Salt water is a pleasure to be on, but is the enemy of your kayak and equipment. It is corrosive and abrasive and should be removed with fresh water regularly.

Spray the kayak inside and out as well as all your gear. Empty the kayak then stand on edge so the any remaining water drains to the bottom edge, this will makes it easier to mop out with a sponge.

Store the kayak, preferably inside with the hatches off. This lets the kayak breathe and thoroughly dry out. Just pop the hatch covers in the cockpit so you don’t forget them next time you go out.

These tips are just as important for polyethylene kayaks as well as composite.


Avoid leaving or storing your kayak for long periods in the sun as the UV rays will eventually fade the colours and be detrimental to the hatch covers.

If storing your kayak on a rack it is best to have the kayak resting on its edge with support bars of at least 50mm/2” positioned to match the position of the bulkheads, this will reduce the risk of compression dents developing on the hull. Alternatively hang your kayak upside down with 50mm/2” webbing positioned at the bulkheads. Never hang your kayak from the end toggles.


It is recommended to carry your kayak on a roof rack on edge using upright bars or a set of “J” cradles; this will give you a more stable load.


If your skeg is jammed and won’t go down do not force it, this will just kink the cable. The usual reason is grit jammed in the skeg box. This happens when you push off the beach in shallow water, sand and grit ploughs into the box jamming the skeg. If you can launch backwards this will not happen, the skeg box will be clear of the beach in deeper water. As this is not always possible another remedy is to have a small hole drilled in the back of the skeg blade and with a small cord loop through, the skeg blade can be pulled down by another paddler on the water.


Stay safe. Look after yourself. The sea can be a dangerous place, treat it with care and respect and you will have many great adventures out there.