7 Tips for Transporting, Caring and Storing your Kayak on the Roof Rack


Kayaks offer a great solution for exploring the waters and enjoying the goodies offered by nature. They are among the oldest floating vessels built by man. The first Kayaks were built over 4,000 years ago. The technology behind Kayak has since then, evolved greatly. Today’s Kayaks are built with more durable material, have a higher safety factor, and are more comfortable to ride.

This is no brainer, that we use the kayaks on water. But there are scenarios where you will need to transport your Kayak over long distances and store your Kayak when it’s offseason. In addition to these scenarios, you will also need to maintain and take care of your Kayak to ensure that it remains in the best condition possible during the storage.

Below are 7 tips for transporting, caring, and storing your Kayak.

#1. Use Strong Roof Racks

Transporting your Kayak on the roof of your car can be a big challenge. This is because Kayaks are not designed to align with the shape of the roof rack and tend to have a long hull. It’s not recommended to use soft roof racks for this kind of transportation. Go for good quality universal roof racks which offer strength and have several points where you can pass the strap through.

Alternatively, you can also purchase a Kayak carrier to simplify the transportation process. But if you want to carry the kayak on your vehicle’s roof only, then it’s imperative that you invest in a sturdy roof rack. While placing the kayak on the roof make sure you take a friend’s help and avoid damaging the kayak and your back. However, if you don’t have anyone around to help you and you need to place the kayak on the roof all by yourself, you can always use a lift system or rolling wheels.

In case you don’t have access to these two machines also, you can take the help of a humble towel. Place the towel on top of the rear part of the roof, set the bow of the kayak on the towel and push the kayak forward onto the roof rack.

#2. Secure Your Kayak

Just like any other piece of luggage, you will need to secure your Kayak at the top of the car roof. There are different kinds of straps you can use for this purpose. The recommended straps are those which are wide enough to avoid applying pressure points to specific parts of the Kayak. Elastic straps are better than stiff straps since they will help tighten the Kayak and maintain a uniform tension.

Safety is important. By effectively securing the Kayak at the top of your car, you will not only be ensuring that the Kayak does not get damaged in transit but also the safety of your car and that of other road users. In case you notice a funny sound or you sense that the Kayak straps could have loosened while on transit, just pull off the road and check the condition of the straps before proceeding with your journey.

#3. Put it Upside Down

The sensitive part of the Kayak is the bottom part of the hull. To avoid damaging this part, experts recommend that the Kayak should be placed in an upside down position while carrying on a roof rack. It is also an intuitive way of keeping off water in case it starts raining while on transit. This position is also the best position to store the Kayak as it ensures that the bottom hull is not in contact with the floor.

#4. Clean and Remove Debris before Storage

After a long and exciting Kayaking, you will most likely find sand, water, and other debris in the Kayak. Don’t store your Kayak with such debris. Remove the debris and wash the Kayak before storage. Use non-reactive washing detergents and avoid using strong chemicals such as acids or chemicals which have highly alkaline.

#5. Store Indoors

A Kayak is just like your bike. Storing a motorbike outdoors for a long period of time will damage most of the bike accessories and keep you going for new parts. To ensure longer useful life and preservation of the overall aesthetics of your Kayak, keep it indoors. Hang it using straps and don’t apply excessive tension to the Kayak.

If you don’t have enough indoor space for your Kayak, you will have no other option except to keep it outside. In this case, cover the Kayak completely and keep in at a higher level from the ground. Store it in an upside down position to avoid water and snow accumulating on the inside. It’s also important to frequently check for moulds and remove them.

#6. Keep it Dry, Away From Weather Elements

This tip is most applicable if you are storing the Kayak outside your house. UV rays from the sun will make the paint to faint thus affecting the looks of your Kayak. Excessive heat has also been shown to cause the hull to deform and weaken. High moisture environments are also not safe since they will cause the Kayak material to grow moulds and other forms of fungi.

#7. Reduce the Possibility of Theft

Your Kayak is a treasured possession. You should, therefore, ensure that it’s safe during transportation and also during storage. If you fix your Kayak at the top of your car roof, it’s also important to lock the Kayak to the car rack. This is especially important if you are leaving the Kayak on top of your car for an extended period of time. It’s also advisable to keep an eye over your Kayak while on the beach.


Transporting and storing a Kayak should not give you a big challenge. By observing the above tips, you will ensure the safe transport of your Kayak and the right short and long-term storage for your Kayak. At the same time, following the above pointers will give you a longer Kayak service and avoid instances of theft.

Author’s Bio:

Harold is a passionate writer. She enjoys writing about the latest trends all around the globe. Through her writing, she hopes to influence as many people as possible to help build a beautiful world.