Kayak Transporting Techniques

Kayak Transporting Techniques
Enjoy the outdoors by kayaking. You can paddle around a lake, through ocean waters and down rivers. To do any of those activities it's likely you are going to need a way to get your kayak to the landing and back. Several options are available for transporting kayaks of all sizes and shapes. Most depend on the type of vehicle you are driving and what style of kayak you are paddling.

Behind a Bike

Pulling your kayak behind your bike may be the most environmentally friendly way to transport your kayak. Several companies produce trailers specifically designed for towing your kayak or canoe behind a bike. This method is excellent if your starting point is not far from the water or for spotting your kayak when you only have one car available.

On a Car

A variety of rack styles are available from different manufacturers that allow you to carry your kayak on top of your car. Some have rollers on the rear support that are designed to help you load a long sea kayak more easily and others have space in mind, with designs that allow for many kayaks to be loaded on a single car roof.

Many high-end kayaks are made with fragile composite material. Specialized racks, equipped with extra padding and a J-shaped cradle design, are good choices for these lightweight boats as well as general use plastic kayaks, according to Tim Farmer of Canoe and Kayak Magazine.

On a Truck

If you are paddling two or three short kayaks, you may fit them securely into the bed of your pickup truck. If this is the case you can further secure the boats with rope, bungee cord or straps. If your kayak is too long or you have too many to fit into the bed safely, several rack options are still open to you.

Some models feature cross bars that attach to the bed rails and can be fitted with a number of conventional rack options, many of which are designed for car roof systems. These systems work well for mid-size kayaks. Longer kayaks can be difficult to fit behind the truck's cab without extending precariously over the rear end of the bed.

Many racks designed for trucks feature four posts with corresponding crossbars that are slightly taller than the height of the cab, allowing the kayak to extend over the cab roof, rather than behind the truck bed.

On a Trailer

A kayak trailer is often the most convenient technique for transporting kayaks to and from the water. Trailers come in a variety of sizes, accommodating any number of kayaks depending on the design. What trailer you use will largely depend on the towing capacity of your vehicle as well as the maximum number of kayaks you expect you may ever need to transport. A trailer can also reduce the number of cars you have to take on a trip. If the trailer is large enough to accommodate all the kayaks needed for the trip, an extra car or truck won't be necessary to transport them, saving on fuel and greatly simplifying the car spotting process.

Article Written By Jim Jansen

Jim Jansen has been writing articles since 2005 and has been featured in publications such as "The River Watch," and also contributes to Trails.com and LIVESTRONG.COM. He has a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Michigan State University. Jansen specializes in outdoor recreation and environmental topics.

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