Posted by Ryan Bayes on 2014 Nov 21st
It’s that time of year when some paddlers hang up their paddling gear and pull down the skis or snowboards. Taking a few extra minutes to properly store your paddling gear can save you money and heartache on that first day back on the water next spring. Here are a few easy steps to insure you don’t damage your gear while its being stored this winter.
If you use a dry top or dry suit here are a few things to do before putting them away.
- Clean it and dry it! The longer dirt and goo sits on your suit the harder it is to get out. You may end up selling your top or dry suit at some point and the better it looks the more your gonna get.
- Zippers, it is good idea to lube and clean your zippers (if your like me you probably neglected this over the season). Different zippers require different treatments and lubricants, check with the manufacturer if you are unsure. If you have metal toothed zippers don’t store them fully closed, there is a friction fit bumper at the end of the zipper in the closed position, if you store your zipper fully closed you can compress it and eventually damage the seal. Kokatat suggests leaving your metal zipper 4″ from the fully closed position. Plastic zippers such as Tizip should be closed entirely for storage.
Zip Care is great product to extend the life of your zippers and keep them moving easily.
- Lube your gaskets. Putting gaskets away untreated can take years off their life and leave you wet and cold come spring on your first paddle. Seal Saver is a great product and actually makes getting in and out of your gaskets easier as well.
- Store it properly, the best way to store a dry top or dry suit is to hang it, if you can’t hang it then loosely roll it up. Folding causes stress on seams and material at the folds if stored for extended periods of time.
- Maintain it, this is the best time to do maintenance. Need to replace a gasket or patch a hole? Do it now and make that first paddle of the season that much more enjoyable! This is also a great time to think about sending in your suit for an overhaul. Many manufacturers like Kokatat offer repair and maintenance, if you are not using your gear over the winter get this done now so your not stuck without your gear when you need it. You can drop your Kokatat suit off here at WCK and let us take care of the shipping and brokerage to get your suit or top back to Kokatat. Contact the store for more info on this service.
Do you have some gear that was starting to get little stinky at the end of the season? Chances are if your gear had a funk before you put it away it will be down right nasty when you pull it out in spring, avoid being “that paddler”. MiraZyme is the magical anti-microbial wash that can take the funk out of even the nastiest booties. I have tried washing gear with just about everything and this product straight up works, do your friends a favour and use it.
If you have a wet suit or neoprene gear as well I recommend cleaning it before storing it, getting salt and oils off your neoprene will keep it smelling civilized and extend the life of your gear. Wet Suit and Dry Suit Shampoo is a great product for this.
For more information on care and maintenance check out Kokatats product care page here.