7 Popular Kayak Modification And Upgrade Ideas

Whether you have a basic kayak or a more advanced yak with extra features, there may be some things that you want that your craft just doesn’t have. But no matter what type of yak you have, there’s usually always room for customization.

We’ve made a list of some of the most popular kayak mods so you can take inspiration to customize your own vessel to give it that personal touch you’ve always wanted.

Top 7 Mods For Your Kayak

1: Camera Mount

GoPro Suction Cup on Amazon

Having a camera with you when you’re on the water can be a great way of capturing images and videos of your paddling adventures. But having somewhere safe to put your camera while you’re paddling can be essential if you don’t want to lose it.

A camera mount, such as this GoPro Suction Cup, can be securely attached to your vessel and can keep a hold of your GoPro while your hands are busy paddling or while you’re reeling in that big fish. 

A suction cup mount is designed to fit onto a flat surface, which means you can stick it to your yak without the need for any other hardware. So it can be an easy and removable modification.

> Our full guide to camera mounts

Video: GoPro Suction Cup on a Kayak

2: Anchor System

3.5lb Folding Grapnel Boat Anchor Kit + 40 FT Marine Rope Amazon

If you’re on the water and you want to stop at your favorite fishing hole or you’ve spotted some wildlife you want to take a picture of, it can be difficult to hold your position in moving water while your hands are full.

An anchor can help you stay in same location and help to prevent you floating away with the current or wind. Anchors designed for kayaks, like this one from Best Marine & Outdoors, are compact and can often fold for added convenience. So they shouldn’t take up much space in your vessel.

You could even make your own anchor trolley system for ease of use.

Video: Kayak Anchor Trolley System

3: Watertight Storage

Outdoor Products Watertight Box on Amazon

Not all yaks will have the benefit of built-in watertight storage but it can be easy to add your own. Watertight boxes can be a great addition to your kayak.

These ones from Outdoor Products can be ideal because you can choose either large or small, depending on what you want to keep in them, and they even come with a tether with a keychain clip. So you can secure it to an eyelet or clip on your boat.

This means you can safely store your snacks, keys, phone or fishing accessories and keep them as close as you need them.

> What about tackle boxes?

4: Fishing Crate

Yakattack 12x16x11 BlackPak Kayak Fishing Crate on Amazon

A fishing crate can be an essential part of a successful kayak fishing trip. Maybe your yak doesn’t have rod holders or maybe you want to add a couple more. A fishing crate can be a great place to hold rods as well as other fishing gear.

How to Make a Super Simple Kayak Fishing Milk Crate

It can be easy to make your own using a milk crate and some PVC pipes. But if a DIY option isn’t for you, you can also buy a kayak fishing crate that comes with rod holders and enough storage for your fishing tackle.

5: Seat Upgrade

Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat Boat Seat of Kayaks

Some basic recreational yaks may lack a comfortable seat. But if you plan to spend a while on the water, a comfy seat can be a good investment. A good seat can help to support your back and cushion your behind, which can mean you’re able to stay on the water longer.

Choosing a seat with a seatback can be a good idea for added comfort, like this Leader one, as it is designed to work with both sit-insides and sit-on-tops, as long as your yak has somewhere to attach the straps.

> More on kayak seats

6: Outriggers

Deep Water Float (Pack of 2) - Outrigger kayaks canoes

If you find that your vessel can be a little tippy in some water conditions, or if you plan on standing up to fish, you may want to consider adding outriggers.

Outriggers can help to create more stability by transferring some of the weight out to the sides. This means, even in a narrow vessel, you could end up with a pretty stable platform, which should be difficult to tip over. 

It can be easy to make your own outriggers using floats, such as these, and connecting them to PVC pipes. This can be a great way to customize your vessel and give you that added stability that you might need for standing and fishing.

> DIY outriggers (kayaks)

Video: DIY Kayak Outriggers (No Drilling Into Kayak)

7: Gear Tracks

YakAttack Geartrac Spectralite for kayks

While many dedicated fishing yaks will likely have gear tracks already installed, a lot of basic recreational ones may not. Gear tracks, like these from YakAttack, can be a great way to allow you to add a whole bunch of other accessories, from rod holders and lights to camera mounts and fish finders.

By adding gear tracks you can accessorize and customize your craft more easily without requiring separate mounting points to be drilled into your vessel for each additional accessory. Accessories can simply be mounted into the gear tracks.

There are several brands available and many accessories are compatible with a range of gear tracks.

You might also like:

> Kayak accessories (our picks)

> Gift ideas or kayakers

Conclusion

Modifying your kayak can be fun and can let you create your ideal vessel. There are many ways in which you can customize your yak, as you will have seen.

A lot of the kayak mods out there are down to personal preference so not all mods will suit all people. But that’s the beauty of customization - whatever you do to your kayak can be suited to you. So you can create your own perfect boat.

No matter what type of of yak you have, you will usually find some way to modify it but remember to think about the installation process and if any of the work you do might affect your yak’s performance (or indeed its warranty).

Have you modified your yak? Let us know about it. And remember to share this to inspire others.

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