Kayaking is a fantastic hobby that gets you out into nature enjoying the fresh air. It keeps your body fit and your mind healthy. It’s a pastime that everybody should be able to enjoy. However, some of us aren't as fortunate as others when it comes to living space.
Kayaks aren’t small objects and they can be cumbersome to carry and store. If you live in an apartment you may think owning your own kayak is out of the question, but you may be wrong.
It’s possible to store your kayak in an apartment, even if you’re in a one room bedsit of less than 30 square metres. Okay, it’s going to take a bit more effort getting your kayak in and out of your building to get out on the water, but if you’re keen, it is very possible to keep a kayak in a small living space without it getting in the way.
In this article, we’ll be looking at seven ways to store your kayak if you live in an apartment. There’s a solution for everyone on this list, so stop looking at new hobbies and check this read out if you’ve been worried about continuing your favourite pastime after downsizing or moving home.
7 Ways to Store Your Kayak if You Live in an Apartment
There are plenty of ingenious ways to store your kayak if you live in an apartment. Some of these options are about utilising the unused space in your living quarters and others will help you think outside the box in terms of storage…
1. Using a Kayak Rack
A kayak rack is definitely the first thing I’d look at if I lived in a small apartment and needed to keep my vessel indoors.
You can purchase free standing kayak racks that will support one, two, or three kayaks horizontally. You’ll also find kayak racks that mount to the wall. These are a great option if you're living in a small apartment and have some spare wall space in a hall or unused room.
Kayak racks that suspend the kayak from the ceiling can also be purchased…
2. Suspending Your Kayak From the Ceiling
Suspending your kayak from the ceiling is without a doubt the best way to keep your kayak inside if you live in a tiny apartment.
As far as I know, none of you are walking around, making food, or sitting in front of the television on the ceiling. This massive unused space can be utilised to store several pieces of outdoor equipment, not just your kayak.
You can suspend your kayak from the ceiling by purchasing a ceiling mounted rack. These usually feature two T-bars that can accommodate a kayak on either side. This allows you to hang two kayaks from the ceiling on the same support.
Alternatively, you can purchase heavy-duty hang points and suspend the kayak(s) using straps. Either way can work well and will keep your vessel well out of the way. However, you must ensure that you have a strong hanging point that’ll support the kayak's weight in its entirety.
Make sure you mount the rack or hang points on a solid beam, or if you’re not so handy, get a professional in to mount the ceiling rack or hang points for you.
3. Storing Your Kayak Vertically
Storing your kayak vertically is a great way to save space if you have a small cupboard or wall space that won't accomodate the kayak horizontally. However, you must check on the manufacturer's website or in your kayak's manual to make sure it can be stored this way. Some kayaks cannot withstand vertical pressure on the bow or stern and storing them as such could damage the integrity of the vessel.
As long as you're sure that your kayak can be stored vertically, it can be secured to the wall with a couple of tie-in loops and a ratchet strap. It's also wise to place foam down on the ground where the bow/stern will sit to ensure that the kayak and the ground aren't damaged during storage.
If you’re careful, you can also store your kayak vertically without securing it to the wall. Place a small tray with a towel or foam for stability on the floor. As long as the base is well secured, the kayak should stand upright against the wall. Just be sure to avoid knocking the kayak if it’s in an area with a lot of foot traffic.
4. Securing Your Kayak to a Wall
Securing your kayak directly to a wall is a great way to keep your kayak out of the way. Using wall mounted kayak racks is the best way to do this. You can also secure it to the wall with high-strength hanging loops and straps.
Hanging the vessel horizontally with wide ratchet straps or kayak racks is good for saving space but it also keeps your kayak in good shape. Placing the kayak flat on a wall with the cockpit facing in keeps the kayak off the ground and doesn't exert any unnecessary strains or forces on the body of the vessel.
5. Renting a Storage Unit
This is another option for those of you living in the city in a small apartment. Small storage units can be rented for a minimal monthly or bi-yearly fee. These are extremely handy, especially if you live a few floors up in your building.
Storage units can usually be accessed by car. This makes loading and unloading your kayak extremely easy. They're also useful if you don't live close to a waterway. If you have to travel quite far to put paddle to water it can be wise to rent a storage unit closer to the water so you don't have to haul your kayak as far when you want to head out for a paddle.
6. Speaking to Your Local Canoe & Kayak Club
Similar to renting a storage unit, you may be able to speak to your local water sports club if they own a lake or riverside plot. In some cases the club may let you chain up your kayak on their land for free.
Some others may charge a small season fee, and in the worst case, others may guide you in the right direction with a place you may be able to keep your yak.
7. Consider an Inflatable Kayak
Finally, have you considered an inflatable kayak?
Inflatable kayaks have come a long way in recent years. Inflatables are far more robust and are designed with better tracking now. High-quality inflatables aren't as versatile and durable as hardshell kayaks but they're better than you may think.
The biggest bonus of an inflatable kayak is its ease of storage. Inflatables can be thrown in a cupboard or small corner of an apartment. They can even be left in the boot of your car ready for your next session on the water.
If you live on a high floor in an apartment building, have limited space, and perhaps a small car that can't accommodate a full-size hardshell on the roof, inflatables can be a great compromise.