Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Road Trip or Getting Your Kayak to Water Safely

You just purchased a new kayak and are eager to launch it. So you throw it in the back of your truck or "jury rig" it to your car roof and set off for the lake. Stop! Don't do it! This is the start of a bad scenario that could end with damage to your kayak, vehicle or endanger other motorists. Also, don't pick up hitchhikers! ;-)

"While there are a couple of different types of rack systems, the best way to transport a kayak is to invest in roof-mounted rack system and appropriate tie-downs. Towers (vertical supports that hold the rack on the car and keep the kayak from touching the roof) are held in place by clamps or directly attached to the roof itself. The kayak is supported on horizontal poles that lie between the towers. Curved brace-like attachments then cradle the side of the kayak to hold it in place." - eHow
With these thoughts in mind, I purchased an "Extend-a-Truck" - a height adjustable extension bar that supports up to 350 pounds and a full 4-foot wide load. It installs with a standard Class III receiver hitch and gave my truck the little "extra" support needed to haul our kayak. I secured the kayak by its bow with a rope attached to the truck tie downs and the stern was secured to the Extend-a-Truck bar with bungee cords. I attached the red caution flag to the rear of our load since the kayak stern extends four feet out from the tail gate.

So, the bottom line is simple. Stay safe when transporting your kayak to that favorite paddling spot by using rack systems and tie downs specifically designed for that purpose.

What type of rack system do you use to transport your kayak?

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