So you’re looking to “Break Out into the Blue” with the family or your mates and you’re going in ONE car, and you’re wondering “how am I going to get these gigantic lumps of plastic onto my roof?” Well, it’s easy – don’t stress!
GET THE RIGHT ROOF RACKS
Two rules: The longer the better. The higher the weight capacity the better. I have Rhino Racks – They’re about 1370mm long. I can tie two 80cm-wide kayaks down no worries but if your racks are any shorter you may have trouble. Fishing kayaks are deceptively wide – for example the Dragonfly 2 kayak is a full 83cm wide. This keeps it super stable in the water, but makes is tricky to get more than one of them on the roof without the right racks. Measure the width of your kayaks before you go out hunting for racks.
If you’re looking for cheap options, SuperCheap Auto is a good place to start. Try to get the widest racks that will legally fit on your car. If you only want to tie one kayak to your racks you could consider something like the ProRack P-Bar 1200mm for around $200 (rated to 75kg), but for two kayaks I wouldn’t recommend it. Maybe something like the ProRack Whispbar HD 1350mm for around $320 (rated to 100kg). With the ratings remember you are putting a large piece of plastic on your roof, where it will act like a sail and I recommend you don’t load the racks to anywhere near their rated capacity. Stick to around half to be super safe.
If you are planning to put three or more kayaks on your roof – you’ll need heavy-duty racks. Get ready to dig deep these babies will cost more than your kayaks. Remember every car is different and not every rack will fit your car. ARB have a good site to check suitability for your car model here: ARB. Also browse Rhino Racks, etc.
SECURE YOUR LOAD
First things first – you will need to tie your kayaks down to your racks securely. Very securely. A poorly tied kayak could fly off in high wind on a highway and yes, unfortunately, people could die. So take this very, very seriously. Our golden rules are:
STRAPS OR ROPE?
Many people use ratchet straps. These are a great product but BEWARE! Even if they are rated to 750kg – one inch of slack develops and they may detach and fly away, promptly followed by your kayaks. You could also tie them too tightly and send a devastating crack up the side of your kayak.
For my first tie I use a tie-down strap rated to 75 kg, because it’s easy to attach, and then I tie again with good, old-fashioned rope. Here is an example of a good tie-down strap for just $30. If you aren’t confident with rope, STUDY & PRACTICE. Google is a good place to start – see here!
If you want to take two kayaks you don’t need any extras – just your basic strong roof racks.
Do not use J-racks as they are flimsy and very dangerous.
For three kayaks, or even four, we recommend the “Yakima Big Stack”. This product is basically a strong vertical bar extending up from each of your roof racks. You tie the kayaks to this vertical bar on their side. I don’t sell them. Click here for more info – this will open in a new window.
GET THE RIGHT KAYAK
Of course once you’re ready to tie the mongrels down you need to get your hands on some kayaks! Don’t settle for anything but the very-best value. Dream Kayaks offer an awesome range of kayaks at jaw-dropping value right here.
Thanks & Happy Paddling!