Ever put a nasty dent in your kayak? Hopefully the answer is “no” but lets face it, after the first week this goes live, most of you will eventually find this via a google search for “how to fix dent in kayak” so your answer is probably “yes, that’s why I’m reading this you moron!” Or, something like that. Anyway, the good news for you is that I’m going to share how I was able to get the badly dented-in nose of my Jackson Kayak Skipper kayak to pop back out, thanks to the help of the best (and I believe “only”) kayak/canoe repair shop in the state of TX – TG Canoe & Kayak.
Jackson Kayaks are nearly indestructible, however, like any kayak, they can be dented when we get careless! I recently was backing up my new Tennessee Trailers kayak trailer and I had my Skipper sticking the furthest off the back, extended via a Boonedox T-Bone. I couldn’t see a sign attached to a wooden fence and before you know it I hear a clang and “Uh oh, el dento!” The good news is actually the fact that the plastic used in the Jackson Kayaks will flex and bend (similar technology as a trash bag, but obviously not to that same degree) and essentially dent. Why is that good news? Because it doesn’t break! If it can dent (flex) in then it can re-flex back out! Of course, proper techniques are required.
This is where Duane, at TG Canoe & Kayaks, came in to show me a few ways to fix this dent; thankfully it came right out even though it was dented across the seam of the kayak! Wow! The first thing you need is a very hot light, or possible a propane torch, but the light is always the first option. Chicken coupe lights work the best and get very hot. You will also need a heavy mallet. Just take the light and hold it a few inches away from the dented area until it heats up. The plastic naturally wants to return to its intended home position. Just think of that scene in Happy Gilmore while you’re attempting this and tell the plastic to “Go to your home plastic, don’t you want to do to your home?!” If you have access to the inside of your kayak then you can assist popping the dent out via the inside. In my case, we had no internal access unless we wanted to cut the front hatch out of the Skipper, but we never needed to. What Duane did is bang on either side of the nose of the kayak and kept the heat going on it until it eventually was malleable enough to flex back into its originally intended shape. The video I took pretty much shows how he did it.
I learned a lot from Duane that day and I was especially fortunate that we never had to use the propane torch because that is always the last resort because if you do get the kayak too hot you can put a hole right through it! Thanks again to TG Canoe & Kayak for helping us put on a fun River Bassin’ Tournament this past April and for being a great Jackson dealer and assisting with this repair!