Kayaking Tips: How to Tie Down A Kayak?

How to Tie Down A Kayak?

Kayaking is an excellent outdoor activity that combines adventure and sports in one. However, it requires you to carry your kayak from one place to another. After all, there is a reason why manufacturers focus on building smaller and lighter kayaks.

The water bodies suitable for kayaking are primarily present on the outskirts of a city or its suburbs. As a result, you will need to carry your kayak from your home to the ideal spot.

Fortunately, transporting your kayak isn’t difficult as long as you know the proper way to do it.

Learning how to put your kayak on a vehicle and tying it down is an essential skill to have before you start kayaking. After all, what is the point of knowing how to kayak and owning a splendid model if you cannot carry it to the streams yourself?

Properly tying down your kayak involves not only securing it tight enough to prevent it from falling but also protecting it from any damage in the process.

So, do you want to learn how to tie down a kayak properly? Well, you’re in the right place because that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about in this article!

Get To Shopping – The Supplies You Will Need to Tie Down A Kayak

While tying down a kayak to your car isn’t a complex task, you’ll need some supplies to do it correctly.

So before you plan your next trip into the wild waters, make sure you have the essentials required to strap the kayak to your car.

●    Roof rack padding

This gives you a surface to lay down your kayak on the top of your car. After all, we don’t want to scratch our precious kayaks with the metal roof rack, do we?

●    Kayak straps with cam buckles

You will need specified straps with buckles to secure your kayak on the roof of the car.

●    Bow and stern lines

You can give your kayak extra security by using the bow and stern lines to tie it firmly.

The Three-Step Process Of Transporting A Kayak

Several people think that transporting a kayak simply means tying it at the top of a vehicle. However, they seem to forget that we’re not talking about bringing a light suitcase in a car. Instead, we’re considering carrying a medium or large-sized boat that weighs about 35 pounds on average.

Apart from the tying process, here are two other steps involved in transporting a kayak:

Carrying the kayak to your car

If you’re alone, you can carry the kayak by resting the cockpit rim on your shoulder. However, it is advisable for you to take someone’s help. This is so that two people can hold the handles at the bow and stern to carry it securely.

Placing the kayak on the vehicle

Make sure that your car has crossbars or a rack to keep the kayak in an elevated position. You will also need a towel and rolling wheels to push the kayak on top of the car if you’re alone. However, two people can easily lift the kayak and secure it in place without any extra tools. You can even place multiple kayaks on the roof of your car.

How To Properly Tie Down A Kayak To Your Car?

Now that you know how to carry and place a kayak on top of your car, let’s learn the correct way of tying it down to your vehicle.

Once you have your supplies ready, you can follow the following step:

Place Your Kayak Properly

Although you may have already done a great job loading your kayak on your car, it never hurts to double-check before you start tying it down. After all, if you do not place your kayak well, it will end up getting wobbly and damage itself, no matter how well you tie it.

Therefore, you should ensure that the kayak is placed in a secure position before starting to tie it down.

It is recommended to place the kayak at a position where it has an even weight distribution. This is to make sure that the kayak doesn’t get wobbly halfway through the drive.

Furthermore, the kayaks’ hanging ends on the front and rear of the car should be balanced. Otherwise, driving will become a difficult task for you.

Use The Cam Straps And Buckles

The best part about cam straps is their simplicity. In fact, even beginners can easily tie down a kayak using cam straps.

Tying down a kayak with cam straps is similar to altering the height of a backpack with adjustable buckles. However, instead of mastering fancy knots, you just need to cinch and fasten the cam straps.

You can simply follow the given steps, and you’ll be good to go!

  1. Secure the kayak at a balanced position so that it is placed parallel to the car. This is the last time you’ll have to check; we promise!
  2. Open the cam strap and rest the buckle on the side of your kayak. Make sure the buckle is a few inches over the car rack’s crossbar.
  3. Aim and throw the strap over your kayak. Make sure it reaches the other end, forming a line over your kayak.
  4. Leave the buckle here and walk to the other side of your car. Loop this end of the strap under the crossbar. It is vital to ensure that the strap is on the inside edge of the crossbar attachment. Otherwise, it will slip off as you drive.
  5. Toss the strap back to the buckle over your kayak, forming another line, and walk to the other side of your car.
  6. Loop this end of the strap under the crossbar as well. Again, make sure that the strap is towards the inside edge of the crossbar to prevent it from slipping.
  7. Take the loop up to the buckle, and cinch it down.
  8. Repeat these steps with the crossbar on the other end of the kayak to ensure that the kayak stays in place.
  9. Check the straps and buckles and secure them enough to restrict any significant movement. However, do not tighten the straps to the point that it could damage your kayak.
  10. Tie the loose straps below the buckles and then to the crossbars to prevent flapping.
  11. Finally, shake your kayak from both ends to make sure it is secure enough.

Finalize With The Bow And Stern Straps

No matter how well you’ve tied your kayak, it’s always better to add one last step. This is to make sure that the high wind and other driving factors do not disturb its balance.

  1. Secure one end of the line to the kayak’s handle and make a tight knot to prevent the kayak from slipping.
  2. Attach the other end of the line to your car’s tow hook. However, if your vehicle doesn’t have one, you can also use a hood loop. Try to avoid attaching it to the plastic parts of your car as it can cause damage.
  3. Tighten the line by pulling on the free end and then the other one over the handle.
  4. Repeat the same process with the stern line.

The Bottom Line

Tying down a kayak to the top of your car is quite simple as long as you have the right equipment and know what to do.

Before you head out for your trip, make sure you have the right kayaking clothes and feel secure with the way you’ve tied your kayak.

Remember, sometimes you may lose the straps while driving, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, you should periodically check to see if the straps are secure during the drive as well.

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