Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:21:39
Pros: J-carriers work well to protect the kayak hull from damage when tightening the straps. They will also maximize your roof space to allow for extra kayaks or other accessories. Cons: It can be tough to maneuver the kayak on top of your vehicle and into the side position of the J-carrier, especially if your vehicle is tall. Also, be careful in parking garages as the added height could be a problem. Some examples of J-carriers are: Thule Hullaport and the Malone Autoloader. Vehicle types Cars Cars with short roofs can be a challenge - especially 2-door cars. The shorter the distance between the straps/bars the less secure the system will be. Always, use bow and stern lines when transporting by car or any vehicle with a short roof span - a favorite of ours is the Thule Quickdraw.
But, as important as the structural makeup of the kayak is, kayaks are typically classified to the type of kayaking theyre designed to do. Kayaks built for touring are much different from those for whitewater paddling. There isnt any single kayak that will excel in every type of paddling category. As you shop for your kayak, you need to anticipate your future paddling style and then select a kayak that should perform well in that primary kayak category but also keep in mind your skill level and price range as well. Now there are kayaks out there - especially in the inflatable kayak category that lends itself better to multiple styles/designs then their counter parts. So if you are not sure if you will be using your kayak in any one particular category, consider some high quality companies like Sea Eagle, Innova, Airis and Advance Elements to name a few who use a lot of cross over inflatable kayaks to fit multiple needs. But keep in mind that they will not excel in all categories, they still focus on one particular category but do well in other categories better then most. So focus still on a particular category.
Trailex makes a single kayak version that is light enough to unhook and use as a dolly to get right up to the water. For those who want to carry more than one kayak they also make multi-kayak trailers. Rack Accessories Rack Pads Rack Pads were originally designed for surfboards but work well for kayaks. The pads wrap around your factory or after-market bars and are held in place by Velcro straps. Rack pads are a very good choice if you transport you kayak face down (the seat area facing the roof), by carrying face down you are placing the load on the gunwales (the strongest part of the kayak) and it is the way many kayak companies recommend to carry the kayak to prevent distorting or damaging the hull. Pros: Like foam blocks, it can be a very economical set up, especially if you already have bars on your vehicle. Unlike foam blocks rack pads cant fly off the vehicle.
2. Size Matters... not so much Kayaks come in different lengths for a reason. Generally, the shorter the kayak, the easier it is to turn and maneuver. The longer the kayak, the better it tracks in a straight line. It is important to know what types of water you will be paddling in before you make a purchase. Recreational kayaks are generally between 10 and 12. There isnt going to be a huge amount difference between a 10 and 12 kayak. Both sizes work great in several types of water, so dont sweat too much over this choice. Dont forget that a larger kayak will weigh more, so make sure you can pick it up by yourself. 3. Storage Space and Deck Rigging Anytime you are looking at recreational kayaks, you want to pay attention to the available amount of dry storage space built into the kayak. Trust me, you will want to take things out with you that you dont want to get wet, so this space will be extremely valuable. Look at the outside of the kayak. Does it have a paddle holder and other bungee type rigging around the deck for storing items you want to keep within reach? You may think these things are not important, but they soon will be. You need to have places on your boat where you can stow things and attach items that you may want to use during your paddle. You also need to know that deck rigging, paddle holders and other attachments can be added to almost any kayak after you purchase it. However, you this may require professional installation.