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Wall Racks

Guide to Wall Racks

Wall racks are one of the most common methods of storing a paddle craft, either outside or within the limited and sometimes tight spaces of a garage or shed. Determining where to install a wall rack will depend on several factors including obviously the height and length limitations of wall area as well as the length and weight of your canoe  or kayak. Weight is especially critical: 1) the wall upon which the brackets are mounted must offer a solid, strong anchoring point for both brackets, and 2) your choice of racks must cradle the boat with firm support and even, balanced distribution of the boat’s weight between the two brackets.  

It’s also important that the support arms protect the kayak from scratches or other damage. Some racks offer padded arms, others are designed to create a strap sling upon which the boat is cradled without actually touching the rack arm itself.

Buying racks in pairs enables you to wall store several boats as space and structure allows while adjustable, multiple-bracket racks provide space for several crafts of different depths and widths.

Things to Look for When Buying a Wall Rack

Here are a few features to keep in mind when buying a wall rack for your kayak, canoe, or paddle board:

  • Racks installed outside should be made with treated, coated materials or otherwise be protected from moisture
  • Racks exposed to salt water should use anodized aluminum, galvanized coated steel and stainless steel hardware
  • Adequate padding or cushioning on support arms is a must
  • Make sure there is no potential hard/sharp contact points with boat
  • Consider adjustable straps for a variety of boat widths and heights
  • Consider adjustable, movable arms/brackets to accommodate a variety of water craft
  • Option of removable or swing-away brackets when not in use
  • Adequate strength for all potential load weights
  • Enables easy, safe and secure loading, storing, unloading of watercraft
  • Includes attachments for hanging paddles and other accessories

Get the Most Out of Your Wall Rack

A cover over your watercraft, either via a sleeve around the boat or a tarp over the entire rack can minimize the elements (UV, rain, dust/grit, critters) that might compromise your boat cosmetically and/or structurally. It’s a good idea to periodically check under those coverings for moisture and other infiltrators. Install exterior wall racks in a shaded area if possible (make sure straps are UV protected, too) and consider additional strapping or securing beyond what’s provided with the racks.

Some wall racks offer cradle locks, otherwise seriously consider locking your boats to the rack via a cable system or similar.