Kayaking is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors, but basic kayaking safety should never be overlooked. There are a few important items to consider when transporting your kayak that will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. With proper care and preparation, you can make sure your kayak transportation is successful.
1. Choose a Suitable Vehicle
When transporting your kayak, the first step is to make sure you have the right vehicle. If you are only taking a single kayak, a compact car or station wagon can be sufficient. More powerful vehicles, such as SUVs, trucks, or vans, make it easier to transport multiple kayaks or larger kayaks. Make sure to take into account the size of the kayak and the length of the trip.
Calculate the Weight
Installing and transporting a kayak requires considering its weight. Depending on the make and model, a kayak can range from 10 kgs (22 lbs.) to over 50 kgs (110 lbs.). When loading and unloading a kayak, it is important to remember that the weight can cause physical strain and potential injury. If possible, enlist the help of another person to make the task easier.
Check Your Gear
Before beginning your journey, make sure that your kayak and its accompanying items are properly secured. Check all straps, bolts, and other securements to ensure that they’re fastened tightly to your kayak and the vehicle. The straps should be taut and not easily move when tugged on. Also, ensure that nothing else can move around in the vehicle and potentially damage the kayak during transit.
2. Use a Kayak Trailer
If you are taking a larger kayak or multiple kayaks, using a kayak trailer is a convenient way to transport them. A trailer can be either rented or bought, and it makes transporting multiple kayaks a much easier process. Kayak trailers come in various sizes and shapes and are designed to fit multiple kayaks of different sizes. It is important to read the manual that came with the trailer, or to hire a professional to show you how to safely use the trailer.
If you are using a trailer to transport your kayak, make sure that the trailer is visible to other drivers on the road. This can be accomplished by attaching reflective tape or flagging to the trailer. This will ensure that other drivers can see you, thus reducing the risk of an accident.
Check Your Brakes
Another important part of using a kayak trailer is to make sure that the brakes are in good working order. All trailers must be equipped with brakes, and it is important to check these brakes before taking off. If the brakes are faulty, it is better to repair or replace them before attempting to transport the kayak.
3. Secure Inside the Vehicle
If you are transporting the kayak in the back of the vehicle, it is important to secure it properly. Kayaks should be secured from the inside of the car to prevent them from shifting during transit. This can be accomplished by using straps or securing devices that are designed specifically for kayak transport. It is also a good idea to place padding underneath the kayak to protect the seafloor and other parts of the car.
Account for Height Wisely
If the kayak is too tall to fit in the vehicle, you can use a kayak stand or a kayak rack. These are typically made of metal and allow you to secure the kayak without it having to fit in the vehicle. Check the weight limit of the rack before using it, as some are not designed for heavier kayaks.
Add a Blind Spot Mirror
It is also smart to add a blind spot mirror to the outside of the vehicle when transporting the kayak. This will make it easy to keep an eye on the kayak while driving and to make sure that is still secure.
4. Follow Traffic and Safety Laws
Once the kayak is safely secured and you are on the road, there are other safety concerns to consider. When transporting kayaks, you must obey all traffic laws, including speed limits and lane restrictions. Additionally, it is a good idea to avoid highways and areas with high traffic.
Watch Your Mirrors
When driving with a kayak attached to your vehicle, it is important to constantly check your mirrors. This allows you to make sure that the kayak is still securely attached and that it is not dragging or shifting in any way.
Finally, it is important to take frequent breaks when transporting your kayak. This will help to ensure that your kayak and the vehicle remain in good condition, as well as give you a well-deserved rest.
People Also Ask
Can you tie a kayak to a car?
Yes, it’s possible to tie a kayak to the roof of a car with the right straps and padding. Make sure to properly secure the kayak so it won’t move during transport.
What is the best way to transport a kayak?
The best way to transport a kayak depends on the size and weight of the kayak. If transporting a single kayak, a car or station wagon can often suffice. Heavier or larger kayaks are best transported with either a trailer or a kayak rack.
How do you carry a kayak without a roof rack?
It is possible to transport a kayak without a roof rack by using a kayak carrier. Kayak carriers are designed to secure the kayak to the roof of the vehicle and make it much easier to transport the kayak without a roof rack.
Can you drive with a kayak on the roof?
Yes, you can drive with a kayak on the roof of the vehicle as long as it is properly secured and fastened. Make sure to properly prepare the kayak and the vehicle before taking off to ensure a safe and successful kayak transport.
Kayaking can be a great way to explore the outdoors, and transporting a kayak can be done safely with the right preparation and attention to detail. By considering all of the above factors, you will be able to transport your kayak in a secure, safe, and enjoyable way.