Kayak Loading On Car

How to Transport a Kayak on a Small Car

Before purchasing a kayak, you need to ask yourself, how do I get it in the lake or shore? Otherwise, you will get frustrated looking for transportation, especially if you don’t drive an SUV or a truck. However, in the recent past, people have come up with a new method of transporting a kayak. If you own a small car, there are different ways in which the kayak can be tied to your car to ensure smooth and easy transportation. Below are some of the safest ways to transport a kayak using a small car. Remember that while loading and unloading the kayak and storing in your house be very cautious and follow safety rules. 

Can you transport a kayak on a car?

Transporting your kayak on a car is not as difficult as it seems. You only need to ensure that your kayak is safe and it fits perfectly on the roof of your car. Another concern is if you can place the kayak on the car’s roof alone. This, however, is not a major issue since you can always ask for help from a friend.  There could be cases nonetheless where you’ll not have a friend to help lift the kayak; you can use alternative methods like striking the kayak on your car or using kayak carts.

Ways of transporting a kayak on a small car

There are several ways to transport a kayak in a small car. Kayaks today are not very bulky, so you can easily transport them with a small car without much of a hassle. However, all the methods require you to be careful since failure to secure the kayak properly can be disastrous. These methods include:

  1. Towing a Small Kayak Trailer: You can tow one or two kayaks using a small car. You need to ensure that you have steady and robust tow packages and ensure that the kayaks and trailer do not exceed the car’s weight. This is one of the best ways to transport a kayak. It is less tiring since you do not need to lift your kayak every time, moving it from one place to another. However, when transporting a kayak, you will be limited to parking spaces, so you might be forced to park further away from where you are putting your kayak in the water. This will mean that you might have a hard time carrying the kayaks to the desired kayaking position.
  2. Getting a Kayak Roof Rack:  A roof kayak is the safest way to transport your kayak. However, your need to have crossbars on the roof of your car. These racks are designed to make loading your kayak easy and fast. You can also get a rack with locking straps. The locking straps guarantee the safety of your kayak. When using a kaya rack, that kayak sits on the rack and not directly on the car, so your car’s paint is protected.
  3. Strapping the kayak to the roof of the car without a kayak rack: You can also strap your kayak on the top of your car without a kayak rack. To strap the kayak, you should ensure that you place something between the roof and the kayak to provide insulation, rubbing and scratching your car’s paint.

When you are transporting the kayak, always avoid unprotected contact since it can damage both the car and the kayak. To prevent scratching and rubbing, you can use pool noodles; they are set on top of your car between the roof and the kayak. They are useful because they are hollow in the center, so you can easily thread a kayak cam strap directly through the noodle to create a de facto roof rack.

Tools you need to set up a kayak on the roof of a car without a kayak rack

  1. Electric drill
  2. Small metal drill
  3. Rasp file
  4. Flat Jewelers file
  5. Sharp knife
  6. Needle nose pliers.

You will follow the following steps in setting up the pool needle kayak carrier.

Step 1: Measure the aluminum tube  and cut it into two

Step 2: Place the tube on your car’s roof and measure the edge of the roof.

Step 3: Mark two rectangular slots on one side and drill to cut the aluminum out.

Step 4: Cut the two rectangular holes that can fit the ends of your kayak straps. These straps will keep your kayak secure and secure the tubes in your car.

Step 5: Measure and cut your pool noodles until they reach the holes on either end.

Step 6: Then, put the strap on the first hole until you see the end at the second hole and place the tubes on your roof.

Step 7: Finally, lift your kayak onto the tube and pool noodles and ensure you secure it to the aluminum tube’s ends. Also, ensure you tie down the bow and stern from the side.

4. Striking the kayak in your car: You can also choose to load your kayak in your car trunk. However, it will stick out of your car. To use this technique, you need to ensure that your kayak is small so that only a small part of your kayak is sticking out at the back. The downside of this method is that you will require to drive with your car trunk open.  You also need to have tie-down points in the trunk of your car so you can attach straps that will keep your kayak safe and prevent it from sliding. However, when using this method, avoid sticking it sideways since it could cause serious accidents.

How to know if the Kayak is too big for your car

There are instances when your kayak will be too big, and it can’t be compatible with your car.  There are ways you can easily find out if your kayak is too big for your car.

  1. The length rule:  If you want to transport your kayak so that it sticks out at the back of your vehicle, you need to check out its length. If more than half your kayak sticks out of your car, then it is too long. If it is too long, most of your kayak’s weight will remain unsupported and hanging out behind your vehicle, making it unsafe. Most countries and states have regulations for towing, so consider the measures set to avoid getting in trouble as you transport a kayak.
  2. Weight Limitations: Most cars can support the weight of a kayak. However, some kayaks can be too heavy, exceeding the weight of a small car. So, if you own a relatively heavy kayak, you will probably have difficulties transporting it or placing it on the roof of your small car

You also need to check your vehicle’s manufacturer to make sure that the top of your car can support the weight of your kayak. However, if you own a smaller kayak, you will have a problem transport


Most people find it quite challenging to transport a kayak. You will find people hiring trucks or limiting themselves to the small rivers and shallow waters around them. For an experienced kayaker, you will want to explore new waters and new environments. You don’t need to worry anymore about the additional cost that comes with transporting a kayak. If you have a small car, you can use it in the transportation of your kayak.

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