A kayak is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the water, but storing it can be a real hassle. If you own a kayak, you may need to put it on a rooftop carrier to cart it around.
Locking your kayak to a roof rack with straps is a good idea if you’re driving more than 50 miles.
It’s also necessary if you have more than one kayak and want to keep them from sliding off the rack while in transit.
This article will cover how to lock your kayak to a roof rack.
How To Lock Kayak To Roof Rack
1. Get strap locks, the kind that tightens with a ratchet-style mechanism and are designed for roof racks. You can find them at sports stores as well as hardware stores.
2. Take the straps and run them through the bars and up through the buckle.
3. Once the straps are in place, you can use a ratchet strap to secure them to the kayak. You’ll want to tighten these as much as possible without damaging your kayak or the rack itself.
If you’re not sure how tight is too tight, err on the side of caution and loosen them up a bit more.
4. After securing one end of the strap with a ratchet strap, secure it with a locking buckle and double-check to ensure the strap is tight. You’ll want to repeat this process for each strap on your kayak.
5. The last step is to secure the ratchet straps with the lock that comes with the straps. Pull forward on the latch, insert the key, and the key will turn easily. Doing this will prevent anyone from removing your kayak from the roof rack without the key.
What Is A Kayak?
A kayak is a boat designed to be propelled by a single paddle, unlike a canoe steered by a rudder and paddles. It is designed to be propelled using a double-bladed paddle that you can use in several ways.
Kayaks are typically propelled by the torso of the person paddling the boat; that is, it requires more upper body strength than rowing.
In Greenland, kayaks were traditionally called kajaks. These kayaks were made of animal skins stretched over a wooden frame.
For thousands of years, people in the Arctic have used kayaks for hunting and fishing. The Inuit people first used the kayak.
These early hunters paddled into open water to catch seals, walruses, and whales. They also hunted in sheltered bays for birds.
Kayaking is an enjoyable sport for everyone; it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any kayaking experience or if you’re an experienced pro.
Kayaks are available in different shapes, and you can use them for many activities. They can be used for fishing, sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking, kayak sailing, kayak racing, scuba diving, and even as an improvised surfboard or boat, such as after a disaster.
Kayaks are made out of three layers: an inner layer of polyethylene which makes the boat strong and lightweight; an outer layer of fiberglass, which makes the boat durable and easy to repair; and a middle layer of foam that adds buoyancy.
Each layer is made from resin. Resin is a type of plastic that’s similar to rubber. When you add a hardener, it becomes tough and rigid. In kayaks, the resin is used as glue to bond layers together.
When you make one part of the kayak out of carbon fiber, you get the best of both worlds: light and strong kayak. Carbon fiber is stronger than steel, yet it’s about half the weight of glass fiber.
Different Ways Of Locking Kayak To Roof Rack
Using A Belt
If you have a rope lying around, that’s as good as a strap if you don’t have either one. However, it would help if you used a belt to tie the kayak to the roof rack. The belt will keep the kayak from sliding around and damaging the car during transport.
- Tie one end of the belt around one of the handles on the kayak
- Tuck the other end of the belt under the seat on the kayak, looping it over once
- Pull tight on both ends and make sure there is enough slack in the belt to allow you to pull it up over the kayak and onto the roof rack, where you can secure it with straps.
- Secure the kayak by locking it. For this step, you can use a locking carabiner over an actual padlock as it will provide more convenience than a standard padlock with a keyhole.
Using A Bungee Cord
- First, find a set of good and tough bungee cords. They should be long enough to be able to stretch over the length of your kayak.
- Once you have found your bungee cords, remove the top of the kayak and attach one end of the bungee cord to the center of the kayak. Please make sure the other end is free to attach to the rack later.
- Next, measure the distance between your truck bed and the width of your kayak. You will need this measurement for attaching the second bungee cord.
- Now, stretch the bungee cord over the length of your kayak and secure it on the other side with a good knot. You want to make sure that this is nice and tight so your kayak doesn’t move around while driving.
- Now, take the second bungee cord and place it underneath your truck bed, stretching it from one side to the other. Make sure that you have a strap in each corner of the kayak and one in the middle. It will ensure that it is not going anywhere while you are driving.
- Attach the two pieces with a carabiner to provide an adjustable, tight fit. Now, go ahead and hit the road!
Use A Combination Lock
If you have a kayak and want to lock it in your car, you can use a combination lock. You can also buy one that is keyed, like a bike lock. The kayak will be safe as long as the thief doesn’t know the combination of the key.
Combination locks are usually cheaper, and they allow you to be away from your kayak without worrying about someone stealing it. Thieves can cut off keyed locks, so use the combination when possible.
- Wrap each lasso around the bow and stern of your kayak. To tighten the lock, pull the lassos in the central portion of the kayak.
- Insert the combination lock, and your kayak is safe and secure.
- In the event of a sit-on-top kayak, you may thread the cable lock through all the scupper plug holes.
- Make sure to keep the plugs inside the car after unloading the kayak.
The Different Types Of Kayaks
When you base the intent of usage, you have;
- Recreational kayaks
- Touring and sea kayaks
- SUP kayak hybrids
- Whitewater kayaks
- Fishing and duck hunting kayaks
- Crossover kayaks
- Surf kayaks
- Racing kayaks
When you base classification on means of propulsion, you have;
- Paddle-propelled kayaks
- Pedal-powered kayaks
- Motor-powered kayaks
The different types of kayaks for recreation are best for different purposes. The three most common recreational kayaks are;
- inflatable kayaks
Recreational kayaks are easy to paddle, maneuverable, and stable. They’re ideal for a wide range of water types. A closed-hull kayak is more expensive than an open-hull kayak and is more durable.
Inflatable Kayaks; Inflatable kayaks are typically durable materials coated in PVC or rubber.
You can inflate them with a hand pump or an electric pump; this is a bonus because it means you don’t need to carry around heavy equipment when traveling.
Key points to remember;
- Where you’re going to paddle: If you plan on paddling in a river, sea, or surf, it is best to buy an open-hull kayak. These boats are better suited for rough water conditions as they can take on more water without sinking.
- Open-hull kayaks also tend to be faster than closed-hull ones. However, if you want to go camping with your kayak, then a closed-hull kayak is better as it can carry more weight.
- What you’re going to use your kayak for: If you plan to use your kayak for racing, you will need a fast boat with good maneuverability. If you plan to use your kayak for fishing, you should look for one with plenty of storage space and stable enough to stand up in.
This article discussed how to hitch a kayak to your vehicle’s roof rack. As you’ve seen, there are different ways of locking your kayak to your vehicles’ roof using different materials.
The important thing is that you safely strap in your kayak to prevent theft and damages. Hopefully, you found it helpful, and if there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know. Stay tuned for more helpful tips on kayaking!