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Top Kayak Mods: 20 Cool Upgrades You Need

By: Dave Samuel
Updated On: February 4, 2024

As a kayaking enthusiast like myself, there’s always that alluring appeal to constantly improve and enhance my experience out on the water. The world of kayaking extends far beyond just buying an ordinary kayak and rowing off into the sunset.

Creative modifications or, in paddling circles, ‘kayak mods’, have revolutionized how I engage with this adventurous pastime. From comfort enhancements to emergency needs, these cool kayak upgrades can dramatically upgrade your river cruise.

Looking for ways to spruce up your paddling expeditions? Whether it’s boosting functionality for fishing trips or ramping up safety features, these must-have kayak accessories offer exceptional improvements to any kayaking journey.

Trust me on this – I’ve assembled what I consider the top 20 kayak mods that have completely transformed my own ocean sojourns and lake explorations.

Highlights Of This Post:

  • A collection of top-rated kayak gear upgrades.
  • Efficient tips on how to enhance kayak performance.
  • Breakdown of each mod’s features and why you need it.
  • Advice grounded in personal experience and expert interviews.

Brief Overview of the Cool Kayak Mods

As someone who loves to get out on the water, I feel there’s nothing quite like kayaking. The peace and tranquility that come from paddling alone or with companions on a quiet lake or down a winding river are unparalleled. However, I’ve found that to really enhance my experience, kayak mods are essential.

Brief Overview of the Cool Kayak Mods

Kayaking is an activity that offers an incredible level of customization. Modifying or upgrading your kayak can make all the difference in terms of comfort and functionality. That’s why I believe it’s so important to invest in cool kayak upgrades – they genuinely change your paddle game!

Customization can first and foremost increase comfort while you’re out on the water which is crucial, especially for long paddling journeys. An uncomfortable seat might make you end up getting off the kayak way sooner than you’d want to!

But more than just comfort, must-have kayak accessories really enhance functionality which makes every trip much easier and fun! Whether it be easy navigation with a GPS or a stable fishing experience with rod holders, great mods can really boost kayaking performance.

Lastly – but most importantly – outfitting your kayak with essential items such as a second paddle for emergencies could prove lifesaving.

Here’s what I have found to be some top upgrades:

  • Paddling enhancements: These modifications help improve how efficiently your boat moves through the water.
  • Safety gear: These include tools like emergency paddles and GPS devices to help you navigate back home if things go wrong.
  • Storage solutions: Deck mats, dry storage bags, or gear tracks provide perfect places for storing everything from food supplies to fishing equipment!
  • Comfort modifications: Think upgraded seats and shade for those sunny days!

When I delve deep into my love for kayaking, I realize how personalizing my vessel has not only increased its functionality but also boosted my overall enjoyment when out on the water.

Hopefully, you find these tips useful for choosing your own kayak mods! Now, let’s dive into my top 20 cool kayak upgrades!

Also Read: Night Kayaking Safety & Law: Your Ultimate Guide!

Top 20 Cool Kayak Mods: Upgrade Your Kayak To Boost Functionality & Comfort

There is nothing quite like being able to personalize your own kayak with some cool upgrades. The following are the twenty must-have kayak mods that will not only boost your functionality but enhance your comfort as well.

1. Second (Emergency)

Paddle in the kayaking world, it’s always said that I should have two is one, and one is none. Essentially, having a backup paddle is a safety precaution. In case your main paddle breaks or gets lost in the water during a session, the second emergency paddle comes to the rescue. Therefore, this essential kayak mod can make a significant difference when you find yourself stuck up a creek without well…a paddle.

2. Fish Finder

If you’re like me who enjoys fishing from my kayak and want to elevate the experience even more, installing a Fish Finder mod might just be what you need. This device helps locate fish underwater using SONAR systems—increasing your chances of making successful catches significantly.

3. Kayak GPS

Ever gotten lost while out on an adventurous paddling journey? Well, I know I have! Adding GPS to my arsenal of kayak mods completely changed how I navigate while out on trips—be they leisurely explorations or dedicated fishing expeditions. With real-time tracking and detailed route information at your fingertips – there’s no excuse for straying off course anymore!

4. Deck Mat

Back in my early days of kayaking, slipping on my wet kayak deck was something that happened more often than not! When I added a deck mat onto my vessel it not only increased comfort but drastically reduced slippage as well—a win-win situation if you ask me!

5. Anchor Trolley System

One of the coolest kayak mods that significantly improved my kayaking experience is an anchor trolley system. It keeps your boat steady in windy conditions or fast-moving waters allowing you to focus on just enjoying your time out on open water.

6. Gear Tracks

As someone who likes keeping things organized especially when kayaking; gear tracks are quite invaluable for managing mounting accessories and essentials when kayaking such as cameras or rod holders ensuring easier accessibility when I need them.

7. Dry Storage Bag

Ever since starting to carry a dry storage bag during my kayaking sessions, things got a whole lot simpler! I can now easily carry electronic devices, documents, or any other valuables without worrying about water damage.

Also Read: Maddle Paddleboards: Revamping the Realm of Paddleboarding

8. Fishing Crate

A fishing crate may seem simple, but its benefits on the water during a fishing expedition are numerous. From providing extra storage to acting as an anchor point for additional rod holders – it’s a game-changer for kayak mods, in my experience.

