How To Transport Your Kayak Safely

How To Transport Your Kayak Safely

Share this post

Kayaking can be a great way to connect with nature. When a kayak steps up into the water, he opens up a whole world of unexplored water. But, there is an issue for many, which is to get the boat to the adventure spot. 

To transport your kayak safely and efficiently is a crucial skill any first-time or experienced paddler should bring in their arms. But, at first, it can be a little disappointing. Kayaks come in a different range of shapes and sizes. The most modest boats measure over 2m in length. 

[Also read: Our detailed guide on the various different kayaks in the market if you are unsure which type of kayak suits you]

Let’s take a look at How To Transport Your Kayak Safely?

Table of Contents

Preparation Through Vehicles

Before you load your boat, make sure that you have a proper vehicle and a proper rack on which you will load the boat. Roof racks on cars or buses are an essential part of the safe transportation of your kayak. The concept of the racking system is to protect both your car and boat from unwanted dents and scratches. There are a couple of different options depending on what type of vehicle you have. 

Soft rack

If your vehicle is a normal car having four doors and is with a bare roof, fixed points, or tracks, then a soft rack is a great solution for you to transport your kayak boat. Soft Racks can be made up of foam or inflatable stuff. 

They are simply two tubes with straps running through them. These straps are passed through the front and back doors to secure the racks in place. Soft racks are easy to install and remove and are compact for convenient storage. They can be removed or installed anywhere anytime. 

Hard rack

Hard racks are also known as mounted crossbars. They are commonly designed for cars with side rails, gutters, tracks, or fixed points. As they are different from soft racks, hard racks are fixed on the cars. But, hard racks are not universal. Brands will have a vast range of racks to fit your car’s specifications. We have also made a guide on how to choose the Best Kayak Rack for your kayak.


Transport Through Truck

The most famous and convenient way to transport your kayak boat is to transport it by truck. But, It still doesn’t get much easier than loading your kayak in the back of your truck and tying it down.

Well, there’s more to it than that you will need a truck bed liner, a durable mat that is made up of rubber and keeps your cargo and boat safe, and its rubber blocks padding. Some people also use cable locks, which are grand to protect their kayak from thieves. Cable locks can be tied through each kayak handle and an anchor point and make it virtually impossible for anyone else to use or remove without consent. 

More than safety from thieves, cable locks also protect your kayak boats from flying on the roads and causing a nuisance for others. You should tie it down with rope, or it can be loose or broken. 

Roof Rack System

If you want to carry a kayak boat on the truck but you are still not keeping it on the truck bed for other cargo, then a roof rack system is going to help you. Installed on top of the truck cab, they are an easy and nonpermanent method of transporting multiple kayaks. There is also no need for drilling holes or installing tie-down hooks. 

The best thing about these rack systems is that they come in various shapes and sizes and can be used in cars, trucks, and SUVs with mobile fitting. It is interchangeable between vehicles, making them a good investment. Always Remember that securing the bow and stern of your kayak boat will protect your boat. 

In addition, by using a set of straps to tie it down to the roof rack to prevent it from shifting or falling off, though. Bow and stern lines must be used with the roof rack method of kayak transportation due to intense wind force.

By Foot

On the grounds of reality, you can’t be able to transport your kayak on foot if you live miles away from the water. But, if you live somehow close to the water, you shouldn’t mind a bit of a workout. There’s no need to start up the car. 

You will need to transport your kayak on foot even if you are using your vehicle to reach the spot, as the great kayaking locations aren’t accessible by car. You will need to park up in a nearby car park and walk a trail or path to the bankside. In these cases, having a habit of transporting your kayak by foot makes life much easier and less tiring. 

Kayak Trolley

If you are out solo on the water regularly, then a kayak trolly is the best way to transport your kayak on foot. Kayak trolly is a super simple and compact way to transport your kayak. The kayak trolley consists of a small frame, strap, and two wheels. It’s attached to the back of the kayak so the bow can be held to tow the boat along like a wheelbarrow. 

Kayak trolleys are often portable, so they can be easily stored inside your boat when you reach the water. They are great to keep if you regularly go out touring the water. If you need to stop off for the night and have to walk your kayak up the bank quite away, they are extremely handy. They also provide an easy way to bring your kayak into town if you’re reloading with food on a trip. 


If you are interested to get one for yourself, check out our guide for the Best Kayak Trailer.

Team Mates

If you live very close to the water spot and you are also having a kayaking friend so you both can help each other out. Both your kayaks can be loaded up at home and can be sent back home and carried together to lighten the load and make the journey easier and more enjoyable. One of you can walk with both kayak’s bow handles in hand. 

The other can walk behind with both stern handles in hand. It Is much easier to do than simply carry your kayaks separately. If you’re kayaking in pairs, this is a great technique to get your boats down to the water without getting any injury. 

Inflatable Kayaks

Another safe transportation option is your backpack. But the question remains how you can add a big kayak to a backpack? You won’t get a hard resin kayak in a backpack. Still, you can find inflatable kayaks. Which you can pack up small and light, carry in a small bag. Of course, this won’t work if you are already using a hard shell kayak and are looking for a way to transport it. 

But, if you haven’t brought your kayak yet and have storage and transport issues, then inflatable kayaks are going to help you. For an inflatable kayak, you won’t need a roof rack or a trailer to transport an inflatable as they’ll fit into even the smallest city car seat.  If you are looking to get an inflatable kayak for yourself, check out our reviews on the Best Inflatable Kayak.

When you are investing much in your kayaks, your kayaks deserve to be treated well. Through these ways, you can transport them safely and easily. 
[ If you are new to kayaking, do check out our checklist of what to bring before your start your kayak journey. ]

Picture of Jules and Ken

Jules and Ken

We are outdoor lovers, travellers, and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gear, camping equipment, RV equipment, kayaking, to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

Picture of Jules and Ken

Jules and Ken

We are outdoor lovers, travellers, and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gear, camping equipment, RV equipment, kayaking, to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

We hope you enjoyed this article and if you have questions about How To Transport Your Kayak Safely or want to leave your own personal comments, feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoyed How To Transport Your Kayak Safely? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Outdoormagnet journey.

You May Be Interested