Best Kayak Covers For Winter: 10 Picks To Protect Your ‘Yak For Indoor & Outdoor Storage

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Sam OBrien

Unless you’re one of the crazy kayakers that enjoy paddling in the winter, the chances are you’ll have to put your paddle down and tuck away your ‘yak until summer rolls around again.

That brings me to the point of this whole kayak storage covers convo we’re about to have today:

Leave it unattended long enough, and your kayak will become susceptible to weather and UV damage, dirt, and theft. 

Plus, there’s also a possibility of critters moving in and treating your ‘yak as their winter vacation home. 

Keeping your boat safe and secure – and storing it adequately – is a common concern during the off-season. And that’s where kayak covers can be pretty helpful.

I’ve done the homework for you and hand-picked this year’s best kayak covers – but you’ll have to keep scrolling to learn more. 

We may receive a commission if you click a link on this page and then go on to purchase something, but at no extra cost to you. Learn more here.

At a Glace – Our Picks For Top Kayak Cover

In A Rush? The Winner After 41 Hours Of Research:


VULKIN 9-12ft Kayak Cover and Carrier

Why is it better?

  • The unique dual cover-and-carrier feature allows for storing and transporting your vessel easily 
  • The adjustable shoulder pad makes the transportation process more convenient
  • Enables you to carry your equipment and accessories, too, with integrated universal Velcro loops to keep the oar secured in one place
  • High-quality, rugged construction and industrial-strength materials minimize the possibility of rips and tears
  • Extends the lifespan of your kayak by protecting it from the effects of all outdoor elements, featuring UV protection and waterproof and dust-repellant construction
  • It fits a range of kayak sizes – from 9 to 12 feet in length – thanks to the adjustable straps and industrial-strength buckles 
  • Features elastic drawstrings to ensure an even better fit 

Reasons To Use A Kayak Cover: 7 Layers Of Protection

Canoes of different colours covered with foliage

Some of you might not be sure what all the fuss is about or why you’d even need a kayak cover. That’s fine, I guess. I mean, to me, it seems obvious – you’re using protective covering to ward off any unwanted surprises and to safeguard your investment  – but I get your skepticism.

So, let’s talk about reasons to use a kayak cover before going any further.

#1 Weather Damage

First and foremost, a kayak cover will act as a layer of protection against various environmental factors and weather damage on a kayak stored outside. 

It encloses your ‘yak, shielding it from rain, snow, and wind – the elements that most watercraft stored outside would otherwise be exposed to – during periods of non-use. 

#2 Water Damage

Okay, I admit; this one sounds silly. 

Kayaks obviously don’t mind getting wet. 

But there’s a pretty significant difference between using it for on-the-water sports and leaving it exposed to moisture and standing water long-term. 

The latter will turn your kayak into a moldy, mildewy, mosquito-breeding mess with water spots and deteriorated components to boot. 

#3 UV Damage

A few hours in the sun won’t cause any real structural damage. I mean, most of us use kayaks during the summer, right? 

But again, look out for that fine line between sunny afternoon outings and extended exposure to UV rays – during storage, for example – because the sun is not playing around.

Leave it uncovered in direct sunlight, and you’ll get to see the UV rays in action, causing hull discoloration, warping, and rapid deterioration of any fabrics and integrated accessories.

So, if you plan to store your kayak outside then a boat cover is an essential accessory

#4 Dirt & Grime

When your kayak is just sitting there unused, whether it’s stored indoors or outdoors, you can expect some build-up of dirt, dust, pollen, and whatnot. And don’t even get me started on bugs and bird poop. 

It’s called “collecting dust” for a reason. 

These contaminants are usually harmless – as in, they won’t do any real damage – but they’re ugly to look at and a real pain to clean and remove. 

If you prepare your ‘yak for storage and use a kayak cover, that’s one less thing to deal with when it’s time to go for a spin.

#5 Animals

Yes, some critters might want to pay a visit to your kayak when you’re not looking. And yes, they might even try to set up camp in the hull or one of the hatches. 

Does a family of rats, raccoons, or skunks sound like the perfect neighbor to you? What about spiders? 

Yeah, I didn’t think it would. 

I won’t go into the details of the damage and sanitary concerns these creatures are capable of causing, but I’ll sum it up: 

Animal droppings everywhere and chewed-up everything.

