It’s a problem that many people have. How do you store (or transport) a kayak without damaging it or taking up too much space?

It might be tempting to spend the money on an expensive kayak rack. But you can also save money and build your own storage rack for your boat.

You can make one with basic 2×4 lumber, or just some wall-mounted J-Hooks. 

So, check out some of my favorite DIY kayak rack plans and choose one that’s best for your use case!

DIY Kayak Rack Clans

1: A Slat Wood Rack Outdoor Rack

It’s the classic DIY kayak storage solution. The idea is simple; you screw some boards to your garage wall, hang your kayaks on them via their handles, and you’re good to go!

For starters, as the kayaks are stored vertically, they will be taking up much more space than they would if stored horizontally.

In addition, many slat wood racks take up vertical space and additional horizontal space on the floor below it where your kayaks are being kept. It’s not the most space-efficient DIY kayak rack, but it could work if you have enough storage space for it in your garage.


  • Easy to build
  • Inexpensive material used ($10)
  • Storage solution that doesn’t require high maintenance or special equipment.


  • Vertical storage takes up more room than if they were stored horizontally.
  • Space below the kayaks needs to be sufficient, as well as the height of the garage.
  • If your kayaks touch together while being stored, it may cause scratches and/or dents over time.

2: The J hooks Car Canoe Rack

This type of DIY kayak storage rack is very popular with many DIYers. You just need to hang your kayaks on some J or S hooks, and they’re good to go!

Despite the simplicity of this solution, it can be somewhat more intricate than just screwing boards onto your garage wall. That’s because J hooks will require you to drill a hole on your kayak handle, where the hook can go through.

If you have very tall kayaks (>12′), this might not be a recommended solution as it would be protruding too far from the wall for them not to keep falling off.


  • Inexpensive material used (~$10)
  • Easy to build and install, no special equipment needed


  • Requires a hole to be drilled on each of your kayaks handles.
  • It’s not the best way out if your kayaks are tall (longer than 12′).

3: The Freestanding Ladder Rack Build

While this DIY kayak storage rack isn’t the simplest to make, it solves some of the other rack types’ problems. For starters, they can hold more than one kayak in a single slot which, as you can imagine, is a space saver.

If properly made and installed, they take up less room than other DIY kayak storage racks do.


  • Can hold multiple kayaks in a single slot.
  • Space efficient uses only the wall space it needs to without requiring additional horizontal space below them to store your kayaks.


  • Requires more material and know-how than other racks types.

4: The Corner Rack (also called “the cube rack”) Design

It is another popular DIY kayak rack type for people with enough storage space in their garage.

The idea behind it is elementary; you build a small box that doesn’t take up much vertical room and can hold one or two kayaks in each slot.

Unlike the previous ones we’ve talked about so far, it does not require any drilling to be done on your kayaks. This means that you won’t have to worry about your kayaks getting scratched or dented while being stored vertically in them.


  • Space efficient
  • Not as complicated or time-consuming to make as other DIY kayak racks are.
  • Doesn’t require any drilling on the kayaks, which means that you won’t have to worry about them getting scratched or dented while being stored vertically in them.


  • It may be hard to apply to the garage wall depending on your kayak’s weight.
  • It will require more material to build than other rack types do.

5: Simple Wall Placed Rack

It requires no drilling or cutting, which means that you won’t have to worry about any damage being done to your kayaks.

You get a space in your garage/basement that’s big enough to store all of your kayaks lying down. This might be harder to implement for people with larger boats or many boats, but it can easily hold 2 small kayaks in there.

As for the building part, this rack requires a bit more material to build than other kayak storage rack types do.


  • Doesn’t require any drilling or cutting on the kayaks, which protects them from damage.
  • Uses only the wall space it needs to without requiring additional horizontal space below them to store your kayaks on.
  • Doesn’t require much material to build.


  • It may be harder to implement for people with larger boats or many kayaks.

6: The Wall Mount Rack

It is a great space saver for storing your kayaks vertically in the wall, but that’s not all it’s suitable for.

This rack type is also well-known for being great at storing your kayaks away from dust and other contaminants, which means that it will keep them in better condition longer than if they were stored horizontally, for example.

You can certainly fit two or even three kayaks into a single slot in the wall as they only need as much vertical room as they need to lay flat on your garage/basement ceiling.


  • Space efficient
  • Easier to build than other DIY kayak rack types are.
  • Doesn’t require too much vertical room, so you can fit multiple kayaks in a single slot in the wall.


  • Can’t hold kayaks that are too long, or they’ll split your kayak in half.

7: The Free Standing Rack

It is superb if you have any kind of storage space at all in your garage/basement. You can put this rack type in any room that’s big enough to fit it in, which is very useful if you have a closed garage with only a few square meters of free space.

Your little vertical room and don’t require too much material when building them. Despite how much it can do for you, this rack type is straightforward to make as well.


  • Space effectual
  • Doesn’t require a lot of material when building them and takes up very little vertical room.
  • It can be built and used in almost any garage or basement with enough space for them.


