How To Protect Your Kayak with Protectant Spray

Kayaking is a great past-time for those of all ages. It has a wide range of different benefits and is a load of fun. Though, because of all the fun we’re having, sometimes we forget that we also need to maintain our kayaks.

Doing so will allow your kayak to last a long as possible, giving you the best bang for your buck. We also maintain our kayaks to ensure that they look as good as they can always. Another important reason to maintain your kayak is to allow it to function and safely as possible.

For a full and detailed guide on kayak maintenance, I recommend you check out the guide which I’ve recently published by Clicking Here.

Part of your kayak maintenance should include protecting your kayak with protectant spray. Kayaking usually involves being exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time. The UV rays projected from the sun can be damaging to your kayak’s materials, causing it to degrade rapidly over-time. This is where a solid protectant spray and waxing can come in handy.

old kayak
Kayak which hasn’t been maintained

Kayak Protectant Spray

Protectant spray can be applied to your kayak to protect it against the suns harmful UV rays which will eat through your kayak and cause it to lose its color, thus extending the life of your kayak tremendously. Sprays are very easy to apply and can be purchased for relatively cheap from most boat stores, or easier so online from shops such as Amazon.

Though not all kayaks will benefit from a layer of protectant spray. Most protectant spray products will only work on inflatable and plastic kayaks. Therefore, if you have a wooden kayak then this isn’t an option for you.

There is one huge downside to using UV protectant sprays and wax to kayaks. That being, if you ever need to refinish your kayak with varnish then you will need to completely remove all protectant beforehand.

Therefore, if you don’t plan on varnishing your kayak then feel free to use protectant sprays and wax, otherwise I’d recommend staying away from such products and just sticking to a quality varnish which will act as a protectant anyway.

If you’re going the protectant spray route, then I’d recommend 303 Marine Aerospace Protectant. I’m sure you’ve heard of this product if you’re in the boating community as it is the most popular marine protectant spray around. It provides outstanding protection for plastic, rubber, and vinyl surfaces, ensuring that your kayak is protected from the sun and also repels dirt and dust.

You can click the link above to purchase the product online or most likely you can find the same product in your local boat store. There are other similar products which may do the same thing, though you may get varying results if you go for a lesser-known brand.

You should check out this video by Fish Finder in which he discusses how you can protect your Kayak using 303 Marine Aerospace. This will give you an idea of how to apply the product and why you should.

Tips For Applying Protectant Spray

You should apply the protectant when the temperature is cool. You want to avoid applying product in the sun. I spray my kayak whilst it’s in my garage to provide shelter from the sun.

Before applying product, you should ensure that your kayak has been washed and dried. You don’t want to apply the spray onto a dirty kayak otherwise the product may not be absorbed into the kayaks materials and therefore will not work. Also, you don’t want to risk scratching your kayak by rubbing little stones or debris into the material.

Don’t let the product sit for too long, after it’s been applied to should use a microfibre cloth and wipe it until you can no longer see the product. For best results I’d actually recommend spraying the product into a microfiber cloth and then wiping it onto the kayak, rather than spraying directly onto the kayak. This will allow for an even coat.

In my experience, I’ve found that the protectants effects wear off after a month therefore I re-apply monthly. Though, depending on where you store your kayak you could get away with applying every other month.


In summary, protectant spray is a great way to make your kayak last longer and is a great addition to your kayak maintenance guide. This is if you don’t plan varnish your kayak soon, in which case you’re better off just applying a solid varnish to your kayak which will do just as good as a job as a protectant spray. Also, if you happen to have a wooden kayak then your only option will be to varnish it.

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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