How To Carry A Kayak?

Carry a kayak

How to carry a kayak? There are numerous ways to carry a kayak if you want to take it somewhere far away. Using the hold loops and toggles in the front and back of a kayak, two people can lift the kayak. One person should stoop to their knees, and the other should be able to communicate while carrying the kayaks.

You must develop secure carrying techniques if you intend to transport a kayak. It would help if you used the correct lifting techniques because kayaks are heavy. Dragging, lifting, and using a roof rack… are the several options you have for doing this. To carry your kayak safely and prevent accidents, use the proper technique.

How To Carry A Kayak?

How should kayaks be transported? Securely mounting a kayak to your car’s roof rack is the best and safest way to transport one. If you don’t have or don’t want to install a roof rack, there are other options, such as: in the bed of a truck, on a trailer, or behind a bike. A kayak that isn’t securely fastened can seriously harm your car, your kayak, and other drivers.

Therefore, you must consider what approach is ideal for you in advance. Consider the various approaches carefully to comprehend kayak shipping alternatives better. Many solutions are available to suit your specific requirements, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best-suited kayak-packing solutions below.

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The Most Common Ways To Carry A Kayak

Paddle aid with pneumatics

Pneumatic assistance may greatly aid in lifting a kayak into your car, but it’s crucial to secure it properly. An excessively tight or too slack strap could harm the vehicle’s top or the kayak’s hull. The ideal belt is simple to adjust and easy to read.

A trolley that attaches to the back of your kayak can provide pneumatic support when carrying a kayak. It boasts sturdy metal arms and a twelve-foot tie-down strap. Before getting out of the car, it’s easier to load the kayak and offers more storage.

Plan your journey so that you may stop for breaks along the route. For carrying a kayak, pneumatic support lessens the stress on your back and knees so that you may enjoy the action. It’s critical to remember that kayaking is not a competition – you can break up the route into segments and take breaks.

Pneumatic support is a vital piece of gear for kayaking. Use the proper adapters to secure the kayak when using them. For instance, the Intex Explorer K2 kayak has three distinct valves. After that, you must squeeze them together to release the floor.

A Kayak Carry Strap is Used

Wrap the rope around the bars on either side of the kayak, insert the buckle, tighten, and knot off any extra ends. Cam straps automatically fasten and are simple to untie. There is never enough room for cam straps. No one knows where they wind up except the sporadic appearance in a friend’s vehicle. Cam straps are like socks – you never know where they will end up.


When hauling a kayak to and from the sea, a skid plate or keel guard can assist in safeguarding the keel. If you have a plastic boat, you may shuffle your kayak out to the water – grip the bow handle and pull the boat. Using a traditional wooden kayak, you should only do this on grass or sand.

Placing a kayak on a roof rack

A roof rack is handy for hauling a kayak when moving it about. It doesn’t significantly increase the height of your car, and it features a folding mechanism that keeps your kayak safe. Your kayak will be safe and secure as you drive, thanks to the simple and rapid installation technique. The preferable choice is a kayak trailer, but these can be very expensive.

You can also make your roof rack if you don’t want to buy one. You must first secure the kayak straps before you can correctly install your kayak rack. It is advised to use an Allen wrench, and the straps ought to be fastened to the frame. Once they are set up, you can start putting your kayaks on the rack – make sure the straps are tightly tightened.

Use a roof rack with straps to stop your kayak from slipping off the roof. It would help if you utilized straps that can be manually tightened and adjustable. Try daisy chaining your belts to prevent the extra length from flapping in the breeze. Your kayak straps will last longer if you do this. You will need to invest in a roof rack if you want to take your kayak out on the water. A roof rack protects the kayak from wind and water damage and makes moving it much more manageable.

Stacker and J cradle

Towers are unnecessary because J-shaped cradle arms attach to factory roof racks. The J cradle creates additional storage space on the roof by holding the boat on its side. Grab the cockpit’s front with one hand and the back with the other while bending your knees to raise the kayak onto your thighs. The kayak should be placed on the cradles after being lifted over your head and supported by one knee.

Once it’s in the cradle, all that’s left to do is secure it. Kayak stackers are typically employed primarily for whitewater kayaks. They can also stack boats up against each other on their sides. Ask a friend for assistance, or look at some of the creative suggestions below if you cannot lift your kayak above your head to put the boats onto the stackers.

Using the car to haul kayaks

The ideal approach is to locate a car with a broad enough cargo area that can easily fit the kayak. Most of its weight will be unsupported if it is longer than half the length of the vehicle. Remember that many states, counties, and local governments have safe towing laws. Some may mandate you to use flags with vivid colors.

It will be possible for you to transport your kayaks securely and safely if you choose a car with a roof rack. You may either install a detachable roof rack or buy roof racks made especially for the vehicle you own. You can load the kayak more easily using J-style carriers or an optional roof rack mount.

A roof rack is the most practical way to transport a kayak with a vehicle. The kayak can be mounted on top of your car using a crossbar on the roof or towed behind by a trailer. Ensure the kayak is parallel to the roof rack before lifting it onto it.

Moreover, for enthusiasts of kayaking, the transportation of their prized vessels often presents a challenge. Enter the realm of specialized kayak trailers, a solution that marries both convenience and functionality. These aren’t mere attachments but carefully crafted devices designed with the kayaker’s specific needs in mind.

