While kayaks are very robust and don’t need a lot of maintenance, it is worth checking them out at least once a year to ensure they are safe and comfortable on the water. For us here in Tassie, the best time to do this is prior to the summer season, particularly if your kayak has been sitting in the weather with little use over winter.
This is Reg’s pre-season kayak checklist:
- Foot pedals – check they move and adjust as required
- Rudder Operation – moves as required and hauls up
- Rudder cables – not frayed or rusted and full range of movement
- Neoprene hatch covers – elastic good, no holes
- Hatch covers – In good condition, bungee/straps/clips to keep them attached are in working order
- Deck and perimeter bungee – in good condition
- Grab handles – Bolts secure and not broken/frayed
- No holes in hull – visual check should be fine here
- Bulkheads - check they are secure and don't leak
- Roof racks – no corrosion
- Straps – no fraying (we change our straps annually just to be sure)
And don’t forget to check all your other kayaking gear too. Now is a good time to order any new gear you may need.
- Paddle float and rescue stirrup
- Tow ropes
- Wet weather gear/cag
- Water shoes/wetsuit booties
- Paddle gloves
- Dry bags
- Water bottles
- VHF Radio/EPIRB
To make sure you don’t forget anything essential when you go kayaking next, get yourself a good check system. Either a checklist or a box with all your gear in it. There is nothing worse than getting down to the water and not having your paddle!