Melba Kayak April 28th, 2018 - 11:22:20
Of course, adding a quality rack system to a SUV or Mini Van will offer the most room for accessories and carrying capacity. Note: Its OK if the bars extend out past the roof. According to the law, they can extend as wide as your side-view mirrors. On tall vehicles this works well, on shorter ones make sure you wont be hitting your head on the ends of the bars when you enter or exit the vehicle. Pickup Trucks Nothing is easier than strapping a kayak into the bed of a pickup and hitting the road. If the kayak is hanging over the end of your tailgate you must hang a flag on it for safety. Another option which makes this method of transport safer and more practical is a bed extender. An extender is a device that plugs into a standard 2- hitch mount and will give you up to 4 more of support under your kayak. (An extender can also be reconfigured to support your kayak over the bed, with one end resting on the cab roof and the other on the extender in the vertical position.)
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.
Lift Assist Accessories: Companies now make accessories to help you get your kayak unto your roof. One such product is the Hullavator by Thule, this hydraulic assist rack folds down the side of the vehicle where the kayak is loaded at waist height and the whole thing folds back onto the roof with the aid of mechanical assistance - Nice! Weve had many customers tell us that without this system they wouldnt have been able to continue kayaking because of physical limitations brought on by age or injury. Sure its expensive, but worth every penny. Roller Loader: This little device works to help you get your kayak up on your vehicle. It basically is a dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just roll the kayak on or off. A very low-tech option that works particularly well with mini-vans, SUVs and station wagons is a rubber backed bathmat. Just to place the mat (with rubber backing down - so it wont slide) on the rear of the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of a kayak being loaded using a bathroom mat.
Your experience as a kayaker Counts An experienced kayaker when shopping for their kayak, will most likely look for different qualities in a boat than a beginner kayaker would. An experienced person will usually look for what they call a kayak with good final stability, while the beginner will more or less value good initial stability - less tipsiness. The tipsiness that is normal for all kayaks with low initial stability makes beginners uncomfortable and shy away, but it is this tipsiness that generally indicates a kayak has greater final stability, something advanced kayakers value when theyre handling bigger waves. [Further clarification on stability: Initial stability is the tendency of the kayak to lean or shift away from an upright position. Final stability is the tendency of the boat to actually tip over. A boat with good final stability that seems tippy will be more forgiving by staying in a leaning position instead of tipping over. A boat cant have both good initial stability and good final stability - its pretty much one or the other. The hull shape will determine what kind of stability the boat has. Another issue with stability is its comparison to speed. A highly stable kayak will usually not be the faster kayak on the water. Typically, the stable kayak will be wider and slower than the narrower faster kayak].