Inflatable kayaks are great if you don’t have much room at home to store a standard kayak.
These kayaks are also great if you don’t have a truck or a roof rack on your car to get it to and from the water. If you have never used an inflatable kayak before, you are going to need to know how to safely and properly inflate it and then deflate it.
Inflating and Deflating Your Inflatable Kayak
This guide looks at how to best inflate your kayak and then repack once you have finished using it.
Steps to Inflating Your Kayak
This is a step by step guide, so you can be sure that it will be inflated properly.
Choosing a Place To Inflate the Kayak
Before inflating your kayak, you need to make sure that you are doing it in the right space. First, you need to make sure that the area that you choose has enough space. Try to find a place where there are not trees, cars or people around. Next, you should inspect the ground. If it is uneven or wet, you could have problems.
Also, make sure that there are no sharp rocks or pieces of broken glass on the ground. The last thing you want is to pop the kayak before you have a chance to use it. Finally, try to find a place where you have a clear path to the water. There is no point in making more work for yourself by lifting the inflated kayak over objects. It is easiest if you can drag the kayak right to the water.
Preparing To Inflate
Now that you have chosen the best place to inflate your kayak, it is time to prepare to inflate it. First, you want to speak the kayak out from end to end. You want to make sure that there are no folds in the compartments. Finally, take a good look at the kayak to see how many valves there are and where they are located. This will make things easier when it is time to start pumping.
Tips For Self-Powered Pumping
The easiest way to inflate a kayak is with an electric pump; however, when you are out near the water, you might not be close enough to an electrical outlet. If this is the case, you will need to use a self-powered pump. When using a self-powered pump, there are a few steps that you should follow.
- Take your time. You don’t want to get too tired before you get out on the water.
- When inflating, make sure that you are in a comfortable position. If you sit slouched over, you will get a backache before you even start kayaking.
- Avoid rapid pumping. Just because you are pumping quickly, it doesn’t mean that your kayak will inflate faster. Take your time, and get as much air from each pump.
- When pumping, you need to switch things up. If you are using a foot pump, switch feet while pumping. If you are using a hand pump, change hands from time to time. This will keep you from overworking your dominant hand or foot.
When you start pumping, you want to inflate the floor compartment first, and then work on the sides. Don’t top off one side before starting the other. It is best to inflate both sides and then top them off at the end. Before heading out to the water, make sure that all components are full.
When inflating your kayak, take not of the PSI levels necessary on the kayak directions. Also, use any PSI measuring tools provided. You don’t want to add too much or too little air.
When your kayak is fully inflated, you should do a few last checks before heading out to the water. First, make sure that all of the compartments are evenly inflated. This is essential for balance and stability when you are paddling. Also, make sure that all of your valves are tight. You don’t want your kayak to deflate while you are out on the water.
Steps to Deflating Your Kayak
When you are done kayaking, you are going to need to deflate the kayak. It is essential that you do this correctly to ensure that your kayak doesn’t get damaged and that it is ready for the next time you are ready to use it.
Getting the Kayak On Ground Land
When you are done with the kayak, you will need to paddle to dry land. When you get there, use whatever the land offers to get out of the kayak safely so that you can step off. Also, choose an open area that is flat to start deflating the kayak. Make sure that the area is free of any sharp rocks or debris.
Clearing Out the Kayak
The next step is to clear out the kayak. Make sure that you don’t leave anything behind. Next, you want to rinse off the kayak to remove any dirt and debris.
Drying the Kayak
Before deflating the kayak, you want to dry it off completely. If you have the time, allow the kayak to dry in the sun for a bit. After, use a towel to dry the kayak manually. You want to be sure that the whole kayak is dry before you deflate it.
Deflating the Kayak
When deflating your kayak, you want to deflate one compartment at a time. Start by unscrewing the valves partially, and then take the entire vale out. Deflate the sides before starting on the floor. To help the air come out faster, put pressure on the areas that you are deflating. When all of the air has been removed from each compartment, remember to replace the valves. You don’t want to leave them behind or let them get lost.
Folding the Kayak
When folding your kayak to pack it up, you want to make sure that the valves are exposed when it is completely folded. Also, make sure that you fold it into the same shape as the transport bag. You don’t want to fold it into a square if the bag is a rectangle shape. Finally, place the kayak in the transport bag.
It is essential that you know how to inflate and deflate your kayak so that it is ready for use whenever you are ready. If you follow each of these steps correctly, your kayak will always be safe and ready for use.
About the author: Chris loves the outdoors and has developed a love of gadgets and inflatable toys, from kayaking and paddle boarding to relaxing in his hot tub at home. The founder of WhichInflatable and has been the editor for 7 years.