Forget the cumbersome task of hoisting a kayak onto a car’s roof; these trailers allow for the effortless loading of one or even multiple kayaks. With a plethora of options tailored to various preferences and requirements, selecting the  best trailer for kayaks isn’t just a matter of convenience; it’s a choice that elevates the entire kayaking adventure, transforming what used to be a taxing chore into an integral part of the enjoyable experience.

Lifting a kayak on your own

You must know the proper procedure to lift a kayak, especially for a beginner. To accomplish it correctly, turn the kayak around so that the right side faces up and grasp the seating area with one arm. After then, sag backward to maintain equilibrium and set the end on a cushion or a car rack.

Make sure you’re squatting with the interior of the inflatable kayak facing you if you’re using one. Injuries to your back might occur when you lift while rotating your torso and shifting your footing as well as your footing.

A Thule outrigger is a helpful instrument that can be lifted onto your rack when ready. The kayak can then be slid into the carrier after the bar extensions have been slid back into the bars.

A wheelbarrow can also lift a kayak, but it requires two workers. This method is quicker and safer than using one person to carry the kayak. You may roll the wheelbarrow to the desired area by attaching it to one end of your kayak.

Kayak yoke

A yoke is a piece of wood with a notch cut out for your neck that sits across the back of your shoulders when carrying a boat. Portaging can be to your liking if you enjoy suffering and heartbreak along with your kayaking excursion.

You may lift your kayak onto your shoulders and carry it in whatever direction you choose after fastening a yoke to the cockpit. You must use a kayak yoke if you plan to portage. Without it, you risk losing time, getting hurt, and spiritually deteriorating quickly.

The use of a truck bed

Using a kayak tie-down system is one of the most practical ways to transport your kayak in a truck. The bottom and middle of the bed walls of the majority of lorries contain tie-down loops. An additional choice is to utilize an extend-a-truck system, which includes a rack that extends vertically below the tailgate. These devices are affordable and safe.

A rubber mat is also advised because it will safeguard the kayak’s bed lining and prevent damage. You can get a truck bed mat to shield the bed of your vehicle from harm. Make sure to take off the tonneau cover and any other heavy attachments before loading your kayak into the truck bed.

A kayak longer than eight feet will not fit in a truck bed less than eight-feet long. Expansions cost from $50 to $200, depending on the length of the kayak. Find a sturdy area and fasten the straps there first. Make sure there are no loose ends and that you have secured both ends.

Carrying a kayak with a trolley

Move your kayak from one place to another on a trolley – the most practical way to move it. When loading or unloading, a cart can be kept from moving by fastening with a foam cushion. A trolley can also stabilize your kayak, stopping it from toppling.

A cart with adjustable width is one you should seek when buying one to transport a kayak. A center-loading coach can support the entire kayak’s weight and your stuff. A taildragger cart may be more comfortable to pull and easier to handle on uneven ground.

Specific variants can fit kayaks up to 10 inches wide, even stand-up paddle boards. Choosing a cart constructed of corrosion-resistant materials is essential as well. Steel is prone to corrosion, especially when it is in contact with saltwater.

Look for a trolley with straps so you can secure a kayak in it. This will aid in stabilizing the kayak and stop it from toppling over. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the maker of the cart’s recommendations must be followed to ensure the kayaks are safely fastened.

A good kayak cart should be light and spacious enough to accommodate your kayak. The tires should be fully inflated and in good shape. It can be used to store a kayak so you can use it while you’re not on the water and transport it.

Pedaling a kayak while doing so

It cannot be easy, but it can also be exhilarating to transport a kayak while riding a bicycle. It’s crucial to be able to lock your kayak and bicycle, whether you’re going on a short camping vacation or a day trip to the beach. There are various options for securing your gear and bike.

The bow of a kayak is the bar protruding from the seat stem of your bicycle. Raising the bow about 12 inches off the ground will allow you to fasten it securely. Roof racks can be fitted with crossbars for a more secure setup. A loud cycling alarm and locking tie-down straps can all be used to secure the kayak to the roof.

Towing a kayak with a dumb stick

A Dumb Stick is a practical tool that makes towing a kayak behind your bike simple. The stick extends from the back of your bicycle and is clamped to the kayak. It is composed of dependable aluminum and only weighs 3 pounds. A dumb post is generally utilized when portaging kayaks because dragging them by hand can be dangerous.

This dumb stick is strong enough to transport a 110-pound kayak and easy to attach to a bicycle. The average length is 36 inches, though it also comes in other sizes. This model has a clip that prevents it from rotating, and the extra-large version has tracking abilities.

A kayak can be transported with a Dumb Stick cart. This adapter attaches to the seat post of your bicycle and can be adjusted to fit different boat sizes. It is an excellent technique to move a kayak and bike around without risking damage to the cyclist’s seat post.

Read more: Will a kayak fit inside my car?


A kayak can provide access to a vast network of uncharted waters, but getting the boat to the adventure is a problem for many. Any paddler, whether novice or expert, should be able to transport their kayak securely and effectively. But getting started can be a little intimidating, so we’ve put together a guide on how to get started.

Even the smallest kayak can be over 2 meters in length, and a wide variety of designs and sizes are available for them. You’ll need to consider many things, from equipment to how you’ll get your boat and car ready for transfer.

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