9. Camera Mount.

You wouldn’t believe all the amazing sights and moments I’ve missed capturing because of not having camera mounts factored in my kayak mods initially. Whether it’s filming adventurous trailing paths or capturing serene sunsets – having a camera mount onboard makes sure you don’t miss documenting those unforgettable moments!

10. Upgrade Seat

One of the essentials when considering comfort and functionality in cool kayak upgrades has to be seat upgrading. An ergonomic seat translates to longer hours out on the water with less fatigue—an upgrade that will revamp your entire kayaking expeditions!

There you have it! The top ten must-have cool kayak upgrades aim at enhancing functionality and comfort while venturing waters on your kayak! But don’t rest just yet; there are even more incredible enhancements waiting to take your paddling experiences up another exciting notch – coming right up!

11. Outriggers

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of kayaking, especially for beginners or in choppy waters, is maintaining stability. That’s where installing outriggers became one of my favorite kayak mods. They help keep the kayak balanced and give me more confidence to venture into new water territories.

12. Flag Pole

Safety first was embedded in my mind from the get-go, and when it came to navigation safety, installing a flag pole on my kayak rose quickly to the top of must-have kayak accessories. The flag can serve as a way for other boaters or paddlers to see me from afar, especially in highly trafficked areas.

13. Rod Holders

One can’t overlook rod holders when mentioning top kayak gear upgrades—particularly if you’re into fishing just like me! Having a secure place for your fishing rods not only frees up your hands but also ensures your rods are safe and stationary enhancing your fishing experience fabulously!

14. Kayak Light

Night-time navigation used to get tricky for me until I incorporated a kayak light within my go-to paddling enhancements. These lights essentially promote safety by amplifying visibility during low light conditions —because there’s no reason why beautiful moonlit nights should restrain our kayaking explorations.

Also Read: Kayak Trolling Motor Mount Installation: Your Simple Guide

15. Kayak Battery

If you’re someone who loves exploring wide expanses with a motorized kayak (like I do) then fitting an additional battery is among those cool kayak upgrades you shouldn’t be skipping out on! An extra battery lets you extend your outings without constantly worrying about power depletion —making it an absolute must-have accessory!

16. Kayak Cooler

You wouldn’t believe how refreshing it feels to have fresh food and chilled drinks on those long sunny days out on the water! Installing a cooler has definitely been one of my favorite game-changing additions when talking about enhancing my kayaking experience.

17. Trolling Motor

Incorporating a trolling motor among my list of kayak mods has been one of my best investments in reducing physical exertion during long trips—enabling me to focus more on the beautiful scenery or the promising fishing spots!

18. Kayak Shade

When kayaking during sunny weather conditions, a shade proves to be a lifesaver! It not only protects you from possible sunburns but also helps to keep the temperature in your kayak reasonably cool—which can make your experience all the more enjoyable!

19. Carry Handles

Kayak transportation does pose certain logistical challenges indeed—this is where I’ve found having carry handles as part of must-have kayak accessories to be really beneficial. They simply make transporting your buddy (read: kayak) a breeze!

20. Paddle Leash

And last on this list but certainly not least is having a paddle leash incorporated into your top kayaking gear upgrades. Trust me when I say —I’ve learned the hard way about how cumbersome it can get once you drop and lose your paddle mid-water!

There we have it! By incorporating these twenty must-have cool kayak upgrades, we believe that every aspect of functionality, safety, and comfort can be significantly boosted during those memorable ventures out on beautiful waters. So why wait? Let’s go ahead and give our water-riding buddies some well-deserved pampering!


How do these mods improve my overall kayaking experience?

These kayak mods are designed to enhance your comfort, safety, and efficiency on the water. From the addition of second paddles for emergency use to navigation aids like GPS and upgraded seats for comfort, every mod adds a layer of improvement to your kayaking sessions.

Are these mods easy to install, or do I need professional help?

Most of these kayak mods are user-friendly and come with detailed installation guides. For more complex installations like a kayak GPS or trolling motor, some technical understanding might be useful but not necessarily a prerequisite.

Will these mods add too much weight to my kayak?

The added weight from these kayak upgrades is generally negligible compared to the load capacity of most kayaks. However, always consider your kayak’s weight limit before adding any accessories.

What if I only have a recreational kayak, would these mods still work?

Absolutely! While some modifications are geared towards fishing or touring kayaks — such as fish finders—many others like an emergency paddle, comfortable seat upgrades, or paddle leash can be beneficial for all types of kayakers.


I hope this list of 20 cool kayak mods and upgrades will provide you with insights to enhance your kayak performance, upgrading your paddling adventures to the next level.

Implementing these changes will bring about functionality, comfort, and some much-needed enhancements to any kayaking session. Remember, every mod works differently for each kayaker depending on their needs — choose what suits you best.

Key Takeaway Points

  • Always consider safety first by including mods like kayak GPS, kayak light, and emergency paddle.
  • Optimize comfort with a deck mat and upgraded seat.
  • Keep everything organized using gear tracks and a fishing crate.
  • For prolonged trips involving overnight or long-distance paddling, consider installing a trolling motor or additional batteries.

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