lifespan of kayak

How long does a kayak last? Tips to increase Longevity!

The lifespan of a kayak depends on many factors. These factors could be your care, the quality of the kayak, how you utilize it, and how you store it. 

Kayaks can be expensive or cheap. There are many kayaks in the market you can buy for under a hundred dollars and many of them are above thousand dollars and more.

The lifespan or longevity of a kayak can be as low as one year or can be as high as 10 years depending on the following factors:

Factors that affect the Lifespan of kayaks

Quality of the kayak

A good quality kayak will have a good lifespan than a low-quality kayak. Good quality kayak uses durable materials and accessories that lead the kayak to last longer. As they use high-quality material they are costlier. I saw many good quality kayaks to last more than we expected.

Frequency of use

If anyone uses their kayak once or twice a year and claims that their kayak lasted for a decade, that will not be a thing to compare. Frequency of usage is an essential factor in the longevity of kayaks.

If you take your kayak on the water, river, or rocky areas two to three times a month, you should expect a low lifespan of your kayak than an irregular kayaker. That is pretty normal.

Your take care

Kayaks are the best water companions. They are expensive. Only good quality will not help your kayak to last longer. Care is a vital factor to make the lifespan of kayaks longer.

I can remember that some fellow kayakers damaged their expensive quality kayaks due to not taking care of their pretty kayak properly.


kayak transporting

Kayaks can be transported in several methods. Many kayakers have multiple kayaks in their fleet. For a family trip, they need to carry a bunch of kayaks behind their truck or travel trailer.

Some of them have two kayaks but don’t have trucks to carry them or don’t want to carry them behind the truck. Many of us want to carry two kayaks on a roof of a car without a rack

So, transporting a kayak affect the life of a kayak. Fastening the kayak too tightly can damage the skull of the kayak or loose tying a kayak can lead to sliding over on the way and cause damage.


Kayaks are made of plastic or polymers. Plastics become brittle if they are exposed to sunlight on regular basis. If you store your kayak in a sunny area, its strength decreases and becomes brittle. It also faded the color of the kayak. Hence longevity decreases. 

The lifespan of hard shell plastic kayak

the lifespan of a hardshell plastic kayak is comparatively higher than other types of kayaks. They can last 10 years or more if proper care and quality are maintained.

Some low-quality cheap kayaks can last more than a high-quality kayak if extreme care is taken. But if I consider the average conditions of all the factors as we discussed earlier, a good quality kayak will last longer.

The lifespan of an inflatable kayak

Inflatable kayaks have become popular nowadays. It removes the tension of transporting it. Hence, one of the factors is also eliminated by nature. They are cheap and easy to store.

So, how long does an inflatable kayak last? Very difficult to answer. But, I can say that they last lower than hard shell kayaks if you use both types similarly.

From my experience, I found some of the low-cost or cheap inflatable kayaks last less than a year whereas some quality inflatable kayaks last 3 to 5 years. But again, everything depends on where you float it and how frequently you use it.

how to increase the lifespan of your kayak

Get a quality kayak

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak-one of the best inflatable kayaks I found in Amazon

A quality kayak has a high probability of lasting longer than a low-quality kayak. A good quality kayak is more expensive than a low-quality kayak because it uses high-quality materials for construction.

I am not saying that a higher price means higher quality. But in most cases, it is true that a good quality kayak will cost you more. There are many kayaks that are of good quality at an affordable price.

You can look for their reviews before getting one. We have done some extensive research on some best inflatable kayaks and solid kayaks that are popular among users due to their affordability and longevity and comfort. You can go through those reviews.

Take care of your valuable kayak

Taking care of kayak to increase lifespan
Taking care of kayak to increase lifespan

Only getting a quality kayak will not help you to increase the lifespan of a kayak. You will need to take care of it properly. After every trip, you should wash your kayak using a kayak cleaner. It will help your kayak shine all the time. 

Don’t drop your kayak from a height such as a truck bed. This can create tiny invisible cracks which ultimately reduces the lifespan of kayaks.

Try to use a kayak cart for transporting your kayak to the water from your truck or kayak carrier. Taking a kayak by rubbing on the earth can corrode your hull faster and reduce the strength of the kayak.

Don’t tie your kayak super tightly with straps. It can damage your kayak. Use foam or support at the contact point between the straps and the kayak.

Inflatable kayaks are less durable than solid kayaks. So, to prolong their life, you need to take care of them properly. Don’t choose a location that is full of spiky objects or underwater sharp objects.

The sharp edges of underwater abandoned trees can be dangerous for your inflatable kayak to make your kayak garbage. Look for any sharp things when kayaking with inflatables. 

Store properly

One of the big mistakes is not storing a kayak properly. Many of us throw our kayaks in the backyard or open space under the sunlight. Sunlight is one of the main factors to reduce the lifespan of kayaks significantly.

Plastics become brittle and lose their life. Sometimes we store kayaks at an angle to other things or throw our stuff onto the kayaks. For short time this attitude may not have an effect on your kayak but if you store them in such a way for a long time, they may lose their original shape and can become distorted. 

Always store your hardshell kayak on a kayak rack. If you have a kayak rack that’s awesome. If you don’t have one, you can make a kayak storage rack by yourself.

It is very easy to make. If you think that is a hassle, you can purchase from anyone online. During winter many of us do not go kayaking. For storing them for a long time, kayak racks are a good solution.

On the other hand, inflatable kayaks are very easy to store. But before storing them make sure that they are dried up properly. Fold them smoothly ensuring no wrinkles. Store them in a trunk or bags provided with the kayak.

That’s enough for increasing the lifespan of kayaks. Though we all know about these, only a few people are conscious of those factors. A true kayak lover always takes care of his kayak and hence that kayak take him a longer distance than other.