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DIY Kayak Mods And Hacks: What To Use And How To Do It

DIY Kayak Mods and Hacks: What to Use and How to Do It

DIY Kayak Mods and Hacks: What to Use and How to Do It

Updated on 7/10/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
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It is now much more straightforward than ever to find a kayak with all the necessary accessories. On the other hand, some would instead invest in the best possible hull and take care of the bells and whistles themselves through kayak modifications. Others enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something from scratch.

The realm of kayak fishing is one in which kayak hacks and adaptations are beneficial. If you're the DIY kind and want to make your kayak into the boat of your dreams, here are some tips, some projects, and some of the supplies you'll need.

Tips For Modding Your Kayak

Before Making Any Changes, please Ensure the Boat and Its Gear Are in Working Order.

It would help if you invariably gave the meal you're preparing a taste test before adding salt, as it's far simpler to add salt than to take it away. Also, before you start drilling holes in your boat or affixing things that you can't undo, ensure you have a solid understanding of how it operates.

It is not a good idea to load your boat down with equipment that is not necessary. (And you want to be sure that your ship can manage the additional weight you're adding to it.) Before you begin drilling holes in it, please give it a few laps around the track to get a feel for it and figure out which improvements you genuinely want to make.

Also, position any additional gear you wish to add as close as you can to the point where you will attach it. Before you commit to something long-term, you should check to see whether or not it will be as convenient as you anticipate it.

When At All Possible, Use Track Mounts

Adding track mounts to your kayak is a fantastic way to modify it without resorting to drilling holes. You are free to attach gear and change its position however you see fit to create a kayaking experience tailored to your specific preferences. You don't want to connect a fish detector where you can see it to find out that it interferes with your stroke while paddling on the water. The fact that track mounts are adjustable can help save a lot of hassle in this regard.

Check Out Some Online Guides

Even if it's a do-it-yourself project, it doesn't mean you're working on it alone. There is a good chance that somebody else has experimented with doing the same thing as you are and made a video about it. Invest some time into researching the kayak mods that other people have created so you can sense what you want to accomplish and how you want to achieve it.

Supplies and Projects for Do-It-Yourself Kayak Modifications

Supplies and Projects for Do-It-Yourself Kayak Modifications

Supplies and Projects for Do-It-Yourself Kayak Modifications

Accessories Like Carabiners And Cordage

Carabiners and Cordage are essential items that every kayaker should have on hand, and they should have at least two of each. There aren't many scenarios on the water (or anywhere in the great outdoors, for that matter) in which having a carabiner and a short length of rope on hand wouldn't make you a little better prepared.

Carabiners can be utilized in various ways to keep gear close at hand, such as when securing dry bags in the hull of the boat or ensuring that your paddle does not get away while paddling downstream. They can also assist in tying your kayak to trees along the shoreline. Even though not every carabiner has a rescue rating, having one can allow you to more safely secure rescue equipment when you are reaching out to someone in distress or throwing it to them.

In addition to their myriad other applications, Cordage and carabiners are frequently utilized in kayaking techniques known as hacks. You don't need to drill holes in your kayak to construct an anchor trolley system. This is just one example of a modification that uses Cordage and a carabiner effectively. You'll need a piece of cord twice as long as your kayak to complete this task, and you will also need a metal ring and a few different sizes of pulleys.

Loop the cord through the pulleys down the length of the boat until you reach the metal ring, where you should tie it off. Who should secure the pulleys at both the bow and stern of the ship? This movie provides an excellent illustration of how who should do it. After this process, you will have a long rope attached to a pulley system. Who can use that to store your kayak anchor, and then you may extend the line along the length of your boat to anchor anywhere you need to.


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Strapping, much like rope, is an excellent tool to keep on hand because who can use it for various purposes. You may use it to secure your belongings inside your boat, and you can also use it to ensure your kayak to the top of your car. Knee braces are another application for this material.

Knee braces often referred to as thigh straps, are lengths of webbing that hold your legs tight in a sit-on-top kayak, thereby providing you with increased control over your vessel. You can negotiate more challenging waters with the assistance of thigh straps since they offer additional contact points with your boat.

Thigh straps are typically simpler to disengage from than the cockpit of a sit-in kayak, making them the better option for evacuating your vessel in a hurry. You can easily accomplish this as a do-it-yourself project for your kayak, but if you like, you can also purchase a kit for putting together knee braces.


