Melba Kayak April 16th, 2018 - 15:37:00
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.
While foam blocks will work, we strongly recommend putting a rack system on your car - this will make life easier, protect the roof of your car, and leave you more room for other accessories & gear. Most rack manufacturers make special rack adapters for 2 door cars with shorter roofs. Both Thule and Yakima make good system for cars. SUVs and Mini Vans The longer roof frame of an SUV or a Mini Van does give you some advantages over cars, but sometime the added height of an SUV can make getting your kayak on top a little harder. Most SUVs come with factory racks that work well to receive most kayak carriers and transport accessories. Factory racks systems do have weight limits, but most can handle 1 or 2 medium to light weight kayaks without a problem. A popular way to transport two kayaks with a factory system is to transport one in a J-type carrier and the other flat or face down on the bars. You can really maximize space by using two J-Carriers.
What kind of kayaking will you be doing? You want to get a kayak that is well-suited for the type of kayaking you plan on doing most of the time. This is one of the most important factors youll need to consider; to determine what kind of paddling you will be doing and how often you will be doing it - White-Water (how advance), Touring, fishing, only ocean kayaking or just casual kayaking. There will be times you will try to do all three but just be cautious - especially if you start out with casual kayaking and then decide to go to Category IV Whitewater kayaking - make sure your kayak can handle Advance Whitewater kayaking. If you are a beginner or your skill level is not where you want it to be perhaps start out with a kayak that is geared to a more causal kayaking style/design with perhaps the rating to handle a mild to moderate whitewater level so as your skill levels improve you have a kayak that will get you to that level. When you get to the more seasoned pro level then trade it in for a kayak that can handle some serious white water rapids.
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.