A keel strip is strip sacrificial abrasion resistant tape along the length the hull. Unless you know you’re going to work your boat really hard (with heavy beach landings and other abrasive activities) we don’t normally recommend having a keep strip on a new boat as the hull will take a small performance hit. We suggest you use your boat as it comes and add a keel strip after the kayak has seen some use. For peace of mind, we always add sacrificial wear layers as part of the boat’s construction to protect the most vulnerable areas of your kayaks, especially at the ends, so there is some protection built in as standard.
If you think you do need a keel strip, then consider an internal keep strip first. With this process we add a strip of sacrificial material behind the gelcoat to give the entire keel extra abrasion resistance without negatively affecting the hull performance. This strip can be turned into a patch to cover the entire flat of the hull if needed too. So, if you see you have worn through the coloured gelcoat layer, you can rest assured you’ve not done any lasting damage. A simple gelcoat repair will bring the boat’s structure back to new.