Kayaking is one of the most exciting “thrill” sports of them all and it is a sport that is rapidly on the rise because it is so much fun and it is a healthy and relatively safe outdoor activity that virtually the entire family can enjoy. It is so wholesome that the Boy Scouts even offer a merit badge in Kayaking which has only accelerated the interest and participation in the sport. For many people, going out on a kayak three or four times a summer using rented equipment is plenty. But for some of us, that is just not good enough and we want to buy and maintain our own equipment.
It is when kayaking goes from an occasional outing to a serious passion that owning your own equipment becomes important. Like any sport, if you use rented equipment, you cannot achieve the level of sophistication that you want when you are becoming an expert at the sport. That is true of golf, bowling as well as kayaking. So to buy a kayak that is perfectly suited to the kinds of runs you wish to do and that is well fit to your body means you will be better equipped for the kayaking adventures you want to take on. And because your equipment is of higher quality and better maintained than the rental kayaks and supplies you get, you can focus on what you want in your next step forward in your passion for kayaking.
Some kayaking enthusiasts actually own several kayaks each customized to a type of kayaking they might want to do. A kayak for running the rapids in Colorado is much different from a kayak you take out on the ocean. The problem of having this much equipment is storage and maintenance. There are two levels of storage to think about. During the kayaking season, you want to be able to store you kayak somewhere out of the way but also in a place that you can get to it quickly to get out on your next adventure without delay. During the winter, you need storage where the kayak can be secure and clean for months of storage so when you take it out of storage the next spring, it is ready to go.
If you use inflatable kayaks, storage is less of an issue. You can clean the unit and deflate it so it folds down to be stored on a shelf in the garage or someplace else out of the way. The paddles, life vests and other equipment similarly can have hooks in the garage for storage. This system works in and out of season. For a fiberglass or non-inflatable kayak, you may look at using a storage shed that you have on your property although the length of the kayak often limits that approach.
Many people find that creating a hoist system where they kayak can be lifted to the ceiling of your garage to suspend there is a good system. The supports are secured to the beams of the house so the weight of the kayak is not a problem. You can use a very simple system for mounting the kayak into its storage hoist or buy a mechanical system to lift it into place and back down again. Either system works fine. The important thins is your kayak has a place to be kept that is out of the way but where you know it is safe from the elements and under lock and key as well.