How to Transport a Kayak

Are you fond of kayaks and possess one, or have you borrowed a kayak from someone? It becomes difficult to transport a kayak unless there is a proper water body to move it. However, you still need to move kayaks in many different situations like-you are shifting from one place to another, you bought it from a store, you have borrowed it from your friend or relative, etc. Learn ‘how to transport a kayak’ and especially ‘how to transport a kayak safely’, to ensure the safety of your kayak.

Transporting a kayak without proper equipment is a bad idea. It will not only harm your kayak, but also injure the ones who are transporting it.

How to transport a kayak?

  • Choose a proper vehicle to move your kayak. If you have to travel a long distance, buy a roof rack system. This is useful because if you keep the kayak on the top of your vehicle, the roof rack mounts your kayak on the top of the vehicle. This makes it easy to move.
  • Rack systems come in numerous styles and varieties. They have options like rollers, locking systems and lifting systems. The price of roof racks range from $100 to $1000. Using this, you can easily mount your kayak and get moving.
  • If your budget is a bit low, you can opt for a ‘removable-foam cartop system’. It is priced around $30. In this case, buy a package of two foam blocks and a fastening straps set.
  • Next step will be, tie the kayak to the foam block. Place it on the top of your car, place another foam block over it and using the second strap, tie the kayak to the car.
  • Usually with this foam block, you get a kit with another strap that will save the back end or front of the bumper & the fender, for added security.
  • If you are still low on budget, you can use your skills. Use foam pool noodle and straps, or ropes and make your own mechanism. It is similar to the cartop system.
  • Cut a 2-foot long piece from the foam noodle. From the center of this piece, cut a slit in length. On the sides of the cockpit of your kayak, fit each of the two pieces.
  • Now place the boat on your vehicle. Place it upside down on the roof of the vehicle and fasten the ropes to secure it.
  • Prior to moving the kayak, first practice once. Try out to see if you can easily move a kayak. Some kayaks are 15 feet long, and if you are alone make sure that you can lift the kayak to place it on the roof of your car.
  • Once you have placed the kayak on the top of the roof and fastened it, check whether it moves. If it moves easily, then tighten the straps or ropes so that the kayak does not move.
  • You also need to check whether you can unload the kayak. Release the ropes only from one side. Now slowly move the kayak to the back side of the vehicle. Place one hand in the cockpit rim and get it down slowly. Take care that the kayak does not hit the mirrors of your vehicle.
  • If you find the kayak too heavy, take help from someone to unload it.
  • Once you have unloaded it, remove the straps or ropes and the foam.

Transporting a kayak is not a tough job but it isn’t that simple as well. You need to be careful so that it does not hurt you, neither does it damage the vehicle. Some precautions, alertness and activeness, will help you transport the kayak easily and safely.


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