How to Store Your Water Sporting Gear

If you want your water sporting and outdoor equipment to last as long as possible, it’s essential to store it properly. Your gear is a considerable cost investment, so maintaining it for the long term will help you get as much value from it as possible. Even if you choose to upgrade to newer equipment, you’ll be able to sell older gear more easily if it’s been well maintained. Here, we’ll outline in detail how to properly stow and maintain the most popular water sporting gear.

Fishing

Fishing is a popular pastime all across North America. Some standard fishing gear includes rods, reels, fishing lines, hooks, lures, floats, and nets. Many people who fish care for their tackle meticulously, but if you’re new to the sport, you will definitely want to follow some of the most common dos and don’ts.

Do

Keep your fishing poles dry

Store your fishing poles and reels off the ground

Clean your rods and reels after every use

Lubricate parts before putting them into storage for an extended period of time


 Don’t

Allow your poles to get too hot or too cold

Don’t stow your rods in direct sunlight

Don’t allow saltwater to sit on your poles after use (salt is corrosive)

Don’t store your fishing poles with the old line still attached

Preparing Your Fishing Tackle for Storage

It’s crucial to clean your fishing gear after each use, whether you’ve been fishing in fresh or saltwater. Dirt and minerals from the water can sit on your poles and reels, staining them or reducing their functionality over time. You’ll also need to unspool your reels and loosen your drag. Don’t forget to lubricate the mechanical/moveables for storage during the cold season. Although you can use common oil for this task, you may want to opt for specially formulated fishing tackle lubricants.

How and Where to Store Your Fishing Gear

There are many ways to store your fishing gear, but you’ll want to ensure that you don’t stow your equipment in a place that’s subject to temperature extremes. For instance, a detached garage without temperature control may be subject to freezing temperatures and, at other times, high humidity. These extreme weather conditions can warp your poles or damage your other tackle. It’s best to store your fishing equipment in your home or a temperature-controlled garage if possible. 

You can purchase ready-made fishing rod racks or even build your own using two wall shelves and storage bins for your reels, lures, sinkers, etc. Be sure that you keep your tackle away from falling objects or in areas where children play, as your items can break easily. You can also procure a strong tackle box to stow your fishing line, hooks, lures, etc.

Surfing

Surfboards and wetsuits can involve some pricey expenditures. Plus, if you love your gear and enjoy using it, you’ll want it to last. Caring for your surf gear well will help you enhance its longevity.

Cleaning

Saltwater can take a toll on all sorts of water sporting equipment, including your surfboard. Before placing your board in storage for even a short time, you should always ensure it’s dry and clean. Cleaning involves removing old wax. If the weather is hot and sunny, let your board sit in the sunshine for about ten minutes; the sun and heat will loosen the wax, making it easy for you to remove with a commercial wax comb or an old credit card. 

Otherwise, it’s never a good idea to stow your surfboard in the sun or extreme heat. Rather than letting it sit in your garage, bring it indoors where it won’t be affected by temperature extremes. After removing the wax and fins from your board, you can stow your board on a rack.

 Some common types of surfboard racks include:

Finger grip rack

Surfboard wall sling

Hawaiian gun rack

Modular surfboard rack

Surfboard ceiling rack

Wall-mounted surfboard rack

Vertical surfboard rack

Freestanding surfboard rack

Windsurfing

Storing your windsurfing equipment properly will not only help you get more value from your gear, but it will also help you maintain it for safety when you’re out on the water. Salt and sand are not friends with your windsurfing gear, so after each use, you’ll want to clean your items carefully and never stow them without doing so. 

Preparing your Windsurfing Gear for Storage

First, as mentioned, you’ll want to clean your items carefully. Even if you’ve used this gear in freshwater, you should subject it to cleaning with clean tap water from a faucet or hose. Before placing it in storage, you should ensure that you rig the tour sail correctly; don’t crush or fold the sail as creases could mar it if stowed for an extended period of time.

