How to Adjust your Inflatable Kayak Air Pressure

The air pressure of all inflatable kayaks and boats will change according to the weather. In very hot weather the air pressure of your inflatable will increase and in very cold weather or in heavy rain your inflatable will lose air pressure.

Knowing how to work with the changes in air pressure will make sure your inflatable kayak or inflatable boat performs well and lasts for a long time.

Weather Changes

Weather can change fairly dramatically even in one morning and this can affect the pressure of your kayak. For example you may start out on a cold morning but after a few hours the sun is shining and the temperature has heated up considerably.

In this example it would be wise to leave a little room for the air to expand because as the weather warms up your kayak will become rock hard.  If there is no room for the air to expand you will need to let some of the air out. If you do not let some air out the over pressurization can lead to major problems.

Time Frame

You might be wondering how long you should paddle before adjusting your air pressure in changing weather. Typically if you start off in cold weather and then paddle until lunch time you will want to adjust our pressure then – especially if your inflatable kayak is sitting out in the hot sun over lunch.

Cold Weather

If you are paddling in the winter time when the air and water are extremely cold then you just need to be aware of the pressure of your kayak.

Remember in cold weather you will lose air pressure. Therefore after you have paddled for a several hours you will likely need to check your air pressure and possibly add more air.

Hot Weather

In very hot weather remember that the air pressure of your inflatable kayak will expand. Therefore it is wise to leave a little room for air expansion when you first inflate it. If you paddle for a few hours, you can then take a break and let a little air out.

Consequences of Air Pressure Change

When the air pressure of your inflatable kayak changes this can cause some significant consequences.

For example if you are kayaking in very hot weather and the air begins to expand in your kayak, it will become over-pressurized which will cause major stress on the seams. If you should then happen to hit a sharp object with enough force you may puncture the material and run the risk of one of your tubes exploding.

In cold weather when the air pressure decreases you basically just run the risk of paddling a very sluggish kayak. It will perform far better if you stay aware of the air pressure and add more air if needed.

How Much of an Issue is This?

It is completely normal for all inflatable kayaks and inflatable boats to have changes in the air pressure depending on the weather.

The high quality inflatable’s today are made very tough and can often handle higher air pressures than suggested by the manufacturer without having any noticeable effects.

However over time too much air pressure will cause strain and eventually damage to your kayak seams and can shorten the life of your boat.

I think if you simply stay aware of the air pressure of your inflatable kayak and cognisant of the weather changes you will not likely have any problems and you will keep your kayak performing at its best level.

For  more informative articles see our Inflatable Kayak Tips & Advice page.