Bungee cords are an excellent tool for tying down a gear and ensuring that your equipment stays in its proper location. Who can install bungee cords on a kayak in either a permanent or semi-permanent manner, and many paddlers find this the most convenient method of securing their stuff. Many kayak manufacturers and outdoor outfitters provide a kayak bungee kit that includes everything you need to rig your kayak with bungee cords. This is because installing a system of bungee cords on a kayak is a popular enough modification that many kayak manufacturers sell the kit.

Velcro is not only lightweight but also simple to apply. It can be an effective method for storing tiny goods in locations without a tracking mount or the desire to drill holes in the wall. The amount of things that can be stored using Velcro has a maximum capacity. But the adaptability it offers more than makes up for those restrictions. Stick-on Velcro patches or straps allow you to attach Velcro virtually anyplace you like. There are even sure life jackets on the market that have Velcro patches on them for drying flies.

PVC Piping

PVC piping is a DIY mainstay, and it is sturdy enough to support a kayak's weight without buckling or breaking. Because it has such a wide range of applications, you can use it to create virtually anything you can imagine. Additionally, putting the puzzle back together is a simple process.

The construction of a cart for transporting your kayak is an everyday use for PVC. Many people invest in coaches that can assist them in transporting their boats to and from the water. However, a vast library of video instructions is available online for anyone interested in building them.

PVC pipes can be used for many other things outside what was just mentioned. With it, you may also construct a rack for stowing your kayak or even many kayaks. Frames can take several forms, and the one you choose to use will depend on the specifics of your storage requirements. In addition, there are a plethora of videos available on the internet that may walk you through the process.

Lastly, you may manufacture a rod holder for your kayak out of a piece of PVC tubing. Even while most fishing kayaks already have a rod holder or numerous rod holders, they may modify any kayak to hold your rods if you find yourself in a bind.

Kayak or Cruise Milford Sound?

Kayak or Cruise Milford Sound?

Pool Noodles

Noodles for the pool are not only inexpensive but also float and are easily accessible. Because of how they are shaped and flow, they are an excellent contender for a wide variety of do-it-yourself projects, and you can locate them virtually anywhere.

The use of pool noodles is every day in do-it-yourself projects involving PVC. It is not uncommon to find kayak racks and carts with pool noodles or foam pipe insulation wrapped around the pipes to protect the kayak from being damaged. The pool noodle may wear out over time, but replacing it is simple and inexpensive, and it will continue to serve its purpose of protecting your boat. However, that is not the only thing for those who may use a decent pool noodle. Here are a few more examples:

Put some in the bottom of your boat's hull to increase its flotation and buoyancy.
Wrap some of it around your roof rack to prevent it from scratching your kayak and causing other damage.
Reduce it in size, and put it to use as a carrier for your fishing rods.
They are also convenient if you want to take a break from paddling your kayak and float for a while.

Milk Crates

Regarding fishing modifications for kayaks, the milk crate is considered the industry standard. Who can use milk crates to store gear and neatly store several tackle boxes inside them? Milk crates are convenient since they are simple to secure in your boat and because it is simple to connect additional objects to them, such as rod holders, lids, and even rail systems. Utilizing a milk crate as a storage option has a few drawbacks. One disadvantage is that they do not seal completely against water, unlike many other storage alternatives for fishing kayaks. One more disadvantage is that not all boats will be able to accommodate them.

Buckets Made of Plastic

One of the most common modifications for fishing kayaks is a five-gallon bucket, used for boats that do not have enough space for a milk box. It is an excellent location for storing more fishing gear, much like the milk carton, which you may use in the future. They are reasonably priced and can be purchased at virtually any hardware retailer. On top of that, mounting rod holders to a bucket is reasonably straightforward, and you already have a bucket on hand if you ever need to bail water.

Deck Out Your Deck

There is a wide variety of content that may be constructed and enjoyed. If you get into do-it-yourself kayaking, you may continue to hone your skills even on days when you cannot get out on the water. You also have the option to take possession of your boat uniquely, which will make it one of a kind.

Remember to test out your boat and all of your gear before making any modifications that are going to be permanent. Carry out some research to find out how other individuals have tackled projects like the one you are working on. Also, try to get a boat with a track mount system, as this will allow you to make as many modifications and adjustments as you like without drilling. In addition, if you have modified your kayak, we would love it if you would share pictures or videos of it with us on our social media accounts, which you can find on Facebook and Instagram.