Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get a little exercise, and explore new bodies of water. But what happens when you want to take your kayak with you on a road trip or to a new location? Carrying your kayak on top of your car can seem like a daunting task, but with the right equipment and know-how, it can be done safely and easily.
Step 1: Choose the Right Roof Rack
The first step in carrying your kayak on top of your car is to choose the right roof rack. A roof rack is essential for safely transporting your kayak, as it provides a secure base for the kayak to sit on during transport.
When choosing a roof rack, you’ll want to consider factors such as the size and weight of your kayak, as well as the type of vehicle you have. Some popular roof rack options include J-style racks, saddle racks, and stacker racks.
Step 2: Secure Your Kayak to the Roof Rack
Once you have chosen the right roof rack for your needs, it’s time to secure your kayak in place. Begin by placing the kayak onto the roof rack so that it sits securely in place.
Next, use straps or tie-downs to secure the kayak to the roof rack. Make sure that these straps are tightened securely and that there is no wiggle room or movement from the kayak during transit.
When securing your kayak to the roof rack, be sure not to over-tighten any straps or tie-downs. Over-tightening can cause damage to both your vehicle and your kayak.
Step 3: Protect Your Kayak During Transport
It’s important to protect your kayak during transport by using padding or other protective materials. This will help prevent scratches or damage from occurring during transit.
One popular option for protecting your kayak is to use foam blocks or pads. These can be placed on the roof rack to provide a soft cushion for the kayak to rest on.
Make sure that any padding or protective materials used do not interfere with the straps or tie-downs securing the kayak to the roof rack.
Step 4: Check Your Kayak During Transit
Once you have secured your kayak onto the roof rack and added any necessary padding, it’s important to check on it periodically during transit. This will help ensure that it remains secure and in good condition throughout your journey.
If you notice any movement or looseness in the straps or tie-downs, pull over and tighten them immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to transporting your kayak.
Step 5: Unload Your Kayak Safely
When you arrive at your destination, take care when unloading your kayak from the roof rack. Make sure that you have a secure grip on the kayak before lifting it down from the roof.
Once you have safely removed your kayak from the roof rack, be sure to store it properly until you are ready to use it again.
When storing your kayak, make sure that it is kept in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. This will help prevent damage and prolong its lifespan.
Carrying a kayak on top of your car may seem like a daunting task, but with the right equipment and proper know-how, it can be done safely and easily. Remember to choose the right roof rack for your needs, secure your kayak properly with straps or tie-downs, protect it during transit with padding or other protective materials, check on it periodically during transport, and unload it safely once you arrive at your destination.
By following these steps, you can enjoy the freedom and adventure that kayaking has to offer, no matter where your travels may take you.