What's the best way to store a lot of water sports gear??
The best way to store water sports gear, whether it’s inside or outside, is on a free standing or wall mounted rack where everything can drip dry and there is room for air to circulate and keep it dry. If it’s folded and stored in boxes, where air cannot circulate, it will rust or go fusty, grow black fungus, start to smell and may be permanently stained or damaged.
Water sports clothing and equipment can be a problem to store. Clothing is likely to be wet or at least damp and lots of water sports equipment is big and bulky.
Before storing water sports clothing or equipment it should be rinsed with clean cold water, especially if it has been used in the sea. You should also give it proper clean with warm soapy water once in a while to keep it fresh. It’s important to get any water sports gear bone dry before hanging it up but be careful about leaving wetsuits or kayaks in the sun for too long as they will degrade over time.
How do you store a wetsuit when it’s not in use
Before you even think about storing your wetsuit you need to get it clean and dry. Start by rising your wetsuit in cold, clean water. Every now and again you should wash it, by hand, in some luke warm water and a little soap.
Wetsuits are really heavy when wet so you are going to need some heavy duty clothes hangers to hang each suit up while it dries. You can buy special wet suit hangers if you like but any heavy duty plastic or stainless steel hanger will do. Avoid wooden or ordinary steel hangers as these will get damp or rust.
Once dry, its best to leave a wetsuit on a hanger so air can continue to circulate and keep it dry and fresh. The main thing is not to fold it up and put it in a drawer or box. Any residual damp (and there will be some - probably quite a lot) will make it fusty, mouldy and smelly in no time. Neoprene will also be permanently marked and creased by folding and may actually rupture and tear along fold lines.
How to store life jackets and buoyancy aids
Life jackets and buoyancy aids, although lighter than wetsuits, are big and bulky so quite awkward to store. They should be rinsed with cold water and washed occasionally, like wetsuits. They too will need hanging up to dry and are best stored hanging rather than been stuffed in a box.
Where to store a lot of water sports gear at home
Once they are dry, the best way to store wetsuits and buoyancy aids is on hangers, but where do you put them?
Wetsuits are bulky and long so hanging in a wardrobe is not really an option. Several wetsuits, even when dry, can still weigh a lot and can bend or break normal hanging rails. If you have a laundry or boiler room that would be OK but if you have a few wetsuits you risk damaging pipe work and you will soon run out of space.
Wetsuit storage in a garage or shed
Somewhere dry is the most important thing and if it is in a warm environment, even better. For most people this is going to be in a shed or garage but be warned: if these are cold and damp for long periods of time things will eventually rust, rot and smell.
Assuming you have a dry garage or shed, or if you have space in a large boiler room, tack room, cloakroom or even a spare alcove in a house or flat, then a compact, wall mounted storage rack is going to be ideal.
Wall mounted water sports storage rack
Our Water Sports Wall Storage Rack has 1 meter long rail that can be fitted, with just 3 holes, to a wooden or solid wall. To this can be fitted 3 or more hooks that are specially designed for water sports gear. The rail is galvanised AND powder coated and the hooks are all bright zinc plated so nothing will rust even if its installed outside.
The water sports hooks are 300mm long which means that each hook can accommodate a lot of gear like up to 8 wetsuits, 6 buoyancy aids, 6 helmets as well as loads of paddles and other smaller gear like masks, fins and snorkels.
Any hook can be fitted anywhere on the rail so you can easily move hooks around to create space on the rail. You can also add or remove rails, all with just an Allen key which we provide.
What’s the best way to store a blow up paddle board, canoe or dinghy
The hooks are heavy duty as well so you can hang heavy things like a blow up kayak, canoe or paddleboard on the rack in its pack-away bag. Heavy things should be hung closest to the wall but if you have long straps on the bag, or if each item is around 10 kilos, then you can hang a couple of inflatables on the same hook.
If you are storing inflatable dinghies, canoes or paddleboards at the end of the season it is vital to get all parts, such as the inner bladders, shell and even the bags, properly dry before you put them away.
If the inflatable has an inner bladder and an outer nylon shell it is best to separate and dry them independently. Even the outer bag needs to be bone dry, otherwise black mould will grow which will permanently stain everything.
How to store rigid canoes and Kayaks
Rigid water craft tends to be big and difficult to store. If it is left outside it is vital to protect them from the sun. Water sports gear like kayaks or anything made from fibreglass or plastic should be kept out of the sun as much as possible as they will fade and become brittle if subjected to ultra violet light for long periods.
If you have a garage with space in the roof then storing them up there is a good solution. However, it can be difficult to mount them in the ceiling, hard work to get them up there and you can easily hurt your back putting them up or getting them down.
Other solutions include floor standing racks which will hold 2 or 3 kayaks but these take up a lot of floor space, especially if they are double sided. Mounting them on the wall is often a better solution to get things off the floor and out of the way. There are a variety of ways to hold them against the wall including long brackets and fabric straps.
How to store paddles so they don’t all fall over
Paddles for canoes, kayaks and dinghies are a pain to store. If propped in a corner they are bound to fall over and cause mayhem. One way is to drop them into a dustbin or something similar but that isn’t ideal as they can still fall over, like a wilting vase of flowers, and the blades will fill the bottom of the bin really quickly.
A wall mounted rack that has long hooks with a 25mm to 50mm gap is the ideal way to hold up to 12 paddles one behind the other. It keeps them all together, neatly racked up one behind the other so they are easy to get to and will not fall over.
How to store diving gear
Diving gear includes bulky and heavy items like scuba tanks and diving weights as well as awkward items like regulators and smaller bits and pieces.
The safest pace for scuba tanks is on the floor but nothing else should be left on the floor. Mice and other rodents will chew through neoprene wet suits and they love the stuffing in buoyancy aids. Anything left on the floor will not dry out properly not to mention getting kicked all over the pace.
Wetsuits and dry suits should be hung up to dry and not folded for long term storage. Ideally, these should be stored on hangers so they can dry properly and are not permanently creased by folding. Buoyancy aids should also be stored on hangers, rather than in boxes, so they stay aired and fresh.
The GearHooks Diving Rack has all the hooks you need for your diving equipment.
How to store facemasks, snorkels, swim fins (or flippers) and all the other water sports gear
Smaller bits and pieces like facemasks, snorkels, fins, dive computers, flashlights etc. are often stored in boxes. Anyone who has done this will know that any moisture can become trapped and things soon rust or go fusty.
An alternative is to hang them up where they can be found easily without rooting about in the bottom of a box. They will also stay drier and will look pretty cool all hanging in neat rows. Our heavy duty hooks will even hold diving weights, up to 20Kg per hook.
Can you store all your water sports gear in one place?
Yes, as long as you have a decent rack of some kind. This might be something as basic as a floor standing clothes rail but storing anything off a hanger will be difficult on one of these.
The GearHooks Water Sports rack is designed to hold everything on a wall mounted rack with plenty of long hooks. It will take a variety of gear like wetsuits and dry suits (around 8 per hook), buoyancy aids/life jackets (around 6 per hook), helmets (6 per hook), regulators, flippers, masks and lots, lots more.
It’s all really heavy duty too so hanging so hanging up inflatable paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, dinghies and all the associated paddles (up to 10 per hook) is easy. They will even take heavy diving weights.
Hanging all your water sports gear on the wall means it;
- is off the floor and saves space
- is safe from damage and vermin
- will dry out and stay dry
- is quick and easy to put away
- makes everything is easy to find
- all looks great too!!