How to Tie Down a Kayak | Easy & Safe System

Planning to take your kayak to the river and have some fun alone? No matter you are a solo angler or you are with your friend. You can always have fun kayaking. But in that case, you have to carry the kayak to the river or the sea!

Do you know how to do it? Have you ever tied down a kayak to the vehicle? Yes, today we will learn how to tie down a kayak.

We will discuss several methods. From j-rack to the roof rack to foam blocks. Let us dive in and know the techniques in detail.

How to Tie Down a Kayak on a J-Rack

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how you can tie down a kayak on a j-rack without any complication!
  • The first stay you need to settle for when it comes to tying a kayak on your j-rack is to set up the kayak on the ground. You have to keep it in a clear area from where; it will be easy for you to lift it. Make sure you have kept the kayak upside down on the floor before you lift it.
  • Now, to learn how to tie down a kayak on a j-rack, you must learn how to load it. For loading it, if you are alone, we will always recommend you from the rear of your car or vehicle. For solo paddlers, this works the best. On the other hand, if you have a friend to help you out, you can also try to load it from the side.
  • And then, it is time for you to secure the kayaks. Set the channels of your j-rack beforehand so that you can tie the kayak without any complication now. Go for some straps if you need them. Attach them and lock the kayak in its position so that it doesn’t fall when you are on the road! But make sure that you have secured the bow of the kayak in the channel to tie it properly.

Note: If you want to install another kayak on your j-rack, get some additional straps. Make sure they are reliable and add another kayak. Certify that you have taken the straps to the crossbars to ensure safety.

How to tie Down a Kayak in a Truck Bed

This method will help you tie down your kayak on the bed of your truck! No matter if you have a pickup or a large truck, it will be helpful for sure!

  • The first thing you have to do is make space in your truck bed for your kayak. Yes, your kayak will require a good deal of place. So, according to the measurement, arrange a necessary room for the boat.
  • Now it is time for you to slide the kayak in. First, you have to lower the tailgate. Hold the kayak and lift it. Get it inside the truck bed. After touching one part of the kayak to the truck bed, you can easily push it or slide it inside the bed. If it is heavy, call a friend to help you out.
  • While positioning the kayak, make sure you are placing it in a place where the stern stays in a front corner. Along with this, the bow should be set in the opposite corner by the tailgate of your pick-up or truck.
  • In this position, it will be tough for your kayak to slide down and fall even if you are surviving the roughest roads!
  • Once you have positioned the kayak in your truck bed, it is time for you to tie it up. In this case, we recommend you get cam buckle tie-down straps. Check the anchor points of your truck bed first.
  • Add the straps to the kayak and tie up the other end to the anchor points. Use the carry handles of your kayaks to secure their position. You will need two straps for this purpose. However, if you are unsure, get some additional straps to lock the boat.
  • When you are done locking the kayak to your truck bed you have to close the tailgate. Here, you will need some clothes or cushions to help you out. As you are going to drive the truck, you are surely going to face ups and downs.

Note: To avoid breaking the kayak, you will need additional cushionsto safeguard the boat. Add cushions to every side of the kayak making sure that the kayak does not collide with the sides of your truck while driving. And now you can close the tailgate and enjoy the ride!

How to tie Down a Kayak without a Roof Rack

how to tie down a kayak

As you do not have any roof rack, it will be tough for you to carry the kayak. But you can still do it! All you need is a little bit of effort!

Pool Noodles

There are pool noodles available in the market made of polyurethane tube materials. You can use them for tying down a kayak to the vehicle!

  • First, set up the pool noodle carrier. Take them and start positioning them. Make sure that they have 24 inches distance between them. Position it in the front and another in the rear. The other one should be in the middle. If you need more, add them too.
  • Get a scissor and start trimming the noodles. Make sure that it has the perfect alignment to the car’s width. Now, you will need the ratchet straps and get the inside the pool noodles’ holes.
  • It is time to lift the kayak on your car now! While taking it up, don’t forget to hold it upside down. Place it on the pool noodles added to the car. Here, all you need is to set and adjust the pool noodles and that’s all! 
  • Don’t forget the ratchet straps when it comes to securing the kayak with the pool noodles. Tighten the straps but never over-tightenthem. Ensure all the necessary adjustments.
  • Now, it is time to tie the bow and stern. Take the strap through the grab handle of your boat. Take it to the towing eyes that are underneath the bonnet. And there, lock it. Secure the kayak at the back in the same manner! And you are done!

Foam Blocks

Another easy way to secure the kayak and tie it down to the vehicle is to use foam blocks. We will tell you how to do it!

  • Firstly, you need to add the foam blocks to the kayak. Secure them properly and make sure it fits the car properly.
  • Once you have added the block to the kayak, you have to lift it and strap it with the vehicle you are using. In this case, the boat will be strapped to the car and that’s all!
  • When it is ready, you have to go through the bow and stern and tie them down carefully. You have to tie them to the bumper of your car. The foam block kits already include all the necessary straps you need. So, you are ready to take your kayak to the water!

Frequently Asked Questions on Tying Down a Kayak

Can you put your kayak on your car without a rack?

Yes, you can easily transport your kayak to the car even if you do not have any rack. In that case, you will need the bow and stern and tie them tightly. Check the front and rear carry handles. Take the straps and thread them through both of the carry handles and secure them. Tie them underneath to make sure that your kayak does not fall in the road while driving!

Can you fit a kayak in an SUV?

In most cases, the inflatable kayaks can easily get inside the SUV and you can transport them to your favorite location. The best part of the inflatable kayaks is you can easily carry them in a very small space! However, if you want to transport the vehicle keeping it on top of it, you will surely need a roof rack or j-rack for transporting it.

How fast can you drive with a kayak on the roof?

It completely depends on the size of the kayak that you are carrying. If you have two different 17 inches kayaks on the top of your car’s roof, you can go for 70-75 mph. However, this has things to do with the vehicle too. Choose a speed where you are moving fast but your kayak isn’t falling.

Final Note

To avoid breaking the kayak, you will need additional cushionsto safeguard the boat. Add cushions to every side of the kayak making sure that the kayak does not collide with the sides of your truck while driving. And now you can close the tailgate and enjoy the ride!

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