Kayaking is one of the best ways to have fun out on the water. However, it’s not always easy to transport a kayak by yourself. Luckily, there are tools and techniques to help make this process a breeze. Whether brand new to kayaking or a seasoned expert, learning the best strategies for transporting kayaks is a quick way to make your life way easier. So let’s dive into it!
Step 1: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Having two people share the load is always a good idea especially when you need to lift the kayak overhead to put it on a car. Just have both parties hold a handle and lift, it’s as simple as that. But what if you’re a solo traveler?
We get it – sometimes you have to do things alone, purely out of necessity. If you’re strong enough to handle your kayak without help, kudos to you! Just put it on your shoulder and bring it to the water. But if there are people around you willing to give you a hand, don’t be too proud to accept their assistance. Who knows, you might make a new friend.
Step 2: How to Carry a Kayak & Get it to the Water
The next step in your kayaking adventure is getting your watercraft to the water. For most, this involves attaching your kayak to the roof of your vehicle. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do this. Popular choices include:
These handy after-market systems have bars and feet, or adapters, that connect to your car. You can use these bars alone or as the basis for more kayak carriers. This is generally the safest and most secure method for transporting kayaks with your car. Brands most people trust include Thule and Yakima.
Many cars come with an OEM bar installed that can carry your kayak or (better yet) work with most kayak carriers. This usually looks like a flat oblong bar. However, this option alone may not be the best long-term solution. Sometimes factory racks are not as strong as after-market roof rack systems. It may not be a viable solution if you plan on carrying multiple kayaks or even one large kayak.
DIY Pool Noodles & Blocks of Foam
This is a very iffy option. It’s cheap and DIY, but it’s just a step or two up from duct-taping your kayak to your car. It may work out for you, but it’s a big maybe that pushes safety to its limits. Plus, it takes longer in most cases, is less convenient, and less safe. This is not an option we’d recommend.
This is a smart and dependable option, especially if you’re transporting multiple kayaks at once. However, it can be relatively expensive and inconvenient if you only have one or two kayaks. In that case, a kayak roof rack system is probably your best bet. But 3+ kayaks; trailer, all the way.
Hauling kayaks around with your car is something you want to go about wisely. You really won’t be happy if your vehicle (or someone else’s) gets ruined because of a costly error. Here are some precautions that will help you stay safe.
1- First, use a cockpit cover to hold your kayak in place and keep debris from hitting it.
2 – Second, consider attaching a red flag to the back of your kayak to alert other drivers to the part that is hanging over the edge of your car.
3 – Third, always check your straps to prevent slips.
Next up, let’s talk about transporting your kayaks with your boat.
Step 3: How to Transport a Kayak on Your Boat
Transporting kayaks on your car is great, but there are times when you need more options. You may want the freedom to transport your kayaks to an island or to fish in a no-motor zone. Whether you own a boat, rent one, or ride on a friend’s boat, taking your kayak out on the trip is a great way to enhance your boating day. You can start your adventure from wherever you anchor. It’s a great way to explore new areas and bring an exciting new element to your kayaking adventures.
Unfortunately, many make the mistake of loading a kayak straight onto the floor of a boat. This solution can be costly in many ways.
- First, it’s dangerous. If the kayak slides around as the boat cruises, you’ve got a risky tripping hazard that could injure you and your passengers.
- Second, it can damage the boat. You don’t want a big, heavy piece of equipment slipping and sliding back and forth on the expensive deck of any boat.
- Third, it’s not good for your kayak. A kayak is a costly investment that you want to enjoy for a long time. Keep it in good condition for longer by storing it properly on your boat.
Manta Racks were designed to fulfill this exact purpose. We’ve created a simple but sophisticated system that secures your kayak to your boat. The Kayak Rack L2K system carries 1 Kayak up to 11” wide. This sleek setup features:
- EVA foam to protect and cushion your kayak
- A rotating and locking system to keep the racks parallel with your gunwale
- Salt-sealed, powder-coated aluminum
- Stainless steel hardware & starboard
The best part? There’s nothing to install. Manta Racks slide conveniently into the existing rod holders on your boat. When you’re not using them, you can use them to store your Manta Racks and kayak with our special Dock/Wall Mounts. It has never been easier to keep your beloved kayaks and other watercraft organized and safe.
Transport Kayaks With Confidence
Transporting kayaks should never be a headache. With the right equipment, you can use your car or boat to bring your kayak wherever you’d like to adventure! Bringing your kayak out on your boat truly opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Made in America right in the Sunshine State, Manta Racks are made by and for water enthusiasts.