How To Dry Out Your Inflatable Kayak


One of best ways to keep your inflatable kayak healthy and give it a longer life is to dry it after every use. Not just drying, but doing it properly!

The biggest mistake that most kayakers make, especially those who just joined the game, is to dry their watercrafts improperly. The result? Mold starts building up and the inflatable starts smelling filthy, which makes it harder to use as days go by.

However, this expensive merchandise is not something you clean or dry out however you feel like. You need to do it right because if you leave any moisture inside, soon you will lose your boat to the icky black mildew.

But don’t stress if you don’t know how to go about this. We have some amazing tricks on how to dry out an inflatable kayak that will make the process fun and easier for you. Keep reading!

Drying Out Your Kayak The Proper Way

Let’s start with the basics. You need to clean your kayak first to get rid of the sand, gravel and other tiny rock particles you may have collected during your adventure. Once this is out of the way:

  1. Remove the seats, bags, and any other accessories that might hinder the drying of your kayak. By the time you are done, you should only have the skeleton of your boat.
  2. Get two towels or more depending on the size of your inflatable. You can bring these in your car and get to business immediately you are done kayaking instead of carrying a waterlogged thingy back home.
  3. While your boat is still inflated, dry out the outer surfaces. This should be easy peasy as most kayaks dry out really fast.
  4. Empty the air out of the floor of your kayak and turn it upside down to get rid of any excess water. If you feel like tipping the inflatable is too much work, just flip it sideways and you will still get the job done.
  5. Grab your towels again and dry out any remaining water. You can still use these to wipe out any debris like sand or gravel that was left behind when you first cleaned your kayak. But don’t spend your entire afternoon trying to clean out the little rocks. As long as your boat is dry, these too are going to dry out and you will have nothing to worry about.
  6. Lastly, suck out air from the rest of the boat and keep wiping any excess water. You can use a completely dry towel for this (if you have any left) just to make sure that there is no more moisture that builds up. Roll your deflated kayak up, each time wiping off the underneath with the towel.

This process may seem lengthy but tell you what, it takes just a few minutes. Most paddlers with kayak paddles spend less than 5 minutes drying up their boats but if you are doing this for the first time, it can take you as much as 20 minutes to get everything cleaned and rolled up.

But There Is Another Way

There is always an alternative for those who feel a little lazy to do this simple process. Yep! There are people who would rather spend hours watching their boats dry out in the sun than do the job themselves.

Sometimes you just want to relax after a long kayaking trip so you just want the sun to do the heavy lifting for you. This is totally understandable but then there are those small creases and hard to reach areas can be really sneaky and if left wet, your boat will slowly start molding.

If you want to find out how to dry out an inflatable kayak, then don’t even think about this method. Sure, you will have a little time to get cozy but it will take ages for your boat to dry up especially if the weather is cloudy.

But Does The Inflatable Kayak Need To Be Completely Dry?


Well, it depends on how often you use it. If your visit to the waters is quite frequent, then you don’t need to worry about being a pro in kayak drying. However, if you paddle once or twice a month, then you need to make sure that your boat is completely dry before you store it.

Also, it is unlikely that you will be kayaking during winter so make sure to clean and dry your kayak thoroughly before storing it away. In fact, after using the towels to dry it up, you can also hit it with a drier. Just remember to keep the heat low and not to concentrate it on one area for too long.

Do It Like A Pro

After a few days of cleaning and drying your kayak, you will soon find out that you don’t need someone to show you how to dry out an inflatable kayak. The task may feel a little daunting now but 4, 5 times of doing this will get you nailing the whole thing.

To get started, just don’t focus too much on the sand and gravel that have gathered inside your kayak as these are not such a big deal. The main threat to your kayak’s life is water and moisture. Dry these properly and once you have mastered the skills, you can start cleaning your kayak before drying it up.

Globo Surf Overview

Now that you know how to dry out an inflatable kayak, don’t let the mold from water and moisture be the reason why you will be replacing your watercraft next summer. As you can see, the drying process is pretty simple. All you need are towels and five minutes of your time.

We all want to get the maximum value for our money in everything we invest in. An inflatable kayak is expensive enough and you really don’t want to keep buying a new one just because you couldn’t prevent mold from eating the fabric of the older one. Making a point of drying it after use is the best way to get value for your hard-earned bucks.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!