How To Lock Up A Kayak?

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Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the great outdoors and enjoy quality time on the water. But owning a kayak is responsible for keeping it safe and secure when not in use.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of locking up your kayak, the different types of locks available, and how to choose the right one for your needs. We’ll also provide some tips on proper locking techniques and additional security measures to keep your kayak safe from theft.

How To Lock Up A Kayak

Why Lock Up Your Kayak?

Theft Prevention

Kayaks can be expensive, and their lightweight design makes them an easy target for thieves. Securing your kayak with a lock makes it more difficult for someone to steal it, acting as a deterrent and reducing the risk of theft.

Protecting Your Investment

A kayak is an investment, so you want to protect it from potential damage or loss. Locking up your kayak ensures that it remains in good condition and lasts for years to come.

Peace of Mind

Knowing your kayak is secure when you’re not around provides peace of mind. You can focus on enjoying your time on the water without worrying about whether your kayak is safe when you return.

Types of Kayak Locks

Cable Locks

Cable locks are lightweight, flexible, and easy to use. They’re made from durable materials like steel or Kevlar and come in varying lengths to suit different needs. Cable locks are popular for securing kayaks due to their versatility and ease of use.

Chain Locks

Chain locks provide a higher level of security than cable locks, as they’re made from thick, hardened steel links. They can be heavier and less flexible, but their strength makes them suitable for those seeking extra protection.


U-locks consist of a solid steel bar in a U-shape with a locking mechanism at the end. While not as flexible as cable or chain locks, U-locks offer high security and are difficult to break or cut through.

Choosing the Right Lock

Length and Flexibility

Consider the length and flexibility of the lock you choose. You’ll want a lock that’s long enough to secure your kayak to a fixed object but not too cumbersome to carry around. Cable locks are a great option due to their flexibility and ease of use.

Material and Durability

The material and durability of the lock are crucial for ensuring your kayak’s security. Look for locks made from high-quality materials like hardened steel or Kevlar, which are resistant to cutting and tampering.

Locking Mechanism

Choose a lock with a reliable and secure locking mechanism. Keyed, combination, and smart locks are popular options, each offering varying levels of security and convenience.

Proper Locking Techniques

Locking to a Fixed Object

Secure your kayak to a fixed object, such as a post or railing, when possible. This makes it more difficult for thieves to carry it away. Pass the lock through the kayak’s grab handles, scupper holes, or another secure point on the kayak and around the fixed object.

Locking Through the Scupper Holes

If your kayak has scupper holes, use them to your advantage by threading the lock through them. This prevents the thief from simply lifting the kayak off the lock.

Locking the Paddle

Another method to deter theft is to lock the paddle with the kayak. This secures the paddle and makes it more difficult for a thief to use the kayak without a paddle.

How To Lock Up A Kayak

Additional Security Measures

Removing Accessories

Before leaving your kayak unattended, remove any valuable accessories like GPS devices, fishing gear, or paddles. This reduces the temptation for thieves to target your kayak.

Storing the Kayak Out of Sight

When storing your kayak, try to keep it out of plain sight from potential thieves. A hidden storage spot or a secure garage can help keep your kayak safe.

Marking Your Kayak

Adding identifying marks or decals to your kayak can help deter thieves and make it easier to recover if stolen. Consider using a UV marker, engraving, or stickers with your contact information.

Related: How To Load A Kayak On J Rack

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best type of lock for a kayak?

The best type of lock depends on your specific needs and preferences. Cable locks are popular due to their flexibility and ease of use, while chain locks and U-locks offer higher levels of security.

Can I lock my kayak to my car’s roof rack?

You can secure your kayak to your car’s roof rack using a suitable lock. Ensure the lock is long enough to wrap around both the kayak and the roof rack.

How can I make my kayak less attractive to thieves?

Remove valuable accessories, store the kayak out of sight, and mark it with identifying information to deter thieves and make it less appealing.

Are combination locks secure for locking up a kayak?

Combination locks can provide decent security, but they may be less secure than keyed or smart locks. Choose a lock with a reliable and secure locking mechanism.

Do I need to lock my kayak every time I leave it unattended?

It’s always a good idea to lock your kayak whenever you leave it unattended, even for short periods of time. Thieves can strike quickly, and securing your kayak can help prevent theft and give you peace of mind.


Locking up your kayak is essential to ensure its safety and longevity. By understanding the different types of locks, choosing the right one for your needs, and employing proper locking techniques, you can keep your kayak secure and enjoy peace of mind. Remember to take additional security measures, like removing accessories and storing the kayak out of sight, to protect your investment further.

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