How to Transport a Kayak on a Small Car
Kayaking is a fun outdoor activity that comes with many benefits. At times, you will need to join other kayakers and this might force you to transport your kayak from one point to the other. This can be a challenge especially if you do not own a big car. But does this mean that you will miss kayaking trips simply because you don’t have a big car? Of course, not! Even with a smaller car, you can move your kayak to a different location.
How can you transport your kayak if you have a small car? This is a common question among many people who find it hard to transport their kayaks. Regardless of the size of your car, carrying your kayak should not be difficult if you do it right.
The most important thing that you should do is to ensure that you load your kayak safely for easy transportation. I will take you through a detailed guide on how to transport a kayak on a small car.
Get pool noodles
Pool noodles are available online at affordable prices. Get some and cut them with a sharp knife depending on the width of your car’s roof. Once you have cut the right size required, put the noodles on top of your car. You can use three pool noodles where you place one at the front, the other in the middle and the last one at the back. Please note that they are not attached to anything.
Lift the kayak and place it on top of the pool noodles. You can seek an extra hand if it will be hard to lift the kayak on your own. When placing the kayak on top of the car’s roof, the pool noodles might slide around. You don’t have to worry because you just need to lift one end of the kayak and then position them as they were before.
Before you strap it down, make sure the kayak is perfectly balanced to avoid sliding off your car’s roof.
Strapping the kayak
You need to secure the kayak in a tight position so that it doesn’t wobble during transportation. You need to have two straps which you will use to strap the kayak. Using the straps is easy. Slide one end through the buckle and it will help in position by friction.
The other type of strap you need is the ratchet where you put one end in a slot in the ratchet gear then crank the ratchet. You can buy these straps online or in your nearest local home improvement store.
If you want to strap the kayak to the roof perfectly, open both passenger doors and then put the ends of the straps on the seat that is at the back of the driver’s seat. Next, throw one end of the strap to the roof and then toss that end via the passenger door. Then you can now attach the strap to the buckle or the ratchet and tighten well. Do not put too much pressure because you can dent the roof.
Use a bungee cord at the front
You want to make sure that your kayak is secure when transporting. This is why you need a bungee cord to hold it in place. Ensure that the kayak pints the right direction so that you can easily see it when driving.
Use a bungee cord at the back
After securing the kayak with a bungee cord at the front, do the same at the back. This is to ensure that it stays safe. You can hook this cord from the bottom of the frame of your car to the kayak handle.
Now you are free to transport the kayak to the desired location. This is how you should carry your kayak safely if you have a small car. You can drive at a speed of over 70 miles per hour without having any problems. The only thing that you might experience based on your speed is wind direction and vibration from some parts of the kayak.
How do you tie down your kayak?
Now that you secured your kayak and transported it safely, you will need to untie it and remove it from the roof of your car. To tie down your kayak, you simply need to feed the straps through the buckles and then cinch them down. Make sure that the kayak is centered and parallel with your car.
If you are short, you can use a stepladder and place it at the back of your car so that it will be easy for you to reach the straps. Untie the straps and the cords well to free your kayak. If you can manage to take it down from the roof of your car, then you are good to go.
When it comes to carrying the kayak to the desired location, carrying it when you are two people is easy as compared to having one person carrying it. You can even carry two kayaks where each person grabs the handle of each kayak with their hands. Then you will walk when one person is leading and the other one follows.
Important tips when transporting your kayak
- Check the maximum weight limit that your car’s roof can hold
- If you are carrying more than one kayak, then you need extra care for safe transportation
- Make sure that you have longer straps
- Get high-quality straps with buckles and test their tension
f you are planning to go for a kayaking adventure, I believe you will not have trouble transporting your kayak on a small car. I have given you a step by step guide on how to do it right so that you can carry it safely and securely.
If you strap it on the roof of your as I have explained above, you can be sure of safe transportation regardless of the distance you are covering. So, you do not necessarily need a bigger car to transport your kayak. If you do it right, then you will not have trouble even if you are carrying more than one kayak.