Kayak being one of the most popular watersports draws around 13 million participants every year, and the number is consistently growing.
With such immense popularity and the arrival of specially designed chairs, more and more people tend to buy their own Kayaks, but all of them face a common problem.
Even though Kayaking is fun, they are big and bulky, and that makes them difficult to store. Also, you have to protect them from heat, cold, moisture, etc. so merely dropping them on the floor is not an option.
You need something that can hold your boat (or multiple boats) while also giving them all the protection they need. But first, you need a good storage idea, and only then can you make physical storage.
In this article, I talked about plenty of Kayak storage ideas that will make the right home for your boats. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Garage Storage Ideas
Have some spare space left in your garage? NO? Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the ground, but ceiling and wall.
With some creative methods, you can utilize your ceiling/ wall space for storage that would otherwise have left unused for the rest of the life.
Well, for many, these ideas may seem new, but believe me, they are far better in saving space than any other. Of course, your garage can’t be congested when the big things are floating above the head.
Now, I can see you excited, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Wall space is available in all the garages that make it easy to adapt storage ideas. It not only stores multiple Kayaks but also makes it very tough for anybody to steal them. And of course, it saves a lot of ground space for other essential equipment or work.
Here are a couple of ceiling racks you will love.
Hi-Port 2 Kayak Ceiling Rack
Made from heavy-duty metal, this sturdy rack can store upto two kayaks. It tightly holds them against the ceiling while the padded support arms keep your Kayak in place and resist shifting or fall-off.
Also, the dense closed-cell foam padding prevents any scratch and gives your Kayaks a soft base to rest on. It can store upto 150 lbs and fit 10-18 inches in-depth (with adjustable ceiling bracket) Kayaks, which is plenty.
Its adjustable frame allows you to store different types of kayaks like Whitewater Kayak, sea kayak, recreational Kayak, etc. so it doesn’t matter which one you have, you can rely on this rack.
Now you may ask – Can’t it fall over?
Well, from personal experience, I would say NO, and there are two reasons to support my answer. Firstly, the padded support arms and secondly the quick lock push pin present on the base.
RAD Sportz Kayak Hoist Lift
With new, improved straps, this rack can hoist your Kayak weighing upto 125 lbs. Not only Kayak but also it can raise your canoe, ladder, or bike to the ceiling, which means its multi-purpose.
With a single storage option, its perfect for people wanting to store their Kayak until next use and not enthusiasts having multiple of them. But if combined with other storage ideas, this can benefit enthusiasts as well.
The rope locking mechanism prevents any accidental or unwanted release that may occur during lifting, which prevents damage. Also, the hooks have a rubber coating to tackle scratches.
Now you may ask – Isn’t it heavy to lift?
Well, NO! The smooth pulleys and latches make lifting super easy with very little effort. So, don’t worry about how heavy your Kayak is as probably you don’t have to use that much strength.
And the best part?
You get a Lifetime Warranty and 100% unconditional full money-back guarantee.
Don’t have wall enough wall space? Or you want a mobile rack?
Don’t worry as a free-standing rack is all you need. Not only are they sturdy but also portable, so you can quickly move it indoor or outdoor.
Now, without further ado, let’s look at some best freestanding rack.
RAD Sportz Deluxe –
With a powder-coated finish, this sturdy freestanding rack from RAD can hold upto 175 pounds, which is more than enough.
The arms have a UV protected cushioned padding that gives comfortable support to your Kayak while resisting any scratches. Since the padding is UV protected, it will not lose its efficiency in the sun and does not rip off.
Great for indoor or outdoor use, it can store two Kayaks firmly while the dual tripod makes it stable.
The best thing is its mobility that allows you to use it anywhere, like in your garage, boathouse, dock, etc.
Suspenz Deluxe Free-Standing Rack
Initially, this rack can hold two Kayaks, but once expanded, it can store upto six boats, which means plenty of room. With a heavy-duty steel core, it gives a sturdy base that can hold upto 100 lbs.
