How to Transport a Kayak Safely-5 Effective Tips from KAYAKERS

How to Transport a Kayak

Did you ever transport a kayak all by yourself? You might’ve gotten one at the store and then they delivered it to your house using a big truck, or you might have ordered one through Amazon and got it delivered right in front of your home where you didn’t even need to lift a finger when it came to its transportation.

However, you are now in doubt about how to transport a kayak as you have an upcoming kayak trip with your friends, and you desperately need to transport your kayak. Well, I’m here to relieve you of all your worries as we will now go through all the possible ways on how to transport a kayak as all you need to do is just follow me.

If you feel more interested in learning about kayak storage, we suggest reading our article on How to store a kayak in a garage.

Tips on Kayak Transport preparation:

Foam Pads:

Not all cars have the same type of racks up top for transportation, as some are hard in nature while some are soft to ensure that your items are in good condition. If your car has a hard rack for storing, don’t be afraid as there’s a solution to that method because if you put a kayak on the hard rack, it will get dents on it and might damage itself while you are driving and not noticing.

To make sure that it does not happen, you can always put some foam pads on your hard rack and make sure that there are soft spots on the rack. It will also increase the amount of friction that is produced,, which will help the kayak to stay in its place and not move around. This way, it won’t be damaged, and you can enjoy it in its best condition.

Strap for tying down:

When you are going out for playing football, cricket, tennis, baseball or any kind of sports activity, you will make sure to tightly tie up your shoe laces so that your shoes don’t randomly fly off your feet and to make sure that you have a proper grip. Similar to that situation, we need to make sure that our kayak is tightly locked onto the rack so that it doesn’t wiggle much or doesn’t fall off the vehicle in the middle of the journey.

Moreover, to make sure that your kayak doesn’t fall off, we need to make sure that it is strapped on to the rack very tightly by using very powerful and strong straps and ropes. However, make sure that it isn’t strapped on too hard as that will cause damage to your kayak, and we need to avoid that. Try to strap it in as much as possible but don’t overdo it.

Before you load it onto your vehicle, here’s a list of things you need to avoid ensuring that everything goes smoothly and perfectly.

Getting strong and brand new ropes:

Before you strap in your kayak, you must get a new and strong rope because if you use either cheap or old rope, you are at risk of destroying it. How? By using cheap or old rope, they aren’t that strong and while you are driving your car, it might get loose and fall down from your vehicle which will lead to it either being shattered into pieces or being heavily damaged which is beyond usage. Therefore, always get the new and strong rope, since it’s better to be safe than sorry.

No crossbars on top of tall cars:

Cars come in different shapes and sizes as some might be wide whereas some might be narrow some might be short and some might be tall in general height. Suppose you want to put crossbars on your small car. In that case, that’s a viable option but never put any kind of crossbars on any kind of tall car as putting up crossbars and then fitting a kayak up there is a huge mistake since it will add in more height which might lead to it getting hit onto low bridges, low signboards and anything that is at a lower height. This will damage both your kayak and the property that it hit on.

Leaving your kayak once you’ve reached your destination:

When have finally reached the beach after successfully transporting your kayak with you, you might be relieved and start with the activities on your to-do list while the kayak is resting on your car. However, it will soon disappear if you don’t notice. How?

Once you leave your kayak all alone on your car, thieves will lurk around waiting for you to leave and go further so that they can easily steal it and run away with it. So, to prevent such operations from taking place, you need to ensure that it is strapped in very tightly with the help of powerful ropes and don’t wander off too far from it. We don’t want our precious kayak to be stolen just like that.

Tips on choosing the right transport for kayak transportation

Using an SUV:

SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle, and they tend to be pretty big in size when compared to normal cars. Bigger means that it can take in objects that are big in size and won’t have any problem in carrying them. However, sometimes a kayak might be much bigger and unable to fit inside the SUV, and there’s another solution to that problem.

Almost every single SUV that has ever been created comes with a luggage rack up top where you can store your luggage when you decide to visit another state or even go camping. The luggage rack is a real life-saver since it is located on the rooftop of your car where there are no boundaries or wall to suppress the amount of luggage you keep on it but instead it is the total mass that suppresses it since loading way too many heavy luggage might cause damages to your car and slow down your car.

Before loading the kayak on to your SUV’s luggage rack, make sure that the luggage rack is in proper condition and that all the all the screws are tightly screwed in and that it isn’t loose or damaged in any sort of way.

Kayaks are not that heavy when compared to luggage, so you don’t need to worry about it causing any damages to your car. Apart from the luggage rack, some SUVs come with already prepared cross bars and those are specifically made to store kayak while transporting it.

To help you recognize it, they are 2 very long bars that are very thin and smooth, which is created by using a plastic composite type of substance. Before strapping your kayak onto the crossbars, make sure that it can handle the kayak’s weight, and always make sure that the crossbars are tightly screwed in so that they aren’t loose in any way because we don’t want loose crossbars and it might drop your kayak on the road in the middle of the journey, and it can destroy your kayak completely.

Therefore, to avoid such disasters, make sure to check all the spots and then safely and slowly strap your kayak onto your SUV’s crossbars.

Using a pick-up truck:

This is probably one of the simplest and the easiest solution as it requires no additional kind of luggage rack and crossbars. Pick-up trucks have a large storage space on their back where you can just dump anything you want and take it anywhere you want. However, you can’t just drop something that’s very heavy and expect the pick-up truck to just easily take it somewhere else as the items have to be in a reasonable mass and size for it to be transported.

You might think that a kayak is probably too big or too heavy to be carried by a pick-up truck but that’s just pessimistic thinking. Your kayak only weighs between ten and fifty kilograms and is probably between 6ft to 16ft, and these numbers aren’t that much for a pick-up truck.

Compared to all kinds of transportation methods, transporting your kayak by using a pick-up truck is probably the safest option since you won’t need to worry about your kayak being damaged or have dents in your kayak. Just make sure that you tie in your kayak before heading towards your destination as a precautionary method.

Sometimes your journey might be a lot longer than it was supposed to be and in such cases, you will need just one crossbar. What will you do with the crossbar? Simple as you can just attach it on top of your truck, put your kayak there safely, and then use the back space to sleep or keep your goods.

However, the only downfall to that method is that by adding a crossbar and putting your kayak up there makes your pick-up truck even taller which might unbalance the pick-up truck and sometimes might even hit low spots such as drive-thru ins, low bridges, low signboards, etc.

Now that we have discussed on the possible vehicles that can carry your kayak without ease, we also did discuss few methods on transporting your kayak elsewhere such as crossbars and luggage racks but there several more ways on how to transport your kayak easily. Let us go ahead and discuss the rest of the methods without any further ado.


To wrap things up, kayaking is a very beautiful experience thu need to do at least once in a lifetime. To be able to go kayaking, you need to own a kayak and safely take it to the beach and then start your kayaking journey. Since you have read the points that are mentioned above, I guarantee that you won’t have any problems about kayak transportation.

Always make sure that it is in position and properly strapped in and if you feel a bit paranoid, then you can stop every 30 minutes and check up on your kayak to make sure that everything is okay. Also, don’t drive your car too fast since you will be carrying precious cargo. I hope that this piece of the article was able helpful in determining how to transport a kayak. If you have any other questions about it, then you can refer to our other articles which might help you.

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