Holly Iva Lavoie Kayak April 14th, 2018 - 11:18:22
Helpers & Load Assist Devices No matter what system you are using you will still have to physically set the kayak into or onto it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will find that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will find what works best for you and your situation. But a little help doesnt hurt. So here is a list of products that can help make bearing the weight a little easier. Thule Hydro Glide: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to hold the kayak during transport. The kayak slides easily on felt covered pads. Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak up onto the roof from the rear of the vehicle. Loading Bars: Thule as well other companies make a bar that extends out so you can lift one end of the kayak on the bar and then lift the other side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger.
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.
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.
Ok, you did your homework and got the right kayak - now you need to make another decision. How are you going to transport your new kayak? Some kayaks are heavy and cumbersome - especially rigged fishing kayaks. Youll need to put some thought into what will be the best transport method for you, your kayak, and your vehicle. Various vehicles will create different situations to contend with. For instance, if you have a very tall vehicle it may not be practical for you to load your kayak on the roof - maybe a trailer is the way to go, or a Hullavator. Maybe you have a health problem or an injury that will prevent you from lifting a kayak. Or maybe you just dont feel like lifting a 60+ lb kayak over your head. All of these issues can be addressed.