On the arms are UV-resistant straps that protect your Kayak from abrasions and hull distortion. Also, the safety strap holds it firmly and provide extra protection.
You will get a leveling foot, and anchoring hardware included so you can quickly expand it. One thing you may dislike is their not-so-detailed written instruction book.
Wall Mounted Racks
Why only decorate the wall space when we can use it for a rack?
You see, walls have an advantage over the ceiling for being easily accessible, and moreover, a Kayak on the wall looks way more stylish than on any other.
Now, there are plenty of wall racks, and I will talk about them in a minute, but before that, a little note – If you are somebody who doesn’t like a defined storage location, then you can also check the movable racks.
Suspenz EZ Rack –
Being the best wall rack, Suspenz EZ deserves to be on the top. For unknown, Suspenz is owned and run by paddlers who know what you are looking for, so you can be assured of the good quality.
Made from powder-coated steel, it has a 600D nylon covered foam padding that gives a sturdy and comfortable base to your Kayak. The safety straps on-top hold your boat firmly (upto 125 lbs) and add another level of protection.
Also, its compatible with Suspenz’s free-standing floor rack so you can either bolt it to the wall or to the free-standing rack; that makes it distinct from all other wall racks.
It can extend upto 21″ (inch) from the wall so even the bigger Kayaks can easily fit.
And the best part?
It comes ready-to-use right out of the box, so you don’t need to do any additional work.
3 Hoist with Ratchet Straps –
Looking for an inexpensive DIY method that includes less labor too? Then this one is probably a good option.
A very lightweight method that works by forming wide loops with the ratchet straps where the Kayak will slide in. These straps are attached to a single 2X4 wood using the ratchet handles that also keeps the Kayak against the wall.
You can further place padding inside the straps to resist scratches and give a comfortable base. This way, it looks new, as always.
Even though its a good option and can work for years, I personally would love using the pipe hook setup like in the Suspenz EZ Rack (the earlier one). And there are a couple of reasons for my decision. Like its convenient to put/ take your Kayak from a hook than ratchet straps, etc.
Anyways, if this one fits well for your needs, then give it a try.
The Hanged –
This DIY rack looks like a hybrid of a wall and a ceiling rack that has the mechanics of ceiling but the storage of a wall.
To make this, we need a few things beforehand – a few shelf brackets (one double and two single), small pulleys, nylon rope, locking carabiners, and a hitch mount. If you already have these, then you can jump right into the construction.
First, we have to install three shelf brackets on the top (of the wall) where the double shelf bracket comes in the center while the single ones reside on each side. Then you have to attach the small pulleys with the brackets using the locking carabiner (two in the center and one on each side).
Now, the two pulleys in the center will act as a passage to each side. So, take the nylon rope and pass it through the middle pulleys to each side and bring it down.
Then make a handle piece on your Kayak, attach it to the nylon rope and begin pulling it upwards until its off the ground. Finally, attach the excess nylon rope to the hitch mount you installed earlier and BOOM, the rack is ready.
2 Storage with Pipe Hooks –
This one is a pretty simple-to-make rack that anybody can make. You need two pipes and a few 2 and 1/2 inch lag screws.
Using a vice, bend both the tubes until it looks like a hanger or bent it from the market if you don’t want to do it yourself. Then attach the bent tubes with the wall using the lag screws.
Further, you can place a foam swim needle to coat the pipe to give a comfortable base to your Kayak.
Simple Vertical Hanger –
Another simple-to-make DIY method that can quickly and easily make a rack. Here you need a few 2X4 wood pieces and some screws.
First, attach two 2X4 wood pieces vertically to the wall to make the rack’s base. Then take four 2X4 wood pieces and attach it horizontally to the vertical ones to make perpendicular arms.
These perpendicular arms will hold you Kayak, so keep it above the ground, extend out a few feet and make it wide enough to ensure a strong hanger.
Unlike most other wall racks, this one lets you utilize the wall and floor space and gives you plenty of space to store other things.
Now, this rack doesn’t have the comfort, simplicity, convenience as other wall racks, but it does provide a quick hanger.