#6 Theft

The idea of someone stealing your kayak seems ridiculous. It’s massive; it would be damn near impossible for a thief to get away with it without being noticed. 

And yet, these things happen.

If you’ll store the kayak outside, go with the out-of-sight-out-of-mind policy and keep your kayak covered. Oh, and add a locking cable while you’re at it to keep your kayak protected. 

#7 Transportation

Hauling a kayak necessitates careful planning. 

So, after you choose the method of transportation – whether you opt for a roof rack system, your truck bed, or a trailer  – consider this: 

How long will it take to reach your destination?

If you’re going to a far-off area – especially spending a few days on the road – a kayak cover is the most viable method of protecting your ‘yak from, well, everything. 

And as a bonus, you won’t have to scrape off bugs that splatter on your ‘yak during the drive.

Choosing A Kayak Cover: Things To Consider

colorful plastic rental kayaks are placed on the concrete coastline beside the river.

And now we get to the core of the problem – how does one choose the right kayak cover? What 

Well, you’ll have to consider a couple of factors to ensure that whatever you end up going with is, indeed, well-suited for your needs. 

Let’s go over it together, shall we?

Types Of Kayak Cover 

All kayak covers have some things in common – like UV resistance and waterproof fabrics, for example. However, they come in several distinct designs, differentiated based on the coverage method – with the three main candidates for your ‘yak outlined below. 

Bag-Style Kayak Covers

i COVER Kayak Cover

Bag-style kayak covers offer the most protection coverage-wise. They resemble sleeping bags – hence the name – storage bags cover your kayak completely, head to toe, and are commonly sealed with a elastic pull string and zippers for added water protection..

When it comes to outdoor storage and winter-time protection, it’s easy to see why this type of cover is virtually unmatched.

The only compromise you’ll have to make with storage bags is the ease of use. You might need to recruit a pair of helping hands when taking it on and off your ‘yak. 

Shower-Cap-Style Kayak Covers

LIBZAKI 300D Kayak Cover

Shower-cap-style covers fit over the kayak, leaving the bottom exposed. It spreads out over your ‘yak like a fitted sheet would on your bed – or, well, like a shower cap. 

Yes, they can keep your kayak clean and ready for paddling right out of the cover – but there’s a downside:

They won’t protect the bottom portion of the hull, meaning extreme temperature changes and moisture build-up are still a potential issue.  

So, you’ll want to use a shower-cap-style cover if you plan on storing your kayak in a garage or shed and have the means to keep it off the ground.

Cockpit Covers

Universal Waterproof Kayak Cockpit Cover

Kayak cockpit covers are pretty self-explanatory: 

As the name suggests, these only cover the cockpit, meaning they are primarily designed with sit-in kayaks in mind.

Let’s get the evident downside out of the way: 

They leave the majority of your kayak exposed. So, for long-term, off-season storage, bag-style and shower-cap covers remain the preferred choice. 

But a well-fitted kayak cockpit cover is the next best thing, though – even if it’s better suited for temporary storage, where sealing out water, dirt, and animal intruders is your primary concern.

While we’re at it, here’s a video on how to install a kayak cockpit cover properly:

How to Install a Seals Cockpit Cover on a Standard Cockpit Rim

What Are Kayak Covers Made Of?

A kayak cover is only as good as the material. If the fabric fails you, the whole thing fails you, too. 

I could be stating the obvious, but: 

Pick a durable material that can withstand the elements, resist potential rips and tears, and offers just the right amount of stretch to ensure a snug fit – all without making the cover bulky. 

I’m not asking too much, am I? 

Anyway, here are your options: 

  • Oxford – The fabric strikes the right balance between durability and softness, minimizing chances of accidental hull scratches. If you go with Oxford fabric, aim for a denier count of at least 200.
  • Taffeta Oxford – Being a combination of silk, acetate, and polyester, Taffeta Oxford offers everything you’d want from a kayak cover. It’s smooth and soft, weather and UV resistant, with a shiny finish. But that comes with a higher price tag, too.
  • Polyester – This fabric is generally reserved for mid-range kayak covers. It offers decent enough protection, doesn’t shrink or stretch, and it’s easily washable. It’s not as durable, but it can be reinforced with a UV stabilizer or polyurethane coating to extend its durability.

