A kayak skid plate.
Kayak skid plate.

It’s true that kayaks are pretty tough pieces of gear. Rotomolded polyethylene plastic kayaks are sometimes even referred to as indestructible but this is not quite the case. Just like all outdoor equipment, your kayak is susceptible to regular wear and tear and needs to be taken care of.

One part of the kayak that’s consistently susceptible to wear and tear is the keel because it is the most likely part of the kayak to be dragged during transportation or low water crossings.┬áLuckily, manufacturers have recognized this and commonly install a skid plate to cover your kayak’s keel.

How does the kayak skid plate work?

The idea is very simple: rather than having your kayak’s keel be susceptible to damage, the skid plate is. The benefit is, when/if damage does occur, is happens to an easily replaceable piece of plastic rather than your entire kayak.

Watch Ryan from ACK San Marcos, who commonly performs repairs and installs as an assistant store manager, explain the kayak skid plate:

When to replace a kayak skid plate

Remember, not every kayak has a skid plate. If yours does, give it a look over and check for wear. If it’s no longer flush with the hull, this is a sign it needs replacing as it will stop being effecting at protecting the hull from damage at this point.

Skid plates are very durable so replacing them shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence. However, we recommend bringing along an extra in your hatch just in case you find yourself on an outing where your skid plate ever does give out. If it does, you’ll be happy to have it.

Whether you’re grabbing a spare or replacing your old skid plate, make sure to give our selection a look.