Storage Tips

Before stowing your windsurfing equipment, remove the foot straps and keep them separate. Avoid storing your equipment in your garage or direct sunlight. The best place to store this gear is within your temperature-controlled house. Temperature extremes or high humidity aren’t good for most sporting gear. 

Kayaking

Due to their size, kayaks can be a challenge to store. However, properly storing your kayak, life jackets, and other related gear will keep them in optimum–and safe–condition. 

Where to Store Your Kayak

If possible, it’s ideal to store your kayak indoors so that it’s sheltered and protected from pests like insects or rodents. If you can’t keep it indoors, be sure that you protect it from the sun and weather. Temperature extremes are not good for your kayak or any of your related gear.

How to Store Your Kayak

You should try to store your kayak on a rack that’s specially designed for the purpose. To conserve floor space, you might opt to stow your collection on wall mounted slings which do an excellent job of dispersing pressure across a large area. Never store your boat on solid arms, or suspend your kayak by the grab hooks as you risk bending it.

Before mounting or suspending your kayak, be sure to clean it. Whether it’s been in fresh or saltwater, avoid using chemicals or heavy detergents to clean its surface. Instead, opt for clean water and gentle soap. Thoroughly dry all surfaces before you store your kayak. Don’t forget to clean your kayak’s accessories, including its paddles and life jackets, and keep those in a clean, dry place as well. 

Rowing

Rowing equipment can quickly become damaged if not stored properly. In fact, some insurance experts report that more damage occurs to this type of equipment when in storage than on the water. 

Where to Store Rowing Equipment

Ideally, a boathouse is the most suitable setting for rowing equipment storage. If possible, you might even transform a section of your two or three-car garage into your rowing equipment storage area. As with other types of water sporting gear, store your rowing equipment somewhere clean and dry, somewhere that is pest-free and not subject to direct sunlight, weather, or extreme temperatures.

How to Store Rowing Equipment

When storing your rowing gear, clean all items thoroughly. Then, use marine wax to coat your rowing boat before placing it in storage. Be sure that you winterize launch motors and remove any batteries from items like flashlights or radios. Always store fuel tanks with care in well-ventilated areas. You should unplug any electrical items and try to check on your equipment periodically.

Scuba Diving

Sun, water, and salt can undermine the longevity of your scuba gear, so maintaining these items is all about cleaning them carefully after each use and storing them in a cool, dry place. Not only can salt and sun cause wet- and dry-suit colors to fade, but these elements can cause the fabric to become brittle and stiff.

Where to Store Scuba Gear

Scuba gear involves a wide range of equipment, including wet-suits/dry-suits, computers, regulators, cameras, and accessories like fins, masks, and snorkels. It’s not a good idea to store these items in your garage where they could be vulnerable to pests, humidity, and temperature extremes that could not only affect how long they last but also render them unsafe for use. 

It’s best to store your scuba gear inside your home where you control the temperature. Keep these items out of direct sunlight and away from children and pets. 

How to Store Scuba Gear

As with the other gear listed, scuba gear needs a thorough cleaning before placing it in storage. Remove all traces of saltwater and sand. Here are some dos and don’t for scuba storage to keep in mind:

Do

Rinse regulators while they’re still attached to tanks to prevent water from getting into the first stage

Rinse fins, masks, and snorkels with clean, fresh water

Allow items to dry before placing in storage fully

Remove batteries from computers and cameras if you’re storing them for an extended period of time

Rub stainless steel knives with petroleum jelly when stowing for a long time.

Don’t

Store items such as your wetsuit in direct sunlight

Don’t store items damp or wet

Don’t store scuba gear outdoors

Use these tips to keep your water sporting gear in tip-top condition and ready for use. In some cases, especially when your equipment involves a substantial investment, you may want to acquire some insurance for these items and discuss additional care steps with your insurance provider.

Originally posted on Porch.com