Are Kayak Storage Covers Waterproof? 

Can you trust your cover to resist water and keep your ‘yak dry in a sudden downpour?

Well, you’ll usually find clear indicators of what to expect from a kayak cover in terms of water resistance. For instance, the higher the thread count, the higher the chance it will successfully repel moisture.

If it’s a heavy-duty fabric, labeled “water-resistant” – such as Oxford Taffeta – it will resist water. But it won’t be waterproof. 

A kayak cover is only considered waterproof – as in, impervious to water – when it’s coated with materials such as polyurethane or urethane. 

While we’re on the subject of keeping water out of the kayak, make sure that it runs off the cover rather than pooling in certain areas. 

A good fit is half the battle – which brings me to my next point.

How Do You Size A Kayak Cover? 

The fit of your kayak’s cover can – and will – affect its ability to protect it against any outside factors.

Too large, and it might allow water to enter or cause it to rip due to strong winds. There’s no use in getting a cover that hangs loose. 

Too small, it won’t cover the kayak fully, which again defeats the point of getting one.

But how do you size a kayak cover, though?

Well, for one, you can take your kayak’s dimensions. Measure the width and length of your ‘yak at its widest and longest points – or go straight to the manufacturer’s website for the info. 

If you opt for a cockpit cover, though, measure the size of the opening – its length, width, and circumference. Again, go for the broadest and longest points, measuring from the outside of the cockpit’s rim.

Double-check to ensure your numbers are accurate and compare them to the kayak cover’s size. Most manufacturers will provide a sizing chart, usually ranging from S to XL.

One piece of advice I can offer here is

When in doubt, go one size up. 

You can always use fittings such as cables, bungee cords, or clips to tighten the cover and make it fit better – but you can’t do much with a cover that’s too small.

10 Best Kayak Covers – Reviewed & Rated

Best Kayak Cockpit Cover

Perception TrueFit Kayak Cockpit Cover

Perception’s TrueFit is an ideal conversation starter when it comes to extra protection for your beloved ‘yak.   

Although it’s designed to match Perception’s kayaks perfectly, don’t let that discourage you. It comes in five different sizes and accommodates cockpits measuring 34-36 inches in length and 18-20 inches in width.

Besides the fact that it can size-match virtually any cockpit out there, the beauty of TrueFit can be seen in its design. It’s made of urethane-coated Oxford fabric and ensures a secure fit, thanks to the sticky edging that will grip the cockpit tightly. 

Perception TrueFit is equipped with a rear bungee cord to optimize the fit for easier removal and adjustments. 

My main complaint is that it’s not suitable for transporting your kayak on the roof rack. A simple addition of an extra buckle or a strap would’ve made a world of difference.

Technical Specs 

  • Kayak cockpit cover
  • Nylon Oxford construction coated with urethane
  • Fits cockpits up to 34-36 inches long and 18-20 inches wide
  • Five available sizes


  • A variety of sizes offered to match a wide scope of ‘yak cockpits
  • Durable urethane-coated nylon Oxford construction
  • Extra security provided by sticky edging and rear bungee rand
  • Snug and secure fit onto the cockpit


  • Doesn’t work for car transportation
  • You might have issues with putting it on the kayak’s cockpit

If you are looking for that extra layer of cockpit protection while your ‘yak is taking a breather, this is the cover to turn to – even if you don’t have a Perception kayak.

Best Budget-Friendly Cockpit Cover

Explore Land Universal Kayak Cockpit Cover

Another serious contender on the list, Explore Land, designed its universal cockpit drapes with the intention of keeping your ‘yak secure from outside factors that could be out to get it.

Its durability stems from the 600-denier marine-grade waterproof fabric, explicitly tailored to keep the cockpit of your kayak debris-free. 

The adjustable bungee cords and hooks grasp tightly to deliver a snug fit, adding a finishing touch – and promising to keep the critters out of your cockpit, as well. 

I have to add; this cover is made to last – and surprisingly enough, it doesn’t cost a fortune. 

The only concern I have is that it isn’t particularly size-friendly. Measure your ‘yak – twice, if needed – if you choose this budget-friendly option.

