Over the last few decades, no other watersport has enjoyed a steadily increasing popularity as much as kayaking. Maybe that’s because of all the great new kayaking technology out there; everything from sit-on-top kayaks to specially designed chairs have arrived to make kayaking more fun than ever.
In fact, the American Canoe Association estimates that about 13 million people participate in kayaking every year.
That’s a lot of kayaks, and our garages are already so stuffed with sporting equipment. So the question quickly becomes, how are we going to store them all?
We’re counting down some of the coolest new ‘kayak hacks’: easy and inexpensive ways to get your kayak off the ground & out of the way. So without further ado, here’s our list of kayak storage ideas we’re sure you’ll want to try.
1) DIY PVC Kayak Rack for Indoor or Outdoor Storage
Considering how many things we have seen PVC used for, we really shouldn’t be surprised that it has turned out to be one of the most convenient and adaptable materials for kayak storage applications. What does surprise us is just how well it works.
This design utilizes simple PVC parts and a little bit of duct tape for a storage rack that is not only cost effective and lightweight, but is totally sturdy and capable of handling up to three of your most prized kayaks or canoes. And the best part? It’s really easy to take apart and re-assemble if you ever need to move it.
2) DIY Kayak Wall Mount w/ Pipe Hooks
Coming up with efficient kayak storage ideas can be a bit of a bother, especially when you think about all the other toys and outdoor equipment that we like to keep in our garage. So what’s the solution? Toss out the boogie-boards? Not anymore.
By taking advantage of previously unused wall-space, this handy do-it-yourself kayak hanger allows you to claim storage space in your garage or basement that you didn’t even realize that you had.
The design here is remarkably simple, and utilizes a single piece of molded piping that can be split into two separate hangers, suitable for one kayak between them. This is without a doubt one of the most cost-effective storage solutions on our list, and quite possibly, the easiest to install.
3) DIY Kayak Hoist with Ratchet Straps
This was most definitely one of the most creative do-it-yourself approaches to indoor kayak storage. That’s because it’s both lightweight and inexpensive, and everything you need for it is most likely available at your local hardware store.
It works by forming wide loops with the ratchet straps, then attaching those straps to a single 2×4 or 2×6 piece of wood. The kayaks are able to slide into the loop system quite easily, then the ratchet handles can be used to prop the kayaks up against the wall.
4) DIY Kayak Rack Cart with Wheels
While the concept behind this kayak storage rack is quite simple, the extra space and convenience it creates is more than impressive. By utilizing a simple platform & frame construction, then adding a set of wheels to the bottom, the user is able to move their kayak around with ease, from the garage to the truck and back as many times as you’d like.
The reason we like this idea so much is because it doesn’t force you to commit to a single space as your kayak storage location. With the wheels, it is possible to pull the whole thing out of the way without difficulty, allowing you to maximize garage or basement space. In addition, the lower platform of this solution provides an additional area where you can store the rest of your gear, like kayak lights or PFDs.
5) Kayak Hangar from 2x4s and Plywood
While this method may look complicated from the outside, it is actually a simple and sturdy way to store multiple kayaks without spending a ton of money on pre-made kits and gear hooks.
It begins with two 2x4s attached vertically to the wall of your garage or storage area. To these 2x4s are attached perpendicular “arms” that extend out a few feet, wide enough for your favorite canoe or kayak.
While this one is great for kayaks, it is important to remember that the arms are not designed to handle significant amounts of weight, so using them to store things other can kayaks or small gear might lead to damage.
6) Outdoor Kayak Storage Rack
Steve Grant’s elegant solution to outdoor kayak storage comes in the form of a 2×4-centric rack system, wide enough for multiple kayaks and strong enough to hold up to years of use and abuse. The big benefit of Steve’s solution is that it is remarkably cheap. Given that you have access to a power drill, you can make this one for less than $10, and all it takes is a couple of 2x4s and a handful of wood screws.
This idea is particularly unique in that the two sides of the rack are not connected, but rather use the inward-leaning pressure from the kayaks themselves to keep themselves upright. This means that when the kayak rack is not in use, it can be easily stored elsewhere, or even taken along with you in the back of the truck.
7) High Capacity Kayak Storage Rack for 6x Kayaks
For those watersport enthusiasts that can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to buying new kayaks, this might be the plan for you. Put together by Kayaker & YouTuber Jim Thomas, this design implements a stronger, wider, and sturdier approach to the DIY wooden kayak rack. It is also significantly bigger, allowing you to store up to six different boats on one rack!
It all begins with a thick wooden “foot”, built out of 4×4 posts and 2×4 runners. This foot supports two “trees”, which are side panels with protruding “branches” that hold the kayak. For all of its size and solidity, it really is one of the most convenient storage solutions out there for the beach house or summer cabin.
8) Easy DIY Kayak Hoist
While the concept of a wall-mounted kayak hoist may seem overly complicated for some people, this one only looks that way. It is actually remarkably simple to use, and takes up less space than many of the other solutions on our list.
It starts with sturdy shelf brackets bolted into the wall at regular intervals. A small pulley wheel is clipped to the end of it using a locking carabiner. Finally, the hanging pulleys are threaded with nylon rope. The ends of these are attached to the nose of the kayak, which is then lifted easily into the air.
The last thing that needs to be installed is the hitch mount, where you will be tying off the nylon rope after the kayak is hanging.
9) The Yak X Cart: Premium DIY Kayak & Canoe Storage
Thanks to the team over at FishTales, we now have a do-it-yourself way to emulate one of the best commercial kayak racks on the market. The kayak storage idea here is not to create a full sized rack, like it was with the other plans on our list. In this case, the goal is to create a small, two-wheeled cart that can act as a “trailer” for you kayak or canoe.
Although the construction is somewhat more involved on this unit due to wood cutting and special hardware, it is nevertheless a project that can be completed in an afternoon and give you a whole new way to organize your gear.
BONUS: More Tips for Storing Your Kayak
Storing your kayak properly will help keep it in great shape so it can last longer and perform better year after year. Here are a few tips from our team on what to look for in kayak storage ideas:
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Kayak Storage
Generally, keeping your kayak out of the sun, rain, and snow will help keep it in the best condition, however, some outdoor storage ideas utilize protection from the elements, like sun, moisture, heat, & cold, all of which can have a potentially damaging impact on your boat.
Hull Side Up
Leaving a Kayak directly on the ground can cause hull deformation over time. This is a big reason why kayak racks are so popular and important. No matter how you are storing your kayak, try to place it hull-up to avoid deformation.
If you have an inflatable kayak, then we recommend storing your kayak deflated for best results.
Achieve Good Weight Distribution
When an uneven amount of weight is placed on any one single part of a kayak hull, there is the danger of deformation. For this reason it is essential to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed among different parts of the boat. Avoiding pressure points is the ultimate goal of any successful kayak storage.
With all the different methods and means that come into play when discussing DIY kayak storage, it is no big stretch to say that no matter how much you are looking to spend, there is likely a way for you to store your kayak, safely and securely.
Of course if you can’t be sure about which option to go with, then we recommend taking a look at some of the other cool kayak storage ideas out there and see if anything tickles your fancy.
If after reading this article you have some ideas of where you want to store your kayak but still don’t have the boat itself, check out our countdown of The Best Kayaks Under $500.