When you love kayaking in distant lakes and rivers, carrying the kayaks to those places safely will be a prerequisite. While you can very well go and buy typical kayak racks, you have to know the basics well. Or else, you may end up damaging the car roof or the kayaks, or both!
Using roof racks to carry your kayaks
If you want a hassle-free way to transport kayaks to distant places, using a roof kayak carrier is the best option. These roof racks let you carry kayaks along with many other things like skis, fishing rods, bicycles etc. You can opt for either removable or fixed type of roof racks.
Tips to Tie a Kayak on a Car Roof Rack Safely
To ensure the kayak sits on the car roof rack well, pay attention to weight distribution. The middle of the kayak is likely to be the heaviest part of it. Ensure this part is strapped very well to the rack.
Use cam straps to tie down the kayak. These are easily available in any hardware store and give a stronger grip than rope or bungee cords. By using cam straps to keep the kayak in place, you can be assured that the kayak will not move an inch while you are driving!
You should put kayaks in an upside-down position on a roof rack to evade the risk of indentation. Better be safe than sorry, as they say.
Ensure you use quality straps to tie the kayak with the roof rack. Using low-quality straps will not be prudent. Cheap straps will not sustain exposure to sunlight, rain and snowfall for long. You may have heard the saying, when you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
Things to check when you buy a kayak rack
- It makes sense to use a waterproof exterior kayak especially if you are living in a region that witnesses rain and snowfall a lot.
- Try to buy a kayak rack that comes with thick rubber padding. This will keep the kayak in good condition.
- It is best that you buy a kayak rack that comes with detailed guidelines and required tools. Some companies send their models with a setup video as well, apart from printed instructions.
- While shopping for a kayak carrying rack, check out car model compatibility. Nowadays, most brands make kayak racks that can be used atop many popular SUVs and sedans. However, to be on the safe side, you check out the compatibility of a model with your vehicle prior to buying.
- When buying a kayak rack, think of the car size and kayak size. Large-sized kayaks or extra wide kayaks may not fit well on standard kayak racks, after all.
- You also need to check the duration and type of warranty offered by a kayak rack manufacturer before placing the order.
Keep your kayak in good condition
It is not just enough to buy a quality kayak roof rack to carry your kayaks to distant places. You have to maintain and clean the rack periodically. This is even more applicable if you use the car for kayaking trips quite frequently. Ensure the dirt and dust built up between the rack and the hull is cleaned well.
When you plan not to use your kayak for a long time, store it in your garage or house, covered properly.