Technical Specs 

  • Kayak cockpit cover
  • 600D marine-grade polyester construction
  • Fits cockpits 44-57 inches long and 18-25 inches wide
  • Two available sizes


  • Made from rugged and durable high-grade material
  • Waterproof and leakproof; no dust or debris passes through it
  • Adaptable bungee cords ensure a tight fit 
  • Three-year warranty offered 
  • Reasonably priced


  • It comes in only two sizes
  • Expect more fraying on the fabric if used frequently for transportation 

If money is tight, this heavy-duty kayak cover is an ideal choice. Off-season outdoor storage on a budget is made possible with Explore Land.

Best Budget-Friendly Kayak Cover For Indoor Storage

Best Marine Kayak Cover

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly shower-cap-style cover to keep your kayak clean and debris-free, Best Marine has you covered. 

While their kayak covers are well-made and manufactured from 210-denier polyester and boast UV protection, they might be a better fit for vessels stored indoors.  

If you intend to use the cover while you’re out, keep in mind that it isn’t completely waterproof. Rain and water will seep through eventually.

Best Marine’s kayak covers come in different sizes and feature wrap-around buckles and drawstring cords for easier fitting and a tighter fit. 

But while it’s labeled as an indoor/outdoor cover, it doesn’t hold out that well against the elements. The UV rays are its biggest enemy.

Technical Specs 

  • Shower-cap-style kayak cover
  • 210D polyester construction
  • Fits 8.5 to 16-foot kayaks up to 36 inches wide
  • Three available sizes


  • Adjustable straps and the drawstring bungee create a snug fit
  • Lightweight kayak cover
  • A solid pick for budget-conscious paddlers
  • Extremely well-fitting, suitable for a range of kayaks


  • Doesn’t hold out well when left in the sun
  • The fabric isn’t 100% waterproof 
  • Limited to indoor uses

Need a cover to keep your ‘yak critter- and debris-free while it’s tucked away indoors? This budget-friendly option should be your top choice!

Overall Best Kayak Cover

VULKIN 9-12ft Kayak Cover and Carrier

Known for their innovative streak, Vulkin designed a kayak cover that doubles as a carrier, enabling you to protect and transport your ‘yak with ease. 

It sounds fantastic right from the start, doesn’t it?

Their design focuses on versatility – but doesn’t overlook convenience. It features an adjustable strap, complete with a comfortable shoulder pad, making the whole ordeal of carrying a kayak around as painless as possible. 

It’s made from premium, industrial-grade polyester and doesn’t sacrifice comfort for functionality. Instead, it offers both while also incorporating additional cherry-on-top features, like double stitching and a universal oar loop. 

Oh, and did I mention that it’s weatherproof, too? More precisely, it’s 100% waterproof, and it provides UV protection. 

Remember that this is a one-size-fits-all model. While Vulkin did its best to ensure a universal fit, it still might not work for every ‘yak out there. 

Technical Specs 

  • Shower-cap-style kayak cover and carrier
  • Premium polyester construction with PE foam padding
  • Fits 9 to 12-foot kayaks up to 36 inches wide
  • One available size


  • Exceptional workmanship and use of heavy-duty materials
  • Comfortable shoulder strap with thick padding for comfort
  • UV-protected and waterproof fabric 
  • Universal oar loop for storing your paddle


  • There are cheaper options that offer a bit more

Best Kayak Cover For Fishing Kayaks

Kohree Kayak Cover Canoe Storage Dust Cover

If the size of your ‘yak fits in Kohree’s size range – spanning from 10.5 to 13 feet – then yes, I would be happy to recommend this cover. But to give you some context on its flexible we use it to cover our small outdoor fishing boat.

It’s made from durable, premium polyester Oxford fabric with a silver coating for improved UV resistance and waterproof performance. 

Fit-wise, this model uses a stretchy drawstring, roll and clip closure, configuration to – well, hold onto your ‘yak. Plus, it makes putting it on and removing it ten times easier. 

Additional security provided by this cover comes from the two extra straps. No matter what kind of weather conditions you’re about to face, it’s safe to assume that this cover won’t go anywhere. 

The only drawback would be the buckle quality: 

While the cover is made from premium materials, it seems that the manufacturer skimped on the accessories. 

