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How to Haul Your Kayak: A Quick Guide

How To Haul A Kayak

You’re ready to enjoy a day in the river. You have planned your trip and prepared all of the necessary equipment. But do you have any idea how to get your kayak from here to there? We have compiled a quick guide on how to haul your kayak, so you don’t have to worry. Read on for several of the ways you can transport your kayak.

Truck Bed

If you are lucky enough to own a truck, an open truck bed is arguably the easiest way to transport your kayak. Here is our proven method on securing the yaks to the truck bed:

To load the kayaks in, you first need to open the tailgate. The number of kayaks you can fit in a truck bed depends on the type of truck. Some vehicles comfortably fit four, and others can only fit two. Once the kayaks are loaded, lift their noses upwards to latch the tailgate.

Secure the boats to the truck with bungee cords. Make sure that each kayak is tied down, so it does not move when you push or pull on it. You wouldn’t want to see a boat falling off the truck and onto the road when you are driving to your destination. You can make the kayaks more visible in traffic by tying a red flag to at least one of them.

Roof Rack

If you are using a car or an SUV, the best option for you will be to use a roof rack. Here are the different types of roof racks and their properties.


If you only need to haul a single kayak, J-style racks are your best bet. Their most significant advantage is that they are easily foldable. This means that you can leave them attached to your car even if your next kayaking adventure is not in the near future.

J-style racks are also great if you need to pack any additional equipment with your yak. The racks hold your kayak at a 45-degree angle across the car roof, allowing for a small amount of storage space on both sides of the boat.


Horizontal racks are the ones that hold the bottom of your kayak against the roof of the car. Your yak is positioned horizontally in a way that helps reduce drag. These racks are also reasonably aerodynamic. They are best suited for the transportation of a single kayak.


Vertical kayak racks are an option worth considering if you are kayaking with a larger group of people. Don’t be fooled by their name – they are not truly vertical. These racks actually require you to slide the kayak in on its side.

Despite this misleading detail, the vertical racks are great for accommodating families or small groups, as they can hold up to four kayaks, depending on the size.


If you prefer kayaking by yourself, you might want to consider purchasing a lift-assisted rack. These racks allow you to attach your kayak to the rack easily with the help of hooks that slide down. The rack will then take over and handle the bulk of the weight that needs to be lifted onto the roof of your vehicle.

Lift-assisted racks are an excellent option for anyone who isn’t confident in their ability to lift the kayak on their own.

Foam Mount

Foam mounts are remarkably simple. Depending on the model, they consist of either two or four pieces of foam. Two-piece models are usually designed to serve as a rest for the bottom of your kayak. Their foam pieces are long and thin with an inverted slope.

Four-piece foam mounts tend to have small slits in each piece of foam. These slits are there for you to slide the sides of your kayak into.

Foam mounts serve as a barrier between your yak and your vehicle, regardless of the mount model. In order to secure your kayak into place, you will still need to use a rope and bungee cords.


In terms of ease of use, a trailer is right up there with a truck. Open your trailer’s tailgate, or lift the kayaks over the side and into the trailer bed. Secure them with bungee cords, so they are held in place during transport, and you will be ready to go.

Wrap Up

Knowing how to transport your kayak is an essential step to master before getting to the water. You need to be able to move your kayak safely to and from the location you’ll be paddling at. Be sure to choose the right method of transport for your vehicle and preference. This quick guide on how to haul your kayak should help you get started.

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