How to Safely Transport Kayaks In Pick-up Trucks
- 12 Oct, 2022
Kayak angling has exploded in popularity due to kayaks being more affordable than a standard fishing boat, their versatility and size, and their ease of transport.
In this post, we will take a look at how to safely transport kayaks to and from your fishing destinations.
Kayak Transport Equipment
Depending on the size and type of kayak you plan to use, there are a few different types of equipment you'll need to transport it.
Ratchet straps are probably the most key piece of equipment, and you want to get them ready and in place, before you position your kayak in a truck bed.
If you have a long kayak with several feet overhanging in your truck bed, you might want to consider either a tailgate mounted extender, or an over the cab rack system.
Securing Your Kayak
Take your ratchet straps and get them hooked onto your truck bed anchor points and lay your ratcheting portions of your straps in an open area where the kayak won't impede you from easily tightening them.
In almost all situations you will have to keep your tailgate down, this will almost always be the case unless you have an over cab rack or a very short kayak.
Your straps need to do more than just go across the top of the kayak, as road bumps and movement can cause the kayak to flex and wiggle its' way out from under your straps.
Look for attachment points or something to either wrap the strap around or go through to ensure there is some sort of fastening to lock the kayak in place. If you have them, (most fishing kayaks will,) place your straps under any kayak handles/ grab handles on top of the kayak.
Be sure to secure the tag ends of your straps after tightening. This is fairly easy to do by rolling the tag ends up and using a Velco strap, heavy duty rubber bands, or by tying them into knots.
Truck Bed Extenders
For longer length kayaks a truck bed extender is not optional unless you are using a trailer or over the cab rack.
Truck bed extenders are easy to install, and slide right into your trailer hitch receiver.
Truck bed extenders are also fairly affordable, and if you are handy and know how to weld and do some basic metal fabrication, you could easily build one yourself.
There are many different types of kayak racks available for pick-up trucks, and many racks that work might not even be made specifically for kayaks.
Many kayak-specific racks also hold two kayaks, which is great if you plan to fish with a friend or family member.
Transporting kayaks with a pickup truck is not a complicated endeavor, but it has to be done right. After securing your kayak a few times, you will figure out the quickest and safest way to do so, and it will be a breeze.
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