If you have a little storage left in your house or garage, then racks are the best storage options. Not only are they lightweight and easy to set up, but also they can store multiple Kayaks in less space. For enthusiasts with multiple kayaks, this is the best option.
Now, you have two options – Either to order a sturdy Rack or to build one yourself, and both have their pros and cons.
By ordering it, you save some time, labor, and ensure a good quality Rack, and if you are building it yourself, then, of course, you have to put in time, labor, efforts, and ensure everything works well.
Now, from personal experience, I would recommend you to DIY only if you have some prior experience with building stuff; otherwise, you will end up making a lot of mistakes and maybe build a less efficient product (but you get experience). Of course, you can try building it yourself if you want to but keeps the pros and cons in mind.
Now, without further ado, let’s talk about some racks.
Malone Auto Racks
With powder coating, this beast of a rack can store upto six Kayaks and have a load capacity of 500 pounds, which I guess is more than enough. The heavy-duty square construction gives a sturdy exterior that can last decades.
The set of four J-style padded holders and two sets of foam stacker makes a soft surface for the Kayak that prevents any minor damage that may occur while loading or unloading. To take full advantage, you can keep the lighter Kayaks on top, and the heavier ones on the bottom.
The best part?
You get the stainless steel hardware and assembly tool included with the Malone’s Lifetime Warranty. So what are you waiting for?
X Storage Rack –
It’s a DIY built rack that was introduced by Jim Thomas, who wants to build a wider, durable, sturdier rack for his multiple Kayaks. Eventually, he found that the rack has met his expectations and may even help other peoples, so he shared his technique.
On the 4”X6”X6’ base, a riser of 2”X6”X8’ is bolted using 5”X3/8” lag bolts. The same is done on the opposite side to make two long vertical bars that become the base.
Then you need to attach 2”X4” arm board of 32 1/2” long cut at 30 degrees to make the arms (rack) that will hold the Kayak. After attaching all the arms (12 of them), your DIY rack is ready.
Honestly, its takes good time and hard work to make this framework, but the end result is good. Of course, it’s not as stylish or sturdy (due to wood) as the previous rack, but if taken good care, it can last for years.
Additionally, you can cover the arms with foam to make it a softer base.
Steve Grant System –
Another DIY built rack that has a similar approach to the last one, but it’s made for holding upto four Kayaks, not six, which is perfect as not everyone has six of them.
The advantage here is that you can build it really cheap if you have access to a power drill (that you can borrow if not owned). Otherwise, it’s the same thing – Time and hard work.
This rack has a unique system to keep the Kayak upright by using their inward-leaning pressure, which means both sides are distinct not connected.
Storage Covers –
Whether you are getting an indoor/ outdoor rack, you will need a storage cover.
Some people ask – Why?
Well, storing your Kayak in a rack may protect it from sun, heat, and moisture, but what about dust, rodents, etc. that indirectly harms your Kayak. So to fully protect it, you need a good Kayak storage cover.
Now, without further ado, let’s look at the cover.
StormPro Heavy-Duty Kayak cover
Made from heavy-duty 600D polyester, it provides water, UV, and mildew protection. The PVC-free fabric won’t shrink or stretch, thus giving all-weather protection.
It has a full-cut design that allows extra room for other equipment like Kayak vests, paddles, etc. so not only the Kayak but even the equipment get the protection.
The dual zipper opening provides fast and easy access while the convenient handles make easy carrying.
It comes with a stuff sack and a five years warranty.
How to Store your Kayak –
Before storing your Kayak, you have to check several things that will further ensure the safety of your Kayak. Without them, you can’t ensure proper protection, so it’s crucial to check them prior to storage.
Keep it clean –
Before storing anything, you must clean it to remove the dirt and make it ready for the next use. And the same rule applies when storing a Kayak.
After using a Kayak, it can have dirt or grime that will dry out and eventually harm the material, so it’s a great idea to wash it prior to storage.
To clean it, you need a cloth and fresh water. Simply dip the cloth and begin rinsing until the boat is clean. If it’s very mucky, then you can use a mixture of mild soap and water instead of mere freshwater.
