One of the great things about owning a kayak is the convenience of being able to throw it on the car and head off for a quick fish in no time at all.
When it comes to actually transporting your yak there are a few options. It can be as simple as throwing it in the back of the ute, but for most of us we’ll need roof racks. When it comes to racks the first question you should ask yourself is hard or soft?
The clincher here is cost. If you’re happy to burn upwards of $700 you can get a great set of brand-name racks from your local 4WD shop and off you go! A trip to a big auto warehouse might get you some less heavy-duty racks at half that price. Of course if you need hard racks then they are the go, but if the kayak is the only thing you’ll be chucking on your roof – you could consider soft racks. A good pair will only set you back around $120.
Dream Kayaks, Dream Hard, Play Hard.
Soft racks are all about simplicity.
One thing to be aware of is that some models of soft racks will not be wide enough to hold a fishing kayak. Be sure to check the dimensions of your yak and the width of the pads!
I did some research and ended up going for the Sea to Summit racks. This was mainly because X Y and Z.
The pads offer a wide ‘grippy’ surface that spreads the load across the roof. The Sea to Summit models have an integrated daisy-chain system where you attach your ratchet straps. This gives the user multiple tie-down options for different yak sizes.
Set up is simple:
1. place the racks on the roof and run the straps through the inside of the car and pull down tight and lock in place via a die cast cam buckle
2. load your yak and attach your ratchet strap hooks to the daisy chain loops as close to the yak as possible and tighten down until it doesn’t move
3. For extra security I attach a tie down to the nose of the yak, which then attaches to the front tow point of the car
Key points for use
1. Ensure pads and roof are clean to avoid scuffing the paint
2. Tie the yak down thoroughly (preferably with nose rope)
3. Play around with positioning on the roof to avoid wind noise
4. Use quality ratchet strap tie-downs and secure the ends to avoid flapping in the wind
I find using the Sea to Summit soft racks is just so easy. I recommend them to anyone.
Do What You Need to Do to Get Out on the Water!
Soft Kayak roof racks are the go!