How To Carry Your Kayak

Kayakers carrying kayaks

Carrying a kayak could be a pain in the neck, literally! Think of the fact that the kayak's length and weight are almost twice your own. There are different types of kayaks, and each type of kayak also has a different weight, depending on the material used. Kayaks made from Kevlar are the lightest compared to others. Kayaks made of wood are heavier, and so forth. There are different ways to carry and transport a kayak, and here are a few tips. 

When placing your kayak on your vehicle:

  1. Make sure that the boat is upside down. Doing this will make sure that once it is placed on top of your vehicle, it will not rock about and fall.
  2. If you have a partner, go to each end of the boat and grab the small loops. Carry the kayak on each side.
  3. Once you and your partner are in between the vehicle, make sure that the kayak is aligned with it and so that it will be placed at the center of your vehicle.
  4. Bend your knees, then lift the kayak slowly. Don't force it too much, or your muscle tissues might get torn. Lift it first until it gets to your body's midsection, then stop there and rest a bit. Now by counting to three again, lift it until the boat is overhead.
  5. Place the boat at the center of the vehicle and lower it slowly.
  6. Use two ropes to tie the boat, and loop it around your vehicle. A good way to do this is to place the rope on top the boat and insert the rope inside the window. Pass the rope through the window until it gets to the window at the other side. Use a rope at the front window and one at the rear window of your vehicle.
  7. If you are using a pickup truck, follow the same procedure, lifting the kayak up to the truck bed, Make sure that the boat is tightly secured to the bed of your truck.

If you are going solo, you can still ask for help when lifting the kayak on and off your vehicle, but carrying your kayak to the river's stream is entirely a different story:

  1. Face the kayak such that it's vertically in front of you.
  2. Move up toward the cockpit and place your hand forward inside it, then lock your shoulders inside the cockpit. This locks the kayak to your body. Doing this will reduce the chances of dropping the kayak when you are carrying it.
  3. Use your other hand, and hold the top part of the kayak. Then start walking.

Placing a thick cloth on the top of your shoulder could help as well. This will alleviate the pain coming from the side of the kayak placed on the top of your shoulder.

There are other ways to carry the kayak. But the steps above will give you basic ways of carrying a kayak easily, whether you're walking toward the water, or loading it onto your vehicle.


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