Technical Specs 

  • Shower-cap-style kayak cover
  • Polyester-Oxford construction
  • Fits 10.2 to 11.5-foot kayaks up to 36 inches wide
  • Two available sizes


  • Suitable for a kayak or canoe
  • Weatherproof with additional UV protection 
  • Two additional straps for promoted security
  • Durable materials make it virtually indestructible
  • Built-in elastic drawstring for ease of use


  • Could be more versatile size-wise
  • The buckles could have been sturdier

For owners of medium-sized kayaks, this is the best protection you can get. While it repels both damaging UV rays and dust, your ‘yak stays snug and protected at all times.

Best Kayak Cover For Transportation

Danuu Deluxe Kayak Storage Cover

No matter how big or small your ‘yak is, Danuu’s got the size to match – meaning you can count on protection from outside influences, such as debris, harsh UV rays, and extreme weather conditions.

All Danuu Deluxe storage covers are made from premium polyester blend materials, coupled with UV and water-resistant coating. Double-stitched, reinforced seams add to the ruggedness, but the cover remains incredibly lightweight. 

Ease of use – ensured by the four-side adjustment straps, V-loop tie-downs, and a drawstring perimeter – is a definite plus. 

It’s a carefully thought-out kayak cover design if I ever saw one.

With so many good aspects to the Danuu Deluxe model, it genuinely pains me to see that its not-so-affordable price tag overshadows its many qualities. 

Technical Specs 

  • Bag-style kayak cover
  • Polyester construction
  • Fits 9 to 18-foot kayaks up to 36 inches wide
  • Seven available sizes


  • Four adjustment straps and V-loop tie-downs for a secure fit
  • Durable materials with UV- and water-resistant coating 
  • Double-stitched, reinforced seams
  • Built-in red flag bag for visibility


  • It seems a bit overpriced to me
  • The seams are still a weak, tear-prone point

This bag-style kayak cover is an excellent option for transporting your kayak. You’ll get everything you need for hitting the road – including a flag bag for visibility.

Best Heavy-Duty Kayak Cover

Classic Accessories StormPro Waterproof Heavy-Duty Kayak Canoe Cover

Suppose you’re in need of a heavy-duty cover that can accommodate kayaks that are up to 16 feet long. Well, I’ve got a perfect one coming from Classic Accessories!

The StormPro is made of incredibly resilient 600-denier polyester fabric. And owing to its rugged construction, this cover is both waterproof and resistant to UV rays. 

Prolonged sun exposure won’t cause any shrinkage or other deformations, either, as it doesn’t contain any PVC. That’s a nice touch, isn’t it? 

While it isn’t designed to be transported on rooftops – which is a potential downside – the StromPro will be incredibly resilient and reliable in any other scenario. 

Here’s something I didn’t like:  

Carrying it around with your ‘yak inside might be a bit of a challenge. The handles don’t seem strong enough to handle a full-sized kayak’s weight.

Technical Specs 

  • Bag-style kayak cover
  • 600D polyester construction
  • Fits 9 to 16-foot kayaks up to 40 inches wide
  • Two available sizes


  • PVC-free fabric that won’t shrink
  • All-encompassing protection, including water repellency, UV protection, and mildew resistance
  • Full-cut design ensures extra room for additional equipment
  • Suitable a kayak or canoe


  • Not intended for rooftop transportation
  • Has a zipper, so there’s a risk of water seeping through
  • Handles don’t seem strong 

If If you need a rugged kayak cover that will stand up to wind, water, and sun exposure, StormPro might be your best – and toughest – bet!

Best Kayak Cover For Wide Cockpits

Seals Kayak Cockpit Drape Cover

Are you looking for a cover to fit your kayak’s wide cockpit opening? 

Seals has just the thing for you:

The cover, constructed from coated nylon packcloth, is not only durable but UV-resistant, too. Rest assured that it will stay as good as new, even with prolonged use. 

This Seals model is explicitly designed for hard-to-fit cockpits up to 26 inches wide – and might even work for SOT and fishing kayaks. It features adjustable straps that wrap around the hull and a tether hook in the front for added security. 

All in all, pretty efficient when it comes to securing the open deck area of your ‘yak. 

Personally, the only aspect in which I’ve found this cover lacking is how difficult it is to get the bungees around the rim of the ‘yak to get the drape to hold.  