Avoid Pressure –
The rack carrying your Kayak gives it support from certain points and not the whole base, so its significant that you resist putting any pressure on it.
Most of the racks or pulleys have a strap to hold your boat firmly, but closing it too tight can put pressure that can eventually deform the body.
So, it’s crucial to ensure that there is no extra pressure.
Add UV Protection –
If you have an outdoor rack, then its crucial to give UV protection to your Kayak as the harmful UV rays weaken plastic and wood. Without UV protection, the material will slowly lose its strength, and that’s not something you want.
If you have hard-shell boats, then you can apply UV-protection spray on them. Or you can use a UV protected storage cover like the above one. Not only UV, but it will also give water and mildew protection.
Doing such will maintain the sturdiness and efficiency of your boats.
What to find in a good Kayak storage idea?
Every storage idea on this list does one thing – it stores your Kayak.
But if all of them do the same work, then why have I listed so many other ideas? Why not simply give one idea, and that’s it?
Well, that’s because not every idea is a good storage idea. Only providing storage doesn’t make it good, but other things also add up.
So, its crucial to choose a storage idea based on certain things, and not by how much boats it can store. So without further ado, let’s discuss those things.
Storage Location –
When choosing a storage location, you have two options – Indoor and Outdoor. And while both are great, they have their own pros and cons that you must look prior to selection.
With indoor, you are conscious about space and storage location, but that’s not the case with an outdoor location as there is plenty of space.
When it comes to protection, indoor have the upper hand since it provides heat, cold, moisture, sun, and theft protection, but that’s not the case with most outdoor racks.
So if you want space, then choose outdoor, but for additional protection, choose indoor.
Upside Down –
While storing a Kayak for a long time, its base starts to deform due to the pressure. And that eventually destroys the hull, which is not great.
So, its important to keep your boat upside down, i.e., with hull side up to resist deformation. It will ensure the good health of your hull and keep it good in the long run.
You can also call it a Storage Life Hack.
Weight distribution –
As I mentioned earlier, a rack or pulley provides support on certain points and not the whole base, so it’s crucial to avoid any pressure. And that can be done by finding a rack with great weight distribution.
Most of the DIY racks may not have the perfect weight distribution, as it’s not professionally built with every aspect in mind. They are simply built to provide a quick hanger.
But professional racks like Suspenz EZ rack has a perfect weight distribution that gives proper support to your boat.
So, always ensure that the weight is properly distributed to avoid any potential damage.
How to ensure Theft Protection
The biggest problem with an outdoor rack is that its prone to theft. Of course, it saves a little space in your house or garage, but that’s not worth it if somebody stole your Kayaks.
Now, the simplest option is to shift it indoor, and the problem is solved. But if you want to keep it outdoor, then follow some rules to prevent theft.
- Cover it such that it’s not visible from outside. You can place some boxes or a tarp to cover it wholly.
- Lock your Kayak’s steering wheel with a fence or steel rod(if nearby) using a steel chain, and keep the key in a secure place.
- Don’t tell anyone about your storage location, as that makes it more prone to theft. Maybe your friend tells somebody about your location, and that person steals it.
- Keep it on the highest location available on the rack. So, if you have a 6X rack but only one Kayak, then keep it on the top (and not bottom). Forget about convenience and think about safety.
- Always keep your Kayak away from Sunshine as the UV rays weaken the material.
- In freezing temperatures, make sure your boat is fully dry before storing outdoor.
Cover the hatches and cockpit to prevent animals from nesting inside.
- If you have space problems, then you can either rent it, ask your friend to store it, or get an inflatable one to solve the problem.
- Always clean it before storage to resist mold and mildew growth.
- Give due attention to proper weight distribution and storage location.
- Using a cover can provide multiple protection, so using it is a smart idea.
In this article, I talked about some Kayak storage ideas that give your Kayak a good home to rest. If you like this article, then do share it with your friends and family. Also, if you have any questions, then do comment below.