racks are another one of the best ways to store a paddle board. In this scenario, you have your choice of storing them vertically or horizontally. If you do go with this option, make sure you use padded racks to prevent scratches and dings to your boards. 

Proper paddle board storage gives you a little more flexibility with ground options. You can look into freestanding floor racks, but you can also lean your board against the wall. Gently place your board on its side or with the tail end facing the floor, but only if there’s little to no chance of it getting bumped or knocked. For extra protection, secure it to the wall with a strap or add support around its base. 

Additional Canoe, Paddle Board, and Kayak Storage Solutions

Let’s be honest; not everyone has a garage, closet, or spare bedroom for keeping their vessels. In that case, you’re going to have to look elsewhere for kayak, paddle board, and canoe storage, and that’s where a self-storage unit can come in handy. 

Storage facilities like Stor-It feature units in various sizes that can easily accommodate your adventure gear. If you have a fold-up kayak or inflatable paddleboard, you should have no trouble fitting it in one of the smaller units, like the 5×5 option, which offers roughly the same amount of space as a walk-in closet. But depending on the size of your vessel, you may need a size or two up, like the 10×10 or 10×15 units. 

If you plan on storing your boat or board with other items, consider an even bigger unit to give your vessels the proper space they require. And in this case, because you likely won’t be able to mount racks or pulley systems in your storage unit, you’ll want to follow our tips focused on ground storage solutions. 

Kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards offer hours of fun on the water, but it’s important to provide them with a good home when they’re not in use, so they’ll be all set for your next adventure. For more information on all your storage needs, contact us here at Stor-It today!

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