How to Increase the Weight Capacity of a Kayak [Complete Guide]

Kristian Ole



Do you want to try kayaking out in the wilderness? If yes, buying a new or used kayak is the first step towards exploring the great outdoors. While kayaks come in various sizes, shapes, and price points, knowing how much weight they can carry is essential for selecting the perfect kayak for fishing or other recreational activities.

Kayaking is increasing in popularity across the globe. The sport has been around since ancient times, even being mentioned in the Bible. People love kayaking because it provides an opportunity to enjoy nature in its purest form. This makes kayaking a fun and relaxing way to explore beautiful places.

Kayaking enthusiasts often prefer boats that weigh less. Lighter boats offer better stability and maneuverability. Manufacturers usually design their boats with hollow interiors. Hollow kayaks are lightweight, allowing them to pack into smaller spaces without compromising the overall safety of the kayak.

The following article will help you determine whether your chosen kayak is suitable for carrying more than the recommended weight. It also gives tips on how to increase the capacity of your kayak so you can take advantage of all the benefits of this fantastic watercraft.

How To Increase the Weight Capacity

Here are some ways you can maximize the weight capacity of your kayak.

1. Use Styrofoam Blocks to Pack Your Kayak

Styrofoam Blocks kayak

Styrofoam blocks are ideal for packing your kayak. They’re lightweight, making them easy to handle. You won’t damage anything when you use them. These blocks are available at hardware stores.

They come in various sizes and shapes, so finding the perfect one for you is simple. To make packing easier, cut the blocks to the size of your kayak. This will help your kayak carry a lot more, and it’s a simple and effective way of doing it.

2. Add More Waterproofing Materials

duckt tape waterproofing for kayaking

If you plan on using your kayak for fishing, then waterproofing materials such as duct tape, plastic bags, and rubber bands are essential. Duct tape works well if you need to secure something temporarily. Rubber bands are handy for holding things together. Plastic bags are a more useful, lightweight option for storing food and equipment than plastic containers.

While kayaking, your clothes may get wet and add more weight. That’s when waterproofing comes into play. Try to waterproof your bags and essentials as much as possible since this will help keep the belongings dry and therefore lighter in weight.

Waterproofing materials come in many different forms. Some of them include:

  • Foam pads — These are perfect for keeping things dry and preventing them from sinking.
  • Rubberized foam — This material is ideal for protecting delicate equipment like cameras and phones.
  • Silicone rubber — This is a very popular choice among kayakers. It provides excellent protection against moisture and extreme temperatures.

3. Remove the Floorboards

To increase the weight capacity of your kayak, remove the floorboards. You can do this by removing the screws holding the boards down. Once you have removed the boards, you can easily lift the bottom of the kayak out.

Now that you’re able to access the bottom of the kayak, you can add additional styrofoam blocks or other heavy objects. If you want to be extra careful, you can cover the bottom of the kayak with waterproofing material before adding any heavy items.

4. Use Kayak Buoyancy Bags

Buoyancy bags are another great way to increase the weight capacity of a kayak. Buoyancy bags are designed to hold air inside them. They float on top of the water, meaning they won’t sink if you place them upside-down.

You should only fill these bags with air once you’ve already packed everything else inside your kayak. Make sure you don’t overfill the buoyancy bag because this could cause the kayak to tip.

5. Use Kayak Stabilizer System

Kayak Stabilizer System

The stabilizer system is an important part of a kayak. This increases weight capacity and helps prevent the boat from tipping over when paddling through rough waters. A sound kayak stabilizer system should include a rudder and foot braces.

A rudder is used to steer the kayak. It consists of two blades attached to the front end of the kayak. The blades are usually made out of aluminum or carbon fiber.

A foot brace is used to stabilize the kayak. It includes a pair of straps that attach to the kayak’s sides. These straps are usually adjustable and can be tightened around the kayaker’s feet.

6. Use Pool Noodles for Flotation

pool noodles

Pool noodles are another great way to get rid of excess weight. Instead of placing regular Styrofoam blocks inside your kayak, use pool noodles. They’re lightweight, cheap, and do the job perfectly.

The noodles are hollow and are made out of polyethylene. They are flexible and light, providing flotation and stability. Every pool supply store will have these available, so don’t worry about finding this product. You can simply pack them into your kayak.

Related article: Best upgrades for your kayak

Kayak Sizes

There are several different types of kayaks. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common:

  • Paddleboard — This is the smallest size of all kayaks. It’s perfect for beginners who want to learn how to paddle.
  • Canoe — This is the standard size of all kayaks, and it’s recommended for intermediate-level paddlers.
  • Surf Kayak — This is the largest type of kayak. It’s ideal for experienced paddlers who like to surf.
  • Tandem Kayak — This is similar to a canoe, but it’s meant for two people. It’s also known as a double kayak.
  • Sit On Top Kayak — This is a sit-on-top style kayak. It’s very popular among families and adults.
  • Raft — This is a special type of kayak that’s meant for whitewater rafting.
  • Sea Kayak — This is an excellent choice for those who love to explore the ocean. It’s a stable craft perfect for surfing waves and exploring underwater caves.

Related article: The difference between a fishing kayak and a regular kayak

Closing Thoughts

Kayaking has become one of the most popular sports in recent years. With its many benefits, it’s no wonder why people love kayaking. By following the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to carry more things and enjoy kayaking more than ever!


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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