How To Keep Your Kayak from Being Stolen

Have you ever lost something of value due to theft? If yes, you can imagine how it will be if someone steals your kayak. Kayaks are generally heavy and not easy to carry around.

The weight and size make it challenging for thieves to get it. But nevertheless, determined individuals can still make away with it if the kayak is unlocked or unattended for some time.

So, how can you keep a kayak from being stolen? Read on for top tips to prevent your kayak from being stolen.

Is Kayak Theft a Problem?

Yes. Kayak theft problems are common during kayaking seasons. Despite its massive size and weight, people still report their kayaks stolen. But thieves will only gather the courage to steal your kayak if you leave it unlocked or unattended long enough for them to load it on a carrier.

Don’t leave your kayak in a lonely place. And if you have to, consider locking it. The thieves will not find it easy to get away with it. But there are many other ways to prevent your kayak from being stolen. You can find out more in the next section.

9 Tips to Keep Your Kayak from Being Stolen?

Different ways of preventing kayak theft exist. You can use one method or combine multiple to enhance security. Consider locking it in your apartment or storing it safely away from prying eyes.

However, how you secure your kayak and keep it from being stolen depends on what is available or what you can get to. Use the following tips:

Locking Your Kayaks

Unlocked kayaks are an easy target for thieves. Their interests are drawn to unlocked kayaks because they are easy to get away with. By locking a kayak to a tree, fence, deck support, or other permanent objects, the chance of it being stolen reduces to near zero. You can also lock two or more kayaks together.

But how do you lock a kayak? Get a cable lock, also known as a lasso lock, and a long cable. The assortment of hardware and strong padlocks come in handy.

Make the lock as strong as possible. You can consider doubling down, which means using more than one locking mechanism for your kayak. And a pro tip is to use different locks. That way, a potential thief will be discouraged from breaking them because of the time required.

Strapping your kayak on the roof rack makes it more secure if you are traveling with your kayak with a possible stoppage point. Thieves will not be comfortable climbing to the roof. Also, an individual may not be comfortable bringing the kayak down because of the weight.

Harmony Gear Lasso Security Cable for Tandon/Sit on Top

Store Your Kayaks in Safe Places

Storing your kayak in a safe place means the thief has no access to it. Secondly, it will be out of sight. Hence, there will be no interest in stealing it.

You can safely store your kayak in your garage, under the deck, or inside your apartment. Many thieves will not have the courage to break into your home to steal a kayak.

Storing kayaks indoors is ideal for foldable or inflatable kayaks. These can be folded or deflated to occupy less indoor space. You can also keep them in the trunk and lock the door to keep thieves off.

Keep Them Out of Thief Sight and In Your Sight

Random thieves only get interested in your kayak if they can see them. Covering the kayaks with canvas painter’s cloth or any material will improve their safety.

Alternatively, don’t leave your kayak unattended. Keep it in sight, even if you stop at a hotel for a drink. The best approach is to park your car at the entrance or where you can keep watch. Alternatively, you can ask someone close by, such as security officers at the facility, to help you keep an eye on the kayak.

Avoid parking your car with a kayak in dark spots at night. Thieves use the cover of darkness to steal kayaks. Look for well-lit parking slots to improve visibility.

a kayak before room
A kayak before room


Thieves are mostly attracted to new, good-looking kayaks. The chances of an old-looking kayak being stolen are almost zero. That is where the disguise comes in.

If you are ready to sacrifice beauty and curb appeal, paint your kayak to make it appear older than it actually is. The aim is to make it less desirable and hence less tempting.

The paint color and pattern depend on what you believe will ruin the aesthetics of your kayak. You can hire an artist for the job, but you can also pull it off if you are a DIYer. But you should still be proud of paddling your boat among other attractive ones.

Remember and Hide Your Hull Identification Number

Like most items and devices with serial numbers, kayaks also have a unique 12-digit identification number. These are etched somewhere on the hull.

