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Once you have made a hefty investment for your kayaking equipment, it is apparent that you have to take some steps in maintaining them for continuous and practical use. Regular maintenance of your kayaking equipment will help in heightening your kayaking pleasure.
Keeping the kayak and paddles clean should be your priority. Washing them thoroughly after every use is a must. Kayaks tend to accumulate dirt on the outer shell. Dust, gravel and sand find their way to the interiors of a kayak. Thus, you should clean your kayak from the outside as well as the inside.
Similarly, if you have been sea kayaking, make sure you get the crusty salt off the surface and the interiors of the kayak, and clean the paddle blades thoroughly. Salt deposits can quickly corrode kayaking equipment if left unattended.
Secondly, check for any damages to the kayak after a kayaking excursion. You might have to do some structural repairs before planning your next kayaking trip. Early detection of the signs of damage helps in avoiding any future mishaps. It is necessary to mend even a hairline crack or a tiny hole as they can create problems.
To check for dents or cracks on the kayak or the paddles, just run your hand smoothly over the surface. In case of further doubts regarding your kayak, keep it in the dark location and place a flashlight inside the cockpit. Place a cover over the top of the kayak to enclose the light. Now inspect the kayak from all the sides. If no light is visible, a simple paint touch-up will suffice. If the light shines through the body of your kayak, it is time to seek some professional help for the necessary repairs.
Professionals best repair kayak equipment. However, in case you have to mend a small crack, you have to remember certain things. For any repair session of your equipment, make sure the part you work on is arid. Learn necessary repairing procedures and keep in handy sandpapers, duct tapes, epoxy adhesives to avoid frequenting the repair shop after every kayaking trip.
Kayaking equipment must be stored in dry places. After the cleanup procedure, allow them to dry properly before storing them inside. Kayaks stored out in the open, over a period will become less useful, both cosmetically and functionally. Direct sunlight will not only fade your kayak but will also structurally warp it. To avoid dampness to your equipment, keep them in bags or cover them with plastic. Dry bags are readily available to store Folding and Inflatable kayaks. Paddle bags are also great options to store your paddles.
Finally, while storing, do not load a pile on your kayak as it may permanently damage the kayak structure.
Maintaining your equipment on a regular basis and storing them in the right way will keep them conditioned for extended use. These small, careful steps can keep your equipment well maintained, and make your investments worthwhile.