Proper kayak storage is crucial—yet often overlooked. Sure, calling it a day after a thrilling time in the great outdoors and putting your kayak away is not exciting, but it’s important (i.e., if you want to prolong the life of your precious kayak).
Failure to store your ‘yak properly leaves it susceptible to disgusting mildew/mold, scratches, and dents from contact with hard surfaces, or worse, warping of the plastic hull. But as anyone who’s ever owned the watercraft will tell you; kayaks are hard-to-store items! They’re often bulky, relatively delicate, and downright odd-shaped. And this is where kayak wall mounts come in.
Read on for more on why you should consider investing in a kayak wall mount and how to install it for proper storage of your trusted ‘yak.
Benefits of Kayak Wall Mounts
- Versatile: Storing your kayak in a tidy and economical way with wall mounts is great—but it doesn’t stop there! You can also store kites, windsurfs, surfboards, and other lightweight watercrafts. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution.
- Increase Air Flow: Suspending your kayak off a wall translates to increased airflow, away from dampness. This prevents the growth of mildew and mold, which can be a real headache—especially if your own a composite of a wooden kayak. For plastic kayaks that are vulnerable to warping from heat, it also helps regulate the temperature.
- Free up Valuable Storage Space: Walls are often the most underutilized storage space—whether it’s in the garage or the kitchen. Rather than taking up a substantial amount of real estate by storing your kayak on the floor, save that space for something else by mounting it. This is both functional and aesthetically appealing.
- Even Weight Distribution: Few things are as disheartening as going into storage only to find a deformed remnant of your good ol’ kayak. Luckily, wall mounts cradle and distribute the weight of your kayak evenly—preventing its lines from bending and warping the hull.
- Minimal Contact with Hard Surfaces: Hard, flat surfaces are the ‘kryptonite’ of kayaks. They are an ingredient for all kinds of scratches and dents. Mounting your kayak to a wall eliminates this vulnerability and allow you to keep it in a ‘spick and span’ condition for longer.
- Simple: Unlike other kayak storage solutions, wall mounts are easy to install, and mounting/unmounting takes a few seconds/minutes.
Consideration Before Mounting your Kayak – Types of Kayak Wall Mounts
If you’re planning to mount your kayak to a wall, you’ll have to make a few considerations for a seamless experience. How heavy is your kayak? How far can you stretch your budget? And where is your storage space (inside or outside)?
Depending on your unique needs, you have two main kayak wall mount options available:
- Slings: With a sling-type cradle, you suspend your kayak by securing it through loops. Slings come in handy when you’re looking to maximize your storage area (i.e., no parts sticking out), store more items (e.g., you can slide a paddle into the loop), and it’s secure. PS: See this video for an illustration. Check out the Railblaza Starport Wall Sling on our website.
- Hooks/Brackets: As you can guess, the kayak is placed gently on padded brackets/hooks installed into a wall. Bracket-type systems tend to have a higher weight capacity and a higher price tag than slings. Or you can make a homemade version for less but the craftsmanship is then down to the builder.
How to Mount your Kayak to a Wall
Finding the right kayak wall mount is only one facet of the whole equation. Failure to install the rack properly leaves your wall, the kayak, and whatever is below at risk of damage. The good thing is that most kayak wall mounts come with instructions from the manufactures. But if not, here’s a quick guide:
STEP 1: Prepping the Storage Area
First things first; do you have a wall that is big enough and convenient for the storage of your kayak? The general rule of thumb is to measure the length of the kayak (plus a few extra inches for good measure) and match it to a relevant wall.
You can store it anywhere; including the shed, basement, garage, or even your bedroom (*if your partner is okay with it). But ensure the temperature and humidity are controlled—preferably indoors away from sunlight.
STEP 2: Clean your Kayak
Grab a mild all-purpose cleaner and sponge down your kayak’s interior and exterior hull. The idea is to remove residue, dirt, or potentially corrosive substances. Next, dry the kayak to ward off mildew/mold and degradation of the surface. After this, you can cover your kayak to protect it from the elements.
STEP 3: Install the Wall Mounts
Space; check! Kayak, check! The next step is to install your storage unit. For the sling-type system, drill holes for the eyebolts on ceiling rafters or wall studs—ensuring the distance between them is approximately a third of the kayak’s length. Screw in the eye bolt into the drilled hole and insert the sling suspension system.
STEP 4: Hang the Kayak
Place the kayak horizontally with the cockpit facing away from the wall. Make sure the kayak is perfectly centered and not tilting to either side (i.e., straps should be just outside the cockpit and equidistant to each end). Aaaand…you’re done.
Now, hit the water and come home to easy, secure kayak storage—repeating the process over and over for years!
Links to wall mounting systems: