How to Carry a Kayak | A 10 Step Guide To Carry Kayak Easily

People who have adopted kayaking as one of their favourite hobbies or who practice it as a sports speciality at trips and have achieved their goal have to understand how to carry a Kayak. If you want to keep your boats in good condition for a more extended period, you have to follow these recommendations:

Clean the kayak before putting it away

Use fresh water and soap. Keep in mind that it is dry and that it does not have remains of elements that manage to decompose.

Avoid leaving it outdoors or in a region where it gets a lot of sunlight. The astonishing thing is that it is under a roof in a dry and dark space. You can also put a cover.

You don’t have to hang the kayak by the handles at the ends. The highlight is that you place it on a stand.

Do not place the kayak on the ground. This applies to both storage and use. It can suffer from scratches or blows from stones.

Inspect the hull and all the elements of the kayak before and after use. This way, you will be able to locate any damage.

One of the best ways to move and store your kayak is upside down.

How to Carry a Kayak

Transporting a kayak from one space to another is a task that requires a series of techniques to keep the boat in good condition.

If it is executed wrongly, it can suffer accidents that can cause bumps, cracks, and dents.

Make sure you follow the rules

Before starting the transport of your boat on a vehicle to the kayak routes is considerable that you meet the standards set for their city, especially in the section of kayak transport.

Most suggest that no more than 15% of the boat should stick out about the length of the car.

Assuming that it protrudes, it should always be carried out from the back of the transport.

How to Carry a Kayak

Transporting the kayak to the transport

  • The first thing to do is to transport the boat to the transport that will bring it to the lake, river or sea where it will be used.
  • To take your kayak to the transport, we suggest the participation of two people. If you do this alone, it could take hours.
  • All of them must hold a handle. These are fixed to the boat’s ends, that is, to the bow and the stern.
  • The two people must see and walk in the direction where they have to take the kayak. Even two people can transport two boats at the same time without any inconvenience. They only have to hold one grab handle in each hand.
  • Assuming you are alone, you can place the kayak on your shoulder. To carry it correctly, position yourself on the boat’s left side, look at it, and bend over.
  • Take the leading edge and pull it up to your thighs using both hands.
  • Hold the boat by the inside of the cockpit with your right arm. Do it while holding the ship by the edge with your left arm.
  • Lift the kayak slowly and place it on your right shoulder. Grab it from the holes.
  • It would help if you found a position that prevents the kayak from moving forward or backward. Look for stability.
  • If you find that carrying the kayak alone is difficult, you can also use a wheelbarrow to guide you.
How to Carry a Kayak

Putting a kayak in car racks

Before placing your kayak on the transport where you are going to transport it, keep in mind to have the next rollers. Have a look at the Kayak Roof Rack for Cars without Rails.

kayak carry strap


These are the bars that run vertically across the roof of your transport.

Bars or padded luggage rack

The bars for transporting kayaks are placed on the crossbars and are the ones that accept to hold the boat. They must be covered with foam or material that prevents the boat from being damaged.


We suggest you use non-extensible ropes that are water-resistant to hold the bow and stern well. Always carry a spare to a kayak trip.

Cam straps

They agreed to fix the kayak in the central part.

Steps to be followed

  • First, arrange all the previously mentioned elements on the car’s roof.
  • With the support of another person, hold the radical house handles and place the kayak right next to the transport. It is considered that this parallel to this.
  • Hold the kayak by the hull at the ends and lift it until you get it on the support on the roof of the car.
  • Finally, adjust the ropes and straps until you get a stable hold.
  • Assuming you have to place it on the roof of the car by yourself, you can choose between an automated lifting technique system or a stand with kayak wheels.
  • Although you are looking for a much more customary and economical option, you can place a blanket or bulky cloth on the back of the transport roof.
  • Then place the bow of the kayak on it and push it forward from the back to put it on the stand. The kayak can be placed upside down or upside down.
  • When you verify that it is based on the car’s roof rails and parallel to the vehicle, you can continue to tie it. Learn to tie down a kayak.
how to transport 2 kayaks

Lift and carry

Kayaks, mainly recreational and touring kayaks, come in several different sizes and weights, ranging from 40 to 80 pounds.

