Why Do Kayaks Have Styrofoam?

Why do kayaks have styrofoam? It’s a damn good question.

Is kayak styrofoam packing material that I should remove? Or is the styrofoam kind of like those annoying wads of paper they put in shoes when you try them on? You know what I am talking about.

Actually no. Styrofoam is an essential part of a kayak and serves a much greater purpose than you might think.

This blog post will discuss the benefits of kayak styrofoam and why it is such an essential part of the boat.

Why Does My Kayak Have Styrofoam?

You may notice that some kayaks have styrofoam bolted inside your vessel. Styrofoam is a cheap, lightweight material with excellent buoyancy properties, making it ideal for kayak use. Manufacturers can ensure that their boats will float using styrofoam to construct kayaks. Without styrofoam, a kayak would be much more susceptible to sinking if it fills with water.

Styrofoam Keeps Your Kayak Floating

When you’re out on the water in your kayak, you want to be able to relax and enjoy the scenery. The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your kayak is going to stay afloat.

Thankfully, styrofoam can help to keep your kayak floating. If you’re a larger person, the kayak styrofoam provides extra buoyancy to keep you afloat if the boat takes on water.

If you are on the smaller side, styrofoam helps keep the kayak floating in rough paddling conditions, even if a wave breaks over the bow or catches you off guard.

The styrofoam helps to provide extra buoyancy, which means you can paddle around with confidence, knowing that your kayak won’t sink to the bottom of the lake.

If you do happen to capsize, the styrofoam will help to keep you afloat until you can get back into your kayak or drag it to shore.

So, that pesky styrofoam essentially keeps your kayak from sinking to the bottom if water gets into it.

Should I Remove The Styrofoam From My Kayak?

No! Don’t remove the styrofoam from a kayak. It’s there for a reason.

The styrofoam is a critical part of the kayak and serves an important purpose.

If you remove the styrofoam, your kayak will be much more susceptible to sinking. The styrofoam helps to provide extra buoyancy and keeps your kayak floating in rough conditions.

So no, don’t remove the styrofoam from your kayak.

What If The Styrofoam Has Already Been Removed From My Kayak?

Chances are you will be okay if you paddle in calm conditions, but…

If the styrofoam has already been removed from your kayak, you can try to replace it. You can purchase foam slabs or use a plastic trash bag filled with canned foam from a local hardware store.

Replacing the styrofoam is not always possible, and you might be okay with light use, but if the kayak is supposed to have foam in it, it’s best to make sure it has foam in it.

Styrofoam Helps Maintain The Integrity Of The Kayak

Believe it or not, the styrofoam in your kayak is there for a purpose. The truth is that many kayaks are made of plastic, which can easily be damaged or bent.

Styrofoam helps to reinforce the plastic, making it less likely to be damaged while in the water or during transport. In addition, styrofoam provides additional buoyancy, which can be helpful if you capsize.

So next time you’re out on the water, take a moment to appreciate the humble styrofoam – it’s doing its best to keep you safe and afloat 🙂

Float Bags

The last thing you want is for your boat to fill up with water. It’s challenging to paddle when your kayak is half-full of water.

That’s where float bags come in. By filling up the space in your kayak with air, float bags can significantly reduce the amount of water you will have to drain or pump out.

In addition, they can provide extra buoyancy in case of a capsized kayak, making it easier to right yourself and get back on dry land.

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a beginner, float bags are a valuable piece of safety gear.


Kayaks have styrofoam because it is a cheap, lightweight material that helps keep your boat from sinking to the bottom of the lake, river, or wherever you are paddling.

The styrofoam helps keep the kayak floating in rough paddling conditions and can even help you stay afloat if you capsize.

Remember that styrofoam is essential to the kayak and should not be removed.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.