In order to ensure that a kayak continues to deliver supreme performance for years to come, the paddler must take good care of the kayak. Regular repair and cleaning can go a long way in maintaining the kayak in top condition. In fact if paddlers are particular about cleaning the kayak after every outing, then it can prevent the kayak from deteriorating and maintain it for years to come.
Kayak Cleaning Guidelines
On a regular kayaking session, the kayak is exposed to lot of dust, dirt and other elements. Due to the increase in pollution in the waterways the kayaks are more prone to dirt and germs. Cleaning the kayak regularly is not very difficult and requires very little time and effort on the part of the kayakers.
The starting point of cleaning the kayak is to wash the hull thoroughly with fresh clean water. This would help in cleaning all the dirt, germs and any insect attack from the kayak. Washing the kayak with water immediately after a kayaking session is the best kayak cleaning tip.
However, just washing the kayak with water is not always sufficient. It is recommended that paddlers use soap water to wash the kayak and clean it from all the grime. Using a mild soap should do and ideally the kayak should be washed before and after every kayaking session. Paddlers must avoid abrasives and solvents as they could cause harm to the hull.
For fiberglass kayaks, paddlers can also use fiberglass wax generally used for polishing cars. The wax polish would give a great finish to the kayak and keep it shining for many days to come. To remove stains and tar, using an elbow grease or baby oil is a good idea as they are mild yet effective cleansing agents.
After every kayaking session, start the cleaning process by draining out all water from the kayak. After wiping the insides of the kayak, position it upside down to dry it thoroughly from inside. Also, take out all the smaller accessories to dry out in the sun. Any moisture content can damage the kayak parts and hence it is necessary to store the kayak only after it is completely dried out.
It is important to wipe the cockpit area as much as possible as it is a likely area for bugs and other insects to reside and breed. A sponge is an ideal cleaning material as it is gentle on the kayak surface and at the same time removes all scum and dirt effectively.
After a sea kayaking session, it is very important to clean the metallic areas as they could be damaged due to salt corrosion. Hence, all metal and rubber parts must be cleaned with soap and water solution to keep them clean.
Often kayaks get exposed to the strong UV radiation, which can damage the hull permanently. To protect the kayak from UV rays, kayakers must use sprays like 303 Protectant that form a protective layer on the kayak and ward off the harmful rays. Cleaning the kayak once a year, with the spray is sufficient to secure it from the harmful UV rays.
These are some of the most effective kayak cleaning tips that can help in keeping the kayak brand new for many years.