Kayaks designed for purely recreational purposes are generally smaller and lighter, while the tour/sea kayaks are usually heavier.

The most effective way to lift and transport shorter, lighter boats is to grab the kayak and lift it over one shoulder.

  • Start by standing with the kayak on the ground against your shins with the cabin facing outward.
  • Bend your knees. Prevent an injury.
  • Slide the kayak over your thighs while keeping your knees bent.
  • When the kayak is resting on your thighs, grab your right hand and grasp the opposite side of the edge of the cabin. As you get up, lift the right side of the house’s border and place it over your shoulder.
  • Let the edge sleep well over your shoulder. Place the kayak comfortably over your shoulder so that you feel balanced. Then, you can carry your kayak without hitting the ground. That’s the process.
how to transport a kayak without a rack
What tips should I continue to remember when I take the kayak?

To secure your back when you lift the kayak, always make sure to bend your knees and not your waist.

If you use your life jacket when carrying your kayak, the shoulder strap on the life jacket will provide shock absorption for your shoulder.

Make sure that when you lift your kayak, the bow is facing forward. This will make it easier to carry.

Some boats are much longer and quite bulky or uncomfortable for an individual to carry on their shoulder.

Boats with stools are also less straightforward to carry because they do not have a cabin edge supported by the shoulder.

One option, which also works with shorter boats, is a two-person load.


You can drag your kayak by holding it with the lever or with your hand on the boat’s bow. It is not an acceptable initiative to remove fibreglass or composite boat because this can be costly damage to their more fragile hulls. You can watch some videos if you want.

Using a kayak cart

The kayak cart was specially designed for longer distances between the water and its transport.

They are an acceptable alternative if you need to carry your kayak on a very suitable lot, which means most of the boats and the shores are full of grass, but they do not tend to be correct for very hard or stony entrances.

Wheeled kayaks are nothing more than two-wheeled accessories that are slid onto a paddle or into the center of your boat so that you can carry your boat by holding on to a handle on a paddle.

By doing a job with the same basic principles of a wheelbarrow, the result is that you carry very little weight yourself.

Most kayak carts can be easily folded or assembled and disassembled to fit your boat or one of its hatches while paddling.

Kayak vehicles usually cost between 60 and 150 USD. Also, there are several homemade vehicle projects that you can find on the Internet if you feel a little bit at hand.

how to carry a sit on top kayak

Use of a roof rack

Loading a kayak into a transport can be a bit complicated on its own, so it’s good to have a reliable frame system that makes it easy.

There are several different sideboards to choose from, introducing sideboard systems that raise the kayak to the ceiling for you. However, it is also viable to transport a kayak without a rack; it tends to be a little more complicated but not unfeasible.

If you already have the factory supports installed on your transport, you can acquire particular complements for the kayaks that fit them.

If your transport does not have factory supports, you will have to invest in simple towers and crossbars to hold the complements.

Simple towers tend to be healthier and have the possibility of holding more weight than the factory grids, so, about the roof rack system you want to use, investing in towers has the potential of being an acceptable initiative.

how to tie down a kayak

How to Carry a Kayak: FAQCan one person carry a kayak?

For an unladen kayak, one person can drive from the bow and one from the stern. Keep in mind that the handles weaken with use and have the potential to break over time.

How do you lift a kayak by yourself?

You can be sure that your kayak will be fast. An inflatable yak can also be an acceptable initiative. There are other ways to transport them that do not involve carrying or lifting too much.

At this point, it is necessary to start with the kayak on the ground in front of you. 

  • Bend your knees and squat.
  • Grab the side of the cabin closest to you.
  • Slide the kayak over your thighs while keeping your knees bent.
  • Reach for the opposite side of the cabin.
  • Lift the kayak while standing.
  • Turn the kayak over your shoulder.

What is the best way to carry a kayak on a car?

The simplest way is with the support of a friend. You will pick up the boat for each radical and place it on the shelf. If you are alone, there are a few configurations for your support system.

Tie a kayak: Using cam straps is the simplest and lightest way to secure the boat.


Kayaking has become one of the most practised sports in the past few years. The inconvenience is provided when transporting it; for that, you can continue our steps.

Beyond the fact that many people have a trailer for kayaks, others do not. It would help if you kept in mind some cautions.

Recent Posts