Remembering your kayak’s hull identification number and hiding it is not one of the ways of preventing theft. But it will help you trace it if stolen. You can copy this unique number to a file or notebook and re-etch it on a hidden spot on the hull.

Thieves often erase the hull identification number once they successfully steal kayaks. So, the hidden number can help you build a strong case and prove the ownership of your kayak if ever found.

Do Not Buy Stolen Kayaks

Buying a used kayak is increasingly becoming common. It is the best way to save when you want to own a kayak because they are sold at almost half the retail price. But do you know the history of the kayak you want to buy from a black market?

A kayak thief may offer you a good deal on a kayak stolen from someone else. The chances of the thief coming to steal it from you are high. Besides, it is not good to promote theft by buying stolen items.

Before you buy any kayak, do your due diligence and perform a background check. Alternatively, walk to a retail shop and buy it from a reputable dealer. You can still find good deals on used kayaks at these retail shops. It will give you more peace of mind than buying a kayak whose history is unknown.

Get Kayak Insurance

There is no specific insurance policy to cover kayak theft. But your homeowner’s insurance policy compensates for personal watercrafts such as kayaks and accessories that go with them. However, you will not be fully reimbursed.

Insurance companies often pay a small fraction that may not get a new boat, especially if your stolen boat was a high-end kayak.

Although insurance does not prevent kayak theft, it can help you get back to kayaking much faster with the minimum compensation you are entitled to. It is better than nothing!

Rent Kayaks Instead of Buying Them

Renting kayaks may be expensive in the long term, but maybe the best option if you don’t want to worry about kayak theft. This approach is viable if you travel to a new paddling location where you don’t know about kayak safety and security. It is better to rent the kayak at that location and return it once you are done paddling.

What To Do If Your Kayak Is Stolen?

Using the kayak theft prevention tips explained here does not guarantee the 100% safety of your kayak. So, what do you do when it is actually stolen?

You will probably panic because you have just lost valuable property. Just remain calm and start the search and recovery process. Consider doing the following:

  • File a report at the nearest police station about your stolen kayak. But if you can recall the hull identification number, call the police and give it to them if they ask.
  • Ask the online community members to help you look for your kayak. Sites such as are helpful in such cases. You might be asked to provide a detailed description of your stolen kayak.
  • Publish a post to any local community platform to alert everyone about the stolen kayak.
  • Monitor resale websites such as Craiglist and local marketplaces. It may take weeks or months before the thief lists your kayak for sale. So, you should be patient and keep searching.


How do you prevent kayak theft on roof racks?

Many ways of preventing kayak theft on a roof rack exist. First, consider parking your car within sight or in well-lit spots at night. Other tips include the following:
– Locking the kayak on the roof rack
– Installing an alarm to sound a warning
– Attaching SMILE! You are on camera sign
– Asking the security officer on the site to check it for you
– Installing a GPS tracker on the boat in case it gets stolen

Can you leave your kayak in the car overnight?

Yes. You can leave your kayak in the car overnight if the vehicle is parked in a safe place. Also, ensure you lock the kayak to prevent theft attempts. But as a golden rule, don’t leave valuables in the car if safety and security are not guaranteed.

Can you leave your kayak in the car overnight?

Yes. You can leave your kayak in the car overnight if the vehicle is parked in a safe place. Also, ensure you lock the kayak to prevent theft attempts. But as a golden rule, don’t leave valuables in the car if safety and security are not guaranteed.


Kayaks are great investments that need protection. It is frustrating to lose a kayak to thieves if you are an enthusiastic kayaker. Fortunately, you can use the tips provided in this post to reduce the chances of kayak theft.

But still, we encourage you to keep an eye on your kayak at all times. Don’t leave your kayak unattended, especially in a new paddling location.

Thank you for reading this article at Windpaddle. We appreciate your time and believe you have the tips to prevent kayak theft. Kindly share this post with fellow kayakers to pass the same information to them.