How Long Can a Kayak Sit in the Sun? Do This So It Lasts

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or just starting out, it’s important to understand the factors that affect the durability of your kayak and how to properly care for it to ensure it lasts for many years. 

For instance, if you’re kayaking in the summer, you first need to ask yourself how long a kayak can sit in the sun. Knowing the maximum exposure time can help you make informed decisions about how to store and maintain your kayak.

A kayak can sit in the sun for a few hours while you are kayaking; however, you should not store your kayak in direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause damage to the kayak’s material and decrease its lifespan. 

Continue reading to learn more about how long a kayak can sit in the sun and what you can do to protect yours.

How Long Can a Kayak Sit in the Sun?

a photo of a woman kayking in the sun to show  how long can a kayak sit in the sun

A kayak can withstand a few hours on your kayaking trip but cannot handle being stored in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

Prolonged exposure to the sun will damage the kayak’s material and decrease its lifespan because UV rays can cause plastic or fiberglass to become brittle and weaken over time. It can also cause fading, discoloration, and cracking in your kayak. 

Knowing how long a kayak can sit in the sun and taking preventive measures, such as storing it in a shaded area or using a kayak cover, can help protect your kayak from the sun’s damaging effects and ensures that it lasts for years.

Factors that Affect the Durability of a Kayak

There are several factors that can affect the durability of a kayak, including:

  1. Kayak material: Kayaks are made of a variety of materials, including plastic, fiberglass, and composite materials. Kayaks made of plastic can handle rough use, while kayaks made of fiberglass require more attention.
  2. Quality of construction:  As expected, the quality of your kayak can also affect its durability. Kayaks that are built with high-quality materials are more likely to last longer than others.
  3. UV protection: Some kayaks are made with built-in UV protection. This can help prolong the life of the kayak by protecting it from the sun if you intend to go on long kayak trips.
  4. Use and maintenance: How you use and take care of your kayak can also have an impact on its durability. Typically, the better you take care of it, the longer it’ll last.

It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific kayak model.

How to Protect a Kayak From the Sun?

There are also many ways you can protect your kayak from the sun to prolong its lifespan:

  1. Store it in a well-shaded area: When you’re not using your kayak, store it in a shaded area such as your garage, a shed, or under a tree. This will help protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. You can learn more about how to store kayaks here.
  2. Use a kayak cover: Kayak covers are specifically designed to protect your kayak from the sun and weather other elements such as rain, dust, and dirt.
  3. Park it on its side: When you are at the beach or any other type of water, I recommend parking your kayak on its side instead of leaving it sitting on the bottom. 
  4. Regularly maintain and clean your kayak: By removing dirt and debris from your kayak regularly, you can extend the life of your kayak and make it easier and more fun to use. Besides, who wants to use a dirty kayak?
  5. Keep it indoors: If possible, store the kayak indoors, away from direct sunlight and other harsh weather conditions.

For the kayak cover, I love (and use) this heavy-duty Frelaxy Kayak Cover on Amazon; it’s waterproof, UV resistant, and comes at a very affordable price.

Maintenance Tips to Prolong the Life of a Kayak

Proper maintenance is key to prolonging the life of a kayak and keeping it in top condition. Here are some tips to help you maintain your kayak:

  1. Clean it regularly: Regular cleaning can help remove dirt, debris, and salt buildup that can cause damage over time. Use mild soap and water to clean the kayak, and be sure to rinse it thoroughly.
  2. Inspect it for damage: Regularly inspect your kayak for any signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, or weak spots. If you notice any damage, repair it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.
  3. Store it properly: Store your kayak in a shaded area and use a kayak cover to protect it from the sun and other elements.
  4. Keep it dry: When you’re done kayaking for the day, make sure to dry off your kayak thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew from forming.
  5. Keep it lubricated: Kayaks that have moving parts, such as hatch covers, foot pedals, and rudder systems, should be lubricated regularly to keep them working smoothly.


Understanding how long a kayak can endure the sun and how to maintain it properly is crucial to ensure that it lasts for many years. 

The amount of time a kayak can endure the sun differs depending on the material of your kayak, the quality of its construction, and the UV protection in the material. I also recommend checking the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific kayak model you’re interested in.

Taking care of your kayak by regularly cleaning, inspecting, and lubricating moving parts can help prolong its life and keep it in top condition.

Remember to take care of your kayak so you can enjoy it for many years to come. Happy paddling!

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