Melba Kayak April 30th, 2018 - 13:48:30
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.
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.
Dagger Kayaks Dagger is the classic success story: A few paddling buddies worked tirelessly in a small shop with a dirt room floor to create the ultimate in world-class kayaks. Today, Dagger kayaks are a sportsmans favorite; renowned for producing the highest quality kayaks available for the money. Before their products are released to the consumer, Dagger kayaks are rough-handled and tested by a collective group of kayaking pros known as Team Dagger. Buyers of Dagger kayaks can rest assured that their kayak met stringent standards before Team Dagger was willing to give it their stamp of approval. Hobie Kayaks Hobie kayaks originate from a proud heritage of water craft. The company boasts that their mother was a sailboat and their father was a surfboard. Applying this expertise in water craft design, Hobie now creates some of the most innovative, awe-inspiring kayaks available today. Hobies experience and technology redefines the industry standard. For example, their MirageDrive pedaling system allows the kayaker to paddle via two underwater flippers, not unlike a penguins fins. And with their seamless, roto-molded, polethylene construction, Hobie kayaks are closer to guided missiles than the typical old-fashioned kayaks of years past.
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.