Just like on-the-water skills, kayak anglers need get-to-the-water skills. Spend a Saturday at the launch and watch people scratch cars, pull muscles and drop boats until your funny bone hurts. Prevent injury to yourself and your ride by loading and unloading the kayak the right way by following these simple steps.
5 Easy Steps to Lift a Kayak Onto Your Car
When moving the kayak, bend your knees, straighten your back, and lift with your legs. Rest some of the weight on your thighs as you move the kayak to the back of the car.
Place the kayak at a slight angle with the bow about even with the back wheel. Place a towel or pad over the car paint. Lift the bow up and place onto the rear rack. The kayak should be parallel with the car now and the bow resting on the rack.
Keep a hand on the boat to prevent it from sliding off the rack, walk to the stern. Using your legs for power, lift the stern and slide the kayak forward and into the saddles.
To center the kayak, lift up on the bow and then the stern to make sure the boat doesn’t tip off the rack. Saddles that carry the boat upright will allow you to keep the boat rigged with seat and crate.
Use a strap at each cross bar. Pass the strap over the kayak, under the far side, back over the kayak and under the near side of the bar. Tighten the strap and tie the tag end to keep the buckle from slipping. For extra insurance, run 3mm rope from the bow and stern to the bumper using a trucker’s hitch.
Feature photo: Jeff Herman