  • They can store kayaks that are too long, but not as much as other rack types can.

8: The Kayak J Hooks

The modern take on the old-fashioned coat hanger rack, this DIY kayak storage rack uses metal hooks to store your kayaks vertically on the wall of your garage/basement.

These coat hanger hooks are easy to build and mount on your garage/basement wall. They require very little material when creating them but can be used to store your kayaks for years to come.

They also only take up very little space on the wall, which is good if you’re dealing with a tight hole. There are some downsides to this DIY kayak storage type, though.


  • It can be built and mounted in very little time with minimal material required (unlike most other rack types).
  • Each kayak only needs the vertical room that it would need to lay flat on your garage/basement ceiling.
  • They’ll last you for years if built well enough.


  • Can’t store kayaks that are too long, or they’ll split your boat in half when you try to take them off the rack.

9: The Floor Rack

This DIY kayak rack type is very similar to the wall mount type, except it’s designed for storing your kayaks on the floor of your garage/basement.

It is suitable for those with a lot of room in their garage/basement because it takes up a lot of horizontal space.

If you already have your kayaks stored on the floor, then this rack type is perfect for you because all you do is lay them down flat side by side, and they’re quickly stored until you need them again.


  • They’re effortless to build and can be put together in a few hours with minimal material needed.
  • Can store kayaks that are too long, but keep in mind that they’ll split them down the middle if you do.


  • They take up a lot of scope parallel and aren’t as space-efficient as other rack types.

10: The X Rack Type

It is very similar to the J hook rack type, only they’re meant to be mounted on top of a garage/basement door frame.

This DIY kayak storage type is different from many others in that it requires no mounting hardware at all when being built, which makes these types great for those who don’t have a lot of tools or costly tools to create a rack with.

It’s also great because it can fit kayaks of all sizes on them without being too dangerous to take off the wall.


  • It can be put up in less than an hour with no expensive tools or devices needed.
  • Space proficient for even the most diminutive garage/basement dwellers only requires the vertical space it takes to lay your kayak on its side against the wall.
  • Comes in two pieces, so you only need to build one to store your kayaks for years to come.


  • Can’t accommodate kayaks that are too long, splitting them down the middle if they’re put on this rack type.

11. Kayak Rack

Kayak Rack

View plans

12. Emergency Kayak Rack

Emergency Kayak Rack

View plans

13. Kayak Storage Rack

Kayak Storage Rack

View plans

14. Kayak Rack – Custom and Cheap

Kayak Rack - Custom and Cheap

View plans

15. How to Build a Kayak Rack

16. PVC Kayak Roof Rack/Carrier

PVC Kayak Roof Rack/Carrier

View plans

17. How to Make an Outdoor Kayak Storage Rack

How to Make an Outdoor Kayak Storage Rack

View plans

Building Guide

Kayak canoes are great for spending time on the water, but they can also be a pain. They inhabit a lot of space in your garage or shed, and you need someplace to store them when they’re not being used.

These kayak storage rack plans will show you how to build one that works perfectly for your needs. You can construct a rack out of wood or metal, depending on your preference. For this guide, we’ll be making a rack with wooden posts and cross beams.

There are lots of ways you build a kayak storage rack. You can put them in the garage or in the backyard, so you have to take the weather into account. You also need to account for how many kayaks you’ll be storing and the height at which you want them to hang.

Before we get started, let’s go over some essential tools that you’ll need:

  • Hammer
  • Saw (a circular saw is preferred)
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Drill with bits to drill pilot holes
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

Wooden kayak rack plans are relatively easy to build, but the type of wood you use will impact its strength. You can get creative with your design or follow this guide for suggestions.

The main thing you will need to decide upon is whether you want to make the posts permanently in the ground or if you want to be able to move them around for different uses. The choice is yours!

There are quite a few paybacks to storing kayaks on top of your vehicle instead. If you have rain gutters on the roof, this storage solution is ideal because it doesn’t require much space.

Do-it-yourself kayak racks are a great and quick way to store and display your kayaks, but which ones should you use? There are many different types of DIY wood kayak rack plans available online for purchase or download.


1. What are DIY wood kayak rack plans?

DIY wooden kayak rack plans and designs can be found online and in books (or you could create your own). They typically involve a large quantity of wood, screws, and nuts/bolts/washers.

2. Who might want to build their own kayak storage rack?

A DIY kayak storage rack can be a great storage solution for someone with a lot of kayaks or a large garage who doesn’t want to spend money on commercially produced racks.

Alternatively, it will help you save time and money spent going from store to store looking for the perfect kayak rack. You will have no trouble building your own if you have access to saws, drills, and nails/screws.

3. What kinds of materials are needed?

Depending on what kayak rack you build, you may need a few different types of wood (2x4s for the posts and plywood sheeting to make the base) or a lot more wood. There may be a need to attach a metal bracket to your garage wall, and screws/nails/washers/bolts will also likely be needed.

4. How much time does it take?

The time it takes to build a kayak rack depends on what kind of rack you are building and how many kayaks you plan to store.