There are simple points to keep in mind with regards to the care and maintenance of an inflatable kayak.
The best IKs have multiple air chambers for safety and backup should one chamber fail, and multiple layers of material for durability. For example, say you take a balloon and rub it against a stucco wall: it will likely pop. However, if you add a cover to the balloon, it will take the abuse and protect the balloon. Advanced Elements kayaks take durability one step further by adding a fitted casing to the innertube, preventing expanding that causes higher pressure and a stiffer kayak.
The outer cover is a shield. If it were to be cut or torn, the innertube or air chamber likely would be unaffected. Repairs, if needed, are usually very simple. Products like Tear-Aid are peel-and-stick tape that bonds almost instantly and can be used on any layer for tears or even innertube punctures.
To properly store and maintain your IK and ensure years of peak performance, consider these points:
- It’s best to store your IK deflated, in a dry place
- If storing inflated and outside, use a boat cover or store out of UV sunlight
- Rinse it off with fresh water before storage if used in salt water or dirty water
- Use a sponge or towel to wipe out water and debris
- If storing inflated, you may need to add or release air if temperatures change throughout the day, as that can affect your kayak’s internal air pressure