While having and using a kayak can be exhilarating, there are several accessories that can make the difference between whether you have a fun time, or merely an okay time.
This blog considers the five must have kayak accessories, that will make a big difference to your time out on the water.
This list does not consider personal safety requirements, such as a life jacket (personal flotation device - PFD).
When considering this list, we assumed that PFDs and a first aid kit were a given. Likewise, an emergency light is well worth considering but does not make this list either, due to being a personal safety device.
When it comes to your personal safety, we would encourage you to take every sensible precaution that you can.
The Five Must Haves
In order to make this list, the following five accessories were considered due to the positive impact they would have on the kayak and its functioning.
In no particular order here are the five must haves.
There is much to be said for having a rudder attached to your kayak. A rudder provides an easy, foot operated way to steer and control the direction of the kayak, while doing so in a way that is generally much more energy efficient than using a paddle, or any other hand operated device.
A rudder can be particularly useful when in open waters, or when wind or waves may move the kayak about.
A rudder can often be factory fitted when it is being made, meaning that you are often able to buy the kayak with rudder included. In the event that you have a kayak that does not have a rudder provided, most kayaks can be easily modified to have a rudder added using a rudder kit.
Should you have a kayak without a rudder already attached, you can easily find directions online that will guide you in how to install one yourself.
A dry bag is essentially a watertight bag, that can be sealed to prevent water leaking into it. A dry bag may be included as part of a storage container, or space, on your kayak when bought. If not, you will definitely want to have one that can be secured and stored within your kayak.
Whether it is your keys, cell-phone or any other item that you do not want to get wet, a dry bag will help ensure that they remain dry, while you are out on the water. The good thing is that a dry bag is cheap to buy, and will easily be invaluable should you ever tip over or take a little water on board, when out on the water.
The humble dry bag would have to be one of the most under-rated kayak accessories out there.
An anchor kit was something that we felt was well worth adding to your kayak. If you are going to be using your kayak for fishing, or scenic travelling on the water ways, you are going to want an anchor kit that will help to ensure that you keep in the one spot.
While not all kayakers are going to need an anchor kit, if you want to be able to float and stay in one location, then you will want an anchor kit.
An anchor kit is a cheap accessory that will make fishing or sightseeing a lot more pleasant and much easier.
A skeg is the name given to the fin on the bottom of a kayak (or anything with a fin on the underneath side in the water).
The advantage of having a skeg attached to the underside of your kayak is that it will make the kayak move more smoothly through the water.
Many kayaks are provided with a skeg already attached. Indeed, some skegs will be removable, in order to be able to choose whether you want to use it or not. Depending on the depth of the water and the conditions, you may not want to use the skeg, but there will be times when having a skeg will make kayaking easier.
If a skeg is not factory fitted, it is easy to attach one afterwards.
Okay – so technically you could argue that duct tape is not a kayak accessory, but when you think about it, it really should be.
Should you need to do an emergency puncture or hole repair, duct tape will be there for you.
Paddle snaps – duct tape has it covered.
Managed to accidently cut yourself – duct tape can act as an emergency bandage. Given the holding power of duct tape, you may not want to use it on minor cuts or scrapes, but if it’s serious, then duct tape may very well save the day.
If duct tape is good enough for MacGyver, then it’s definitely good enough for the rest of us.
Whether it’s emergency repairs to the kayak, or emergency repairs to yourself, duct tape is a must have kayak accessory.
When considering the five must have kayak accessories, we have deliberately not included essential personal safety accessories.
Personal flotation devices, first aid kits, emergency lights and other safety items, should be considered essential by anyone going kayaking, especially if they will not be convenient to help should it be required.
The five kayak accessories above will greatly improve the quality of the time you spend on the water.
A rudder and skeg will help with the stability of the kayak.
An anchor kit will allow you to stay in one place should you wish to do so; whether it is to fish, or to enjoy the scenery.
A dry bag will help to ensure that all of your essential gear and equipment will remain dry, no matter what happens to you or the kayak.
Finally, duct tape can act as a kayak repair kit and basic first aid kit in one tidy little package.