How To Wax Your Kayak?


Every paddler would want a kayak that has the ability to glide through the years without a dent or a scratch on its hull. However, let’s be more realistic – a well-used kayak will obviously take a beating. The good news is that with proper kayak care and maintenance, you should be able to prolong the kayak’s life and also keep it looking great.

Kayak wax is an ideal tool for preserving the kayak’s composite or fiberglass hull. If you just purchased your first beginners’ kayak, you may not be familiar with kayak waxing. This article will point you in the right direction by showing you the steps you need to follow during kayak waxing. Before we show you the steps, let’s answer some commonly asked kayak wax questions.

Should You Wax Your Inflatable or Polyethylene Kayak?

Generally, the kayak wax is not necessary for polyethylene and inflatable kayaks. It is more recommended for composite kayaks. However, it is always a good idea to apply a protective coating on plastic vessels. The protective layer will help enhance the vessels’ UV protection and the color of its hull.

Does Kayak Waxing Improve Speed?

It is believed that kayak waxing has the ability to boost the kayak speed. The wax you apply on your vessel’s hull is capable of creating a smoother surface. This can help the kayak glide more efficiently through the water. It is, however, worth noting that the speed increase may not be noticeable.

Why Should You Wax Your Composite Kayak?

As mentioned earlier, the kayak wax is more recommended for composite kayaks. It will give your composite vessel an extra protection layer against damage. This extra protection layer offers your best kayak the following benefits:

  • It will improve hull durability.
  • The kayak wax will protect the vessel from the harmful sun rays.
  • Kayak waxing can protect your kayak from dents and scratches.

Do You Need to Clean Your Kayak?

While protecting your kayak with wax is crucial, cleaning it is also important. After each kayak paddling session, you should rinse off the kayak. This can help keep your kayak in great shape, especially if you had just spent your time paddling in saltwater.

After fishing in saltwater, you should rinse your fishing kayak with clean water. Before storing the kayak, ensure that it is completely dry. This will help keep mildew from building up on the kayak hull.

You can also give your kayak a thorough cleaning using either boat wash or mild soap. This should get rid of residue and dirt that could have built-up on the kayak’s hull.

A Step by Step Guide on How to Wax Your Kayak

What You Will Need

  • 2 microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Water from a hose
  • A bucket
  • Boat wash or mild soap
  • Composite kayaks’ marine wax
  • UV protectant

Wax does not stick well to polyethylene. Hence, if you do own a plastic kayak, the kayak wax may not be necessary. If you own a composite kayak, you can use both the UV protectant and the kayak wax.

The process of kayak cleaning is similar for both composite and plastic vessels. You will need to use water and mild soap when cleaning both vessels.

You do not have to wash your vessel with both soap and water after each paddling session. However, rinsing the vessel with fresh water after each session is necessary. You will need to take care of your inflatable kayak or composite kayak by cleaning it with soap and water a couple of times each year.

Cleaning and Waxing Your Composite or Plastic Kayak


1. Rinse the Kayak

Using your garden hose, give the kayak a good rinse. This should loosen dirt and also rinse it off.

2. Fill the Bucket

Take your boat wash or mild soap and your bucket. Fill the bucket with clean water from the garden hose. Add some of the mild soap. If you intend to use the boat wash, check the instructions on the bottle before adding it to the water bucket. The instructions should help you know the ideal amount to add.

3. Wash the Kayak

Dip the sponge in the soapy water and start washing your recreational kayak. Do not forget to wash both sides of the kayak. You may have to go over stubborn marks a couple of times before they disappear.

4. Rinse the Kayak

Grab your garden hose and rinse the kayak after washing its hull with the soapy water. Go around the kayak to ensure that no suds or soaps are left on it.

5. Give the Kayak Some Time to Dry

After cleaning and rinsing the kayak, give it some time to dry. If you are not in a hurry, you can let it dry slowly. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up the drying process using a towel.

Note: If you currently own a polyethylene or a plastic kayak, you can skip steps 6, 7, and 8. As we had mentioned earlier, kayak waxing is not necessary for these types of vessels.

6. Start Kayak Waxing the Vessel

Grab one of your microfiber cloths and start kayak waxing the vessel. If the wax is in the form of a spray, spray it over the kayak’s hull and then use the microfiber cloth to gently rub it on. Before rubbing the kayak wax, it is always a great idea to ensure that the cloth is a little bit damp.

7. Allow the Kayak Wax to Dry

After applying the wax, leave the kayak to dry. Often, you may find that by the time you finish kayak waxing the whole vessel, the parts you started with are already dry.

8. Polish the Vessel Off

Remember, we had told you that you need to have 2 microfiber clothes when kayak waxing your vessel. Grab the clean microfiber cloth and start polishing the kayak’s hull. By the time you finish polishing it off, it should have a nice sheen. It should also appear brighter.

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9. Apply the UV Protector Spray

Before you start spraying the kayak with the UV protectant, you should ensure that it is dry. After spraying the UV protectant on your kayak, buff it over the kayak with a dry cloth.

If you determine that the product you used was too much, you can always mop it up using a wet cloth. After mopping the excess UV protectant off, you can then go ahead and use your dry cloth to buff it. This will help ensure that your kayak dries. Once the kayak is dry, you can either store it or prepare for your next kayak adventure.

Globo Surf Overview

While kayak waxing can use your time and resources, it has numerous benefits. Applying kayak wax to your vessel will help improve its durability and also extend its lifespan. This helps you save more money over the years.

When cleaning and waxing your kayak, you must use the right products for the vessel’s material. If the products are not safe for the kayak’s material, you may end up doing more harm than good.

If you own a plastic/polyethylene kayak, kayak waxing may not be necessary. However, cleaning and maintaining the kayak is still necessary. Also, applying a UV protectant on your plastic kayak is always a great idea.

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