DIY Kayak Outriggers Guide

diy kayak outrigger

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Learning how to keep your vessel stable is one of the essential skills every kayak enthusiast will find incredibly beneficial when paddling. If you know how to stabilize your canoe by installing a kayak outrigger, for instance, you will give yourself additional options for more fun, kayak fishing, or any other activity where you require additional stability. In this DIY kayak outrigger guide, you will learn how a kayak outrigger works, why you need it when to use it, and how you can benefit from it.

What are Kayak Outriggers?

A kayak outrigger makes your vessel more stable, enabling you to move more freely in the kayak without losing balance. That means that you can easily stand up in a kayak, and it’ll not tip over or capsize.

Why Use Outriggers?


Kayak outriggers can assist you in stabilizing your kayak on the waters, by acting as an extension to your vessel’s width. They attach to your kayak providing cylindrical floats and a crossbar that assist in distributing the weight across a large surface area. Just like training wheels on a bike, outriggers can help you prevent your kayak from capsizing. They might also be beneficial in providing the additional stability that you require if you would like to add sails or when you are fishing.

Open Waters

You may discover that canoe outriggers can be convenient for kayaking in open waters since they help you feel more stable in windy or rough conditions. Some people feel pretty unstable in a kayak, even in favorable weather conditions, so having canoe outriggers attached to your vessel can help you feel safer.

How Does a Kayak Outrigger Work?

In essence, outriggers work as extra floats on the two sides of your vessel. Most of the kayak outriggers come in cylindrical shapes and are then attached to poles, and later added to the sides of your kayak. If you have a fishing kayak, they might be installed close to the rear end sometimes, to prevent it from bothering you when you cast or while you move. By providing the additional width to your vessel, it’s pretty easy to know that the longer the poles holding your canoe outriggers are, the greater the buoyancy, and as a result, your vessel will become steadier.

Are Outriggers Stable For Kayak Fishing?

Once you add some outriggers to your fishing vessel, you will be increasing the kayak’s buoyancy and extending its width. That means that even if you’ve got a canoe that has more speed and low stability, you can still get additional stability by utilizing outriggers. Kayak outriggers can assist you in converting a narrow canoe into a stable kayak that you can stand up in.

Since an outrigger can mean less speed due to the additional contact with the waters, you can raise the outriggers when they are not in use. That means you can still benefit from a narrow kayak’s speed and lower your outriggers to get the stability you require when fishing on deep waters.

How To Install a Kayak Outrigger

Installing outriggers is pretty simple if you follow this DIY kayak stabilizer guide.To attach a kayak outrigger, you will need the following items:

  • Two 1 inch 45-degree pipes
  • Two 1 inch 90-degree pipes
  • PVC pipe connector
  • Two Floats
  • Two ¾ inch PVC pipes
  • ¾ inch – to – 1-inch adaptor
  • Connecting couplings, screws, and nuts

Step One: Attach the Pipes

You should start by adding some coupling to the base of one of the 90-degrees pipes and then add the second pipe slightly on top of the first one. Put that pipe into a rod holder. The rod will assist in strengthening the single pipe, which helps prevent it from stretching too much on the waters. You can also attach the PVC pipes to the gunwales avoiding the support of the rod.

Step Two: Add The Second Pipes

In this step, we are going to connect the pipes. Add one of the 45-degree pipes to the end of one of the 90-degree pipes to get an adjustable stabilizer that you can easily move to enjoy better stability. Link and secure the PVC pipe connector to one of the ends of the 45-degree pipes, and then finish with gluing the ¾ inch – to – 1-inch adaptor which will allow you add the ¾-inch PVC pipe.

Since the ¾ inch PVC pipes are attached to the end of your existing pipes, they will be parallel with your kayak, which means that you will have two pipes extending from either end of the connectors.

Step Three: Add Your Floats

After installing the ¾ inch pipe, all you will have to do is to attach your preferred floats. Most of the floats come with ¾-inch holes so that should not be a problem. The floats should slot over the ¾ inch pipe, and you should secure all of them using water-resistant glue. Repeat the same on the other face of your kayak, and you will have your canoe stabilizer ready to hit the waters in no time.

Although this method is the simplest, this might not be the only technique for installing a DIY outrigger. You will probably discover that you can alter some of the steps to customize to your kayak if you would like to use items that are readily available at home.

Generally, anything that’ll keep your vessel stable and increase buoyancy will do the trick. Many outriggers include some PVC pipes, but if you have other ideas of your own that can work effectively, you should try them out.


Learning how to fix a kayak outrigger is important, especially if you are planning to change between several activities. It is pretty easy, doesn’t take a lot of time, and that way you will be able to utilize your canoe basically for any kayak venture you can think of including white water kayaking, ocean kayaking, and fishing.

Because you know how to make outriggers for your canoe, the next time you hit the waters in your kayak, you and your fellow paddlers might feel more at ease and a little safer knowing it is not going to tip over. It’s always crucial to feel safe on the waters, so we hope that this guide will help you make your kayak adventures more fun and safer.

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