Kayaks are pretty simple machines.
They don't require a lot of maintenance, but there are a few things you can do to prolong their life and keep them in good condition.
One of the best things you can do for your kayak is to store it properly.
Ideally, your kayak should be stored in a cool, dry place like a garage. If you're storing it outside, roll the kayak over so that water can't get in and keep it in a shaded area or at least out of the direct sun when it's at its most powerful. Over time exposure from the sun will take its toll on your kayak.
For those of you paddling on salt water, it's a good idea to rinse your kayak with fresh water afterward, especially parts of metal pieces, like rudders, foot pedals, and back bands.
One of the greatest things about plastic boats is that they can take quite a beating and still work fine, but they will still show signs of their abuse. You don't need to worry about the scratches on the bottom of your boat unless they are really deep. Something to keep in mind is that it's actually quite normal for the hull of a plastic boat to deform a bit over time. If you get some serious warping or denting, then heat will often be enough to return the boat to its original shape and what you can usually do is leave it out in the sun on a hot summer's day and it will pop back out to its original shape.
Of course, if you hit a kayak hard enough there's a chance it could crack or you could punch a hole right through it - and this is obviously something you need to deal with right away. Depending on the type of damage you do, you may or may not be able to fix a plastic kayak, but composite kayaks can almost always be fixed by someone who is experienced with fiberglass work.
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