Kayak Decals??

How do people apply decals onto Poly kayaks?? I do not mean the Stock factory ones, I mean the add ons. I see this often on white water boats, featuring decals of sponsers like “Teva” or “red bull”. How are these decals applied?? They look seemless. I have been wondering this for years. I do not wish to apply any to my Pamlico 140, but my curiousity got the better of me and I would like to know.

I know you are itching to plaster
your baby with decals… admit it.

It’s OK, I like decals too :slight_smile:

If the decal is small: peel off one end of the backing paper and place on item (kayak) with only a small corner down.

Slowly work your way carefully across the decal while removing at the same time the backing paper.

Alternatively for larger decals where this option is not feasible: spray the surface you want to decorate with a mist (spray bottle) of water and a tiny amount of dishwashing detergent. Yes, not kidding.

Remove the backing paper on the decal and spray the sticky part of the decal too.

Position the “wet” decal into position and with a credit card (that’s if you don’t have the professional squeege tool) start squeezing water from the centre of the decal towards the edges.

Eventually you will have all the water removed from under the decal.

Do not use your kayak for a few days allowing the residual water to evaporate.

Now, bear in mind that convex or concave surfaces will not work with this method.

You will need to stretch your decal somewhat on a convex surface. (Concave surfaces are pretty much out)

You can try heating gently the decal with a hair dryer.

It’s harder to get them to stick
if your kayak has a rumply surface, like the Ocean Kayaks and some others. Smooth surfaces hold them pretty well, in my experience.

My kayak…
Likes to earn its travel stickers (decals)…

Kind of like what people used to do with their luggage.

Wish I could find appropriate decals more often when I travel to new paddling areas…

What kind of decal?
Are you referring to the soak in water kind, or sticky back like a bumper sticker?

As for the soak kind, I used to use them for model building. Here’s the process:

You will need a product from the hobby store that I think was called Solv-a-Set. It is a softening solution that made a decal settle onto and adhere to the model, even following crevices. In my case I would soak a decal loose from the paper, put a couple of drops of the solvent on the side of an HOn3 model, pick up the decal with tweezers and set it on the spot. Then allow a tissue to wick up the excess by touching it to the edge of the decal. When dry spray with an aerosol of “dull-coat” lacquer. When the job was finished the decal looked like it was paint instead.

This ought to work on a larger scale on a yak and the lacquer should waterproof it. I don’t know where you might find the decal solvent in Ft. Collins. I used to get it at Caboose Hobbies in Denver.

Thanks all
But to be honest I dont plan on putting any on my kayak. I feel that it looks cleaner without them. But its cool, and I’ve been wondering forever. Thanks for the answers. And thanks for being nice. Im not used to that from many members of this forum, and thats why I took an adsence from posting here.

Pamlico, pnet is mainly patrolled
by old grumpy bastards that have been around for a while and are very opinionated (myself included).

They love to prey on newbies and rip them apart.

It is obvious that you are full of enthusiasm and since I did not see you posting here anymore I thought that your focus has shifter somewhere else now that the paddling season has come to and end (not for me though…).

Take it as character building when people are not as nice to you as you would expect.

Roll with the punches and in a few years you can be the one teaching others a fgew tricks of your own.

Keep up the paddling.


Could use the State stickers that RVers
use (but without the map). Mine are holding up very well on the RV and may use some on the noes for fun. Local “gift” :-)/paddle shops may have some you could use too.

Hey, Pam!
You’d be happy to know that when you’re NOT around they start asking each other where you are.


what did they say??

I do find some…

– Last Updated: Oct-08-08 2:00 AM EST –

I like them to be most specific if possible...

I do have a Canadian/American Friendship sticker and some other general ones.

More specific is the Turtle decal I have to commemorate the time I ran over a Turtle while kayaking up a creek or the oval PIB (Put In Bay) decal from South Bass Island Kayak Rendezvous.

(No turtles were actually harmed during the writing of this post...)