Melba Kayak April 08th, 2018 - 13:32:53
Tips for Transport: Always give the kayak a good push and pull before driving away to make sure you are secure. As a general rule if you can rock the vehicle without the kayak shifting on its perch than you are fine. If the kayak is sliding back and forth on the bars or in the carriers than you need to go back and tighten the straps. If using straps with auto-lock buckles, always put a half hitch in the strapping after tying down to insure that even if the buckle loosens the strap will not come lose. If using ratchet style tie downs it is very easy to over-tighten and do damage to the kayak. So make sure that the kayak is snug, but dont go overboard. When transporting in a flat bed pickup dont choose places on the kayak to fasten to that can fail - like the handles. We recommend passing the straps through the scupper holes of the kayak and tying that off in the bed of the truck. Some cars roof areas can compress/dent in when using foam blocks, these dents usually pop back out. Always try to place foam blocks on the strongest part of the roof (this will be the areas closer to the front and rear windows) Also, if you find that some part of your kayak is making contact with the roof after you tighten it down then placing a piece of rug or padding there is a good idea to protect the car from scratching.
Lets go over some of the different methods to transport your kayak(s). Transport Methods Rack Systems Most kayak transport needs can be satisfied by adding an after-market rack system. A rack system includes the bars and feet (adapters) that attach the system to your particular vehicle. The bars can be used alone or they can serve as the base for additional kayak carriers and accessories. The most widely used systems are made by Thule and Yakima. These types of racks offer the most weight capacity and are the safest way to transport kayaks on a vehicle. Factory Racks Many vehicles come with factory bars (usually the flat oblong shaped ones) and these can work fine to transport your kayak and can usually be fitted with most kayak carriers, but they lack the carrying capacity and long term strength of a good after-market rack system. So if you need to carry multiple kayaks or even one heavy single kayak, investing in a good rack system will be your best option.
The rigid (hard shell) kayak is what most people think of when they hear the word kayak. Of the various Hard Shell models, a plastic kayak is usually the least expensive but also can be the heaviest. They are usually tough and can take the abuse, but if they get damaged, they are very difficult to repair if at all. A fiberglass Kayak will be a much more expensive model than a plastic model, but is significantly lighter. Fiberglass can be easier to damage, but can also be easier to repair (can be expensive) compare to the plastic version. Composite types such as Kevlar, graphite and carbon fiber kayaks will be even more expensive and lighter still and more costly to repair once damaged then the other two mentioned already.
If you have never been out kayaking on your own then you will want to make sure that you have someone more experienced with you. While it is a fairly calm ride, there are things that you are going to want to watch out for. You also may want to hold off on purchasing your own kayak until you get a hang of riding and paddling in one. This way, you will be able to know for sure that this is a hobby that you want to get more involved in. Also, it will teach you what to look for when shopping for the perfect kayak. When you head out on the waters the first couple of times you will want to make sure that your experienced friend is walking you through everything that you need to know. If you feel as though you do not have anyone that you can turn to for this matter then it is time to hunt down a professional. There are many places that offer personal coaching on how to kayak. You can rent their boat and then hire an instructor for a couple of hours. By going this route, you will be sure to learn everything that there is to know about this fun and relaxing water and fishing experience.