Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:32:03
Need to consider - Storability, Portability and Weight Its a known fact that kayaks are going to be out of the water more than in the water, and so you will need to think about how to store your kayak, transport it, and how you are going to get it in and out of the water. If this is another big concern, then a portable and/or good-quality inflatable kayak would be the perfect option. Another option would be to purchase the lightest/smallest hard shell you can afford. Need to decide: one person (solo) or two person, cargo capacity and/or comfort There are one person kayaks and there are two person kayaks. They both have their advantages. A two person kayak can be perfect for couples and families. Kayakers of different skill levels and ages can pair up so that everyone can join and not be left behind. Here you can turn a kayak adventure into a fun family adventure. Two person kayaks are fast and stable, but will lack some of the maneuverability of a solo kayak. Also, purchasing risk come into play when buying double vs. solo kayak. Make sure that your kayaking partner is as enthused and motivated as you are with kayaking. Dont find out afterward that you are the only real enthusiast because a neglected 2-person kayak hanging in the back of a lonesome garage is not a pretty sight nor is constantly seeing your 2 person kayak carry bag taking up space in your car trunk.
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.
Cons: Pads usually dont have a lot of cushion and can dent some kayaks if transported with the hull down or if you over tighten the tie-down straps. Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to carry a kayak designed to carry the kayak right side up (just like it is on the water). Some examples of these are the Thule Set-To-Go and the Malone Seawing. Pros: These tend to keep kayak in place and protect the hull from damage. These systems usually work well with other pieces of equipment that aid in getting your kayak on your vehicle like rollers and glide pads (we will discuss these later). Cons: These set-ups are designed to transport your kayak right side up, not the ideal way to avoid distortion, but with care this will not be an issue. Also, if you are going to transport 2 kayaks, cradles do limit the usable space on your rack bars. J-Carriers: These work by carrying your kayak(s) on their side in J-shaped racks.
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.