How to Make a Kayak More Buoyant: Important Tips to Try

Rolling over to the waters during kayaking can be funny, but not when your kayak was already filled with water! How can you reenter a sinking boat? You might think to bail it out or try pushing it back to shore, both of which are VERY tedious!

That’s why it’s important to learn how to make a kayak more buoyant to prevent further trouble if a worst-case situation arises. But how do you do that?

Fortunately, there are many ways to do so, so read on for the various tips and steps to follow!

How to Make a Kayak More Buoyant

When kayaks without the proper buoyancy capsize, water will weigh it down, causing it to sink or float under the surface. This can make actives difficult, and even pose a safety risk. That’s why proper buoyancy is important.

To add more buoyancy and avoid such situations, here are some methods to try:

Invest In Extra Equipment

Kayaks would float without the need for extra equipment. A sit-on-top kayak uses a sealed hull that’s completely unsinkable, while sit-in kayaks will float as long as water won’t come over its cockpit rim, flooding inside.

So why bother making you kayak more buoyant? It prevents the hull from filling when it capsizes, keeping it from sinking. While kayaks have sealed bulkhead in its rear to prevent sinking, adding more equipment made to increase buoyancy can help a lot.

There are helpful gears such as outriggers and stabilizers, which you can purchase from your sporting goods store. Make sure that they are compatible with your kayak and are easy to install, lasting for years of kayaking.

These tools are a surefire way to help keep your kayak more buoyant. However, this isn’t the cheapest method!

Use a Flotation Bag

One of the simplest methods to follow is to use a flotation bag. These are urethane-coated nylon bags that look like thick and triangular balloons. They are beneficial as they are designed to fit in the bow’s far ends and kayak’s sterns, which are free spaces that can’t be used as storage space.

While it has a simple design, these small flotation bags have small accessories that make it easy to use compared to other buoyancy methods. These bags have a long inflation tube which extends from the bag, so you’re able to inflate it while it’s wedged to the kayak to fill more space.

However, they still aren’t the cheapest method and are just as pricey compared to outriggers and stabilizers!

The Beach Ball Method

If you don’t have the extra cash to invest in kayak gear yet, no problem! There are other ways you can increase its buoyancy with outdoor items you have at home. One of them is your beach ball, as it isn’t as different compared to the kayak flotation bag.

You can quickly inflate the beach back for it to take up space in your kayak, preventing it from filling up with water in case of emergencies.

The problem with beach balls is that they are a spherical shape, which can’t fit in the kayak bow or stern. You’ll need to leave it deflated partially, and it may not stay in position. Furthermore, inflation itself can be an issue, as well as the risk of the ball slipping out in case of capsizing.

It isn’t the best solution compared to the kayak flotation bag, but it’s better than nothing and a cheaper option.

The Pool Noodle Method

If you don’t have a beach ball and still have a budget, then you can use pool noodles. These are designed to keep heads above water, so they can also help prevent kayaks from going under.

These are great options as noodles are customizable. You can cut the noodles to fit the kayak’s ends better than beach balls. This will have it closely resemble the flotation bag’s shape without the need for flotation. Just make sure you select the right type of pool noodle that does NOT absorb water.

Read More: How Much Wind Is Too Much For Kayaking? Stay Safe and Prepared!

Do you want to learn more about how to make a kayak more buoyant and functional, check out this helpful video:

Wrapping It Up

When you learn how to make a kayak more buoyant, it can prevent it from sinking, making it easier to reenter when capsized. While there are different options to choose from, the best one to follow should be based on your budget, personal preference, and what you think is best for the kayak. Fortunately, most of these methods are quite affordable and easy to do!

I hope that this article on how to make a kayak more buoyant helped you out tremendously! Now that you’re familiar with the methods, try any of them out and let me know how it goes.

2 thoughts on “How to Make a Kayak More Buoyant: Important Tips to Try”

  1. A huge modder of everything speaking here. It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t cut or remove existing kayak buoyancy devices without replacing them with something of equal or greater buoyancy characteristics!

  2. I’m interested in the “Pool Noodle Method”. But “right type of pool noodle that does NOT absorb water.”? Why would they even make a pool noodle that does absorb? I’m thinking of hot gluing 2 in each end of the boat. Attaching a manual bilge pump to a place thats reachable while submerged. We are in our 60’s and kinda fat, so….


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