How Long Do Kayaks Last? Maintaining Guide – 2022

The answer to this question depends upon the type of kayak, your maintenance, and how often you use it. An average kayak lasts for anywhere from 7 -12 years.

Some people have gotten their kayaks to last even longer than that, but some just don’t make it past a year or two. A lot of factors will determine whether or not your kayak is going to last as long as it could.

But, if you are diligent with all of your care, take good care of your kayak, and keep it in a dry place, it will likely last much longer than most kayaks. If you are interested then keep reading about how long do kayaks last?

How Do You Maintain A Kayak?

A typical kayak can be expected to last 7-12 years without any major repairs. This means that you need to do one small repair every 6 months or so.

But, since no one can tell you exactly which parts of your kayak might wear out first, you have to do 2 types of regular maintenance:

1. A complete inspection at least once a season (or whenever you return from the water)

2. And a closer look at all moving parts when they start to act up.

You want to get into the habit of doing these simple fixes yourself instead of waiting until things break down completely. They may seem like they aren’t too important but they can damage your kayak soon.

How To Keep Kayak Clean And Dry?

If you get into the habit of cleaning your kayak regularly and keeping it clean and dry you will extend its life by well over 100%! It will also prevent many problems before they happen.

If you aren’t taking proper care of your kayak then it will probably break either during a race or while you are enjoying the outdoors.

It is crucial to clean your kayak thoroughly after every use. Make sure to wipe off anything that gets wet. After wiping, you must put freshwater inside your kayak, which helps to protect against algae growth.

Make sure to rinse your kayak inside and out after using it. But, make sure to turn your kayak upside down to drain excess water.

How Can I Know If Kayak Needs More Care?

If parts of your kayak are acting down then it usually indicates that something else is wrong. This problem comes in 3 main forms:

  • Water Damage
  • Rusty Parts
  • Leaks

In general, water damage only happens when something goes very wrong with your boat. When water enters your boat it creates rust and corrosion issues. Then, there are leaks. Leaks are more serious because they let water indirectly where it isn’t supposed to be. This causes even worse damage to your boat.

There are a few symptoms that will indicate you need to do repairs. These include leaking around the paddles, the rudder, the cockpit cover, or the hull. Other times you can see little puddles on the floor of the cockpit or along the sides of the seats. Or sometimes you can smell strong rotten egg smells coming from your kayak.

What Parts Of Your Kayak Can Damage Your Boat?

When choosing a brand new kayak remember to choose one made with premium materials. You don’t want to buy low-quality products that could quickly become damaged.

Kayak parts that can easily be damaged:


Cockpit Cover

Paddle & Rudder

Seat Sides/Seats

Hull Edges

The hull edges are the easiest part of your kayak to damage. Your boat has a lot of weight and stress placed on these critical areas of your kayak. These areas are prone to cracks, dents, nicks, cuts, etc.

Most commonly the damage occurs right near the waterline. Since the cockpit area experiences a lot of rain, wind, sun, and sometimes ice build-up, it is a perfect target for damage.

How Long Do Kayaks Last In Good Condition?

An average kayak should last 7-12 years before needing repairs. With careful maintenance, though, you should expect to get your kayak almost twice as far.

The amount of time depends primarily on personal preference. Some people prefer to use their kayak less frequently, which allows them to save money on repairs.

Others enjoy paddling more and would rather invest more money to replace parts. Kayak remains in good condition for a much longer time when one should take better care of it.

You should keep in mind that most kayaks have limited warranties. When purchasing a used kayak make sure to check the warranty length.


Hope you get all the wanted information about how long do kayaks last and how you keep your kayaks maintained by doing a proper cleaning and other basic things. I hope those questions were resolved by reading this article.


1. Will My Kayak Last Longer If It Has Been Used Often?

According to experts, yes if you’re taking good care of your kayak using it regularly, it’s likely to last longer than a kayak that hasn’t been used at all.

2. What Are Some Ways To Keep A Clean Kayak?

Use soap and freshwater (not saltwater) to clean inside and out of the cockpit after each paddle session.

3. How To Restore And Maintain A Cheap Kayak?

If you decide to go cheap on a kayak, there are ways to restore it without having to pay thousands for professional service fees.

4. How Do I Know That My Kayak Needs Repairs?

Look for any signs of wear, such as loose straps, broken seals, missing hardware, cracked windows, damaged seats, rips, tears, scratches, and punctures.

5. Does An Old Kayak Need More Care Than New One? Yes!

Because older kayaks tend to accumulate dirt, moss, algae, fungus, mildew, and even fish poop over time, they require additional care, including regular cleaning.

6. What makes a kayak unstable?

There are a few different factors that can make a kayak unstable. One is the weight distribution within the kayak – if the majority of the weight is concentrated in one area, this can make the kayak unbalanced and more difficult to control. Another factor is the shape of the kayak – some kayaks are designed with a narrower, more streamlined shape that can make them more difficult to control in rough waters. Finally, the size of the kayak can also affect its stability – larger kayaks are generally more stable than smaller ones.

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