How Will You Haul Your Kayak?

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Before purchasing a kayak, it is important to consider how you will haul it. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, there are options to hauling your boat. Read on to explore considerations and options for transporting your yak.


What kind of vehicle do you have?


Pickup trucks provide one of the easiest options to haul your kayak. If you are lucky enough to have a pickup, you can load your kayak into the bed and secure it with several tie downs. Leaving the tailgate down will allow your kayak to fit. You should consider attaching a brightly-colored flag on the back of your kayak to make it easily visible for fellow motorists. 


You can also easily extend your truck bed horizontally with a long-arm truck bed extender. Yakima’s is rated to carry 300 lbs and will extend your bed by 4’. Malone’s Axis Truck Bed Extender can be used both horizontally and vertically, depending on how you want to mount your kayak. With a load capacity of 375 lbs., the Axis is ready for heavy-duty hauling. 


Most four-door cars can haul a kayak well using a removable soft rack system. Manufacturers such as Thule make many different types of horizontal kayak carriers that easily attach to vehicles not equipped with roof racks. These soft racks adjust to fit different sized hulls, and offer a secure fit for your kayak.

often come equipped with some type of rooftop luggage rack. If your rack has crossbars, that is often sufficient for transporting your yak. If you do not have crossbars, you can purchase these through your dealership, or you can get them through a manufacturer such as Yakima. Performance Kayak salespeople are happy to help you find crossbars that will work well with your particular vehicle.


Regardless of which vehicle you use to transport your kayak, you will need to be sure to fasten it down securely. Do not rely on hand-tied knots; instead, invest in some inexpensive, heavy-duty straps. You can place your kayak upside-down directly onto your crossbars to secure it, but you may notice that the kayak slides easily despite your hand-tightened straps. If so, consider adding rack pads to better secure your boat and prevent it from scratching.


Hauling multiple kayaks may best be accomplished using a trailer. Trailex offers many trailer options for transporting multiple boats. Trailers can be beneficial for transporting kayaks across long distances. They are also favored by families with multiple paddlers.


All products are available through Performance Kayak. We’re are happy to help you select the perfect product for your needs.


How will you get your kayak loaded and unloaded?


You should carry your kayak in the way that you find most comfortable. One way is to rest the upper cockpit edge on top of your shoulder. You might also lift it by holding onto the thigh braces. 


If you have to load your boat onto your car by yourself, stand behind your vehicle and rest the bow of the kayak onto your rear car rack bar. Next, lift the stern (or back) of your boat, sliding it forward onto your roof rack. Unloading the kayak would mean doing these steps in reverse.


How will you get your kayak from car or truck to the water?


Make sure to consider how you will get your kayak to water’s edge. Most kayaks’ weights range from 20 to over 100 lbs, and they can be tough to carry, especially after a vigorous paddle. Using a kayak cart can help you roll your kayak to or from water’s edge. After you slide your kayak onto the cart, you can simply lift and roll the boat to the desired location.


There are many tools and accessories available to help kayakers tackle transportation. The folks at Performance Kayak are knowledgeable and ready to help you decide the best options for you!