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Concerns about handling a thermoformed kayak.

Dear REI

I have some question about thermoforming kayak.
I know it is easy to get scratch if I drag the thermoforming kayak on concrete surface.
Other than the cosmetic scratch, is there any sealing damage/concern?
Can I paddle rush toward the concrete boat ramp for landing?
Or dragging the kayak on the sand beach?


1 Reply


Thanks for reaching out! These are some great questions!

Let's start by stating that all kayak production styles, whether thermoformed, rotomolded, or a composite/glass kayak, are all designed to handle 'normal' river or lake paddling conditions which may include light abrasion from sand, rocks, and debris. That being said, dragging a kayak over concrete, or rushing a concrete boat ramp would likely fall outside of 'normal' conditions for a kayak and would not be recommended.

A thermoformed kayak is more rigid than a rotomolded kayak and, as such, the 'shell' of the kayak is harder as well which provides good abrasion resistance. Additionally, unlike rotomolded kayaks, repairing a thermoformed kayak is relatively straightforward. You can smooth out small scratches with wet sandpaper and use a plastic polish to fill them in. A deeper scratch can be filled with acrylic repair putty, sanded, then painted over to match your kayak.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

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