Technical Specs 

  • Kayak cockpit cover
  • Medium-weight coated nylon construction
  • Fits cockpits up to 5.2 feet long and 26 inches wide
  • Three available sizes 


  • Adjustable straps wrap around the hull 
  • Additional hook that attaches to deck lines 
  • Covers a large variety of wide cockpits, including newer models 
  • Can be used on SOT and fishing kayaks 


  • Doesn’t protect the entire kayak
  • Might need an extra bungee strap 
  • Can catch a bit of air in the front 
  • Not suitable for use while driving

If you struggled to find the best drape cover for your wide cockpit opening, Seals has one ready to slide in and protect your kayak from outside influences. 

Best Tight-Fitting Kayak Cockpit Cover

Seals Cockpit Cover

If you own a SOT kayak, feel free to move onto the next item on this list. But if you need a way to keep dirt and rain out of your cockpit and you like what Seals has to offer so far, stick around. 

Much like its predecessor, this cockpit cover is made of heavy-duty, tear-resistant material with a rubberized vinyl coating. And yes, it’s as tough as it sounds. Plus, it’s UV-protected, too.

Enforced with so-called Rim Grip technology, the adjustable bungee cord grips the cockpit’s rim to ensure a secure, snug fit. It works for a range of deck openings up to 26 inches wide – although the sizing is weird.

I like how secure and firm it feels; no critters are finding their way inside the cockpit with this thing in place. However, the first few attempts at putting it on can be a pain due to how tight it is. 

Technical Specs 

  • Kayak cockpit cover
  • Coated nylon construction
  • Fits cockpits up to 26 inches wide
  • Nine available sizes


  • Well-made cockpit cover with double-stitched seams
  • Adjustable bungee cord rim with a hull strap 
  • Fits the cockpit like a glove 
  • UV-resistant and suitable for outdoor storage


  • It won’t cover the entire kayak, only the cockpit
  • The sizing is weird and hard to understand

If you want to be able to leave your ‘yak outside and not have to worry about critters and creepy-crawlies finding their way inside the cockpit, this is the cover for you!

Best Premium Kayak Cover

Wilderness Systems Kayak Cover | Universal Fit for Sit On Top Kayaks

Let’s finish this round-up strong, shall we? Wilderness Systems’ universal kayak cover for storing your kayak outside or taking it on road trips with you – that’s my final pick for today.

The rugged bag-style cover is made to withstand prolonged sun exposure – over 500 hours, actually – and it’s water-resistant. Even more so, the 600-denier marine-grade polyester does wonders in the tear-resistance department, too. 

This model comes in five sizes, accommodating SOT kayaks 9 to 13.5 feet long and up to 35 inches wide. Plus, it features a bungee-style hem, ensuring an even better fit. 

And thanks to the contoured mid-deck design, I found it easy to slide the kayak in – even with the seat still on. 

My only concern is the price. It might be too much for the average Joe – although it’s definitely worth it. 

Technical Specs 

  • Bag-style kayak cover
  • 600D marine-grade polyester construction
  • Fits 9 to 13.5-foot kayaks up to 35 inches wide
  • Five available sizes


  • Made of marine-grade 600-denier polyester 
  • Excellent UV protection cover, can withstand more than 500 hours of UV light exposure
  • Adjustable and contoured mid-deck design
  • Easy to slide the kayak in 
  • Works great for transportation and storage


  • A pretty expensive option, albeit well-worth it
  • It only accommodates sit-on-top kayaks

While it is a pricier option, it’s worth the money based on the rugged construction alone. If you want a durable kayak storage bag that’ll last a long time, Wilderness Systems is the answer!

Wrapping It Up – Best Kayak Covers

Before you can put away your kayak for its well-deserved winter nap, you ought to make sure it’s well protected. I’m sure I made that very clear by now. 

While every cover on my list offers a more than decent level of protection, VULKIN 9-12ft Kayak Cover and Carrier deserves the top spot as the best kayak cover out there.

Its versatility and practicality – along with rugged construction that provides maximum protection for your kayak from the elements – only confirm Vulkin’s position as a top-of-the-line model. 

So, folks, which of the best kayak covers will it be?

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Sam OBrien

Sam is the founder and editor of WaterSportsWhiz. With over 20 years of experience across various water sports, he provides trusted reviews and expert advice to help others pursue their passion for getting out on the water. When not working, you can find him kayaking, paddle boarding, or planning his next water-based adventure with family and friends.