Transporting a kayak

How to organise

In the guide you will find:

Kayaking is not only an exciting adventure, but also a sport that requires proper transportation of equipment. This guide will help you understand how to transport your kayak safely and efficiently, taking into account the different types and sizes of kayaks. This will ensure that transporting your kayak is efficient and safe.

How to prepare your kayak for transportation?

Clean your kayak - before transporting, clean your kayak thoroughly and remove any dirt. You should also remove any accessories such as seats, paddles or flaps.

Secure the inside - place a cloth bag inside the kayak to protect it from accidental damage.

Secure the exterior - cover the kayak with bubble wrap or a special cover to protect it from scratches or other damage during transport.

Use straps - use special straps to secure the kayak to the roof of your car or trailer. The fit should be strong and stable to prevent the kayak from moving during transportation.

Check regulations - before transporting, check the regulations for transporting kayaks in your country or region to ensure that they are transported in accordance with the requirements.

Choose the right transport - select an apropriate means of transportation, such as a car with a roof rack or a trailer for transporting kayaks.

How to transport a kayak yourself?

You can transport your kayak on the roof of your car or use a trailer. Special kayak trailers are available. Such equipment can be purchased or rented. However, most often kayak owners choose to transport their kayaks on the roof of their vehicle. So how do you transport a kayak in this way?

How do you attach a kayak to the roof of a car?

It all depends on what kind of car and kayak you have. You will need a roof rack. Remember to check what limitations your roof rack has and whether the load is too heavy, especially if you are transporting several kayaks. You can fit special brackets on your roof rack to allow you to lay your kayaks on their sides - so you can carry up to three or four kayaks at a time. To avoid shifting and damaging your gear, it's a good idea to lay some soft material, such as sponge pads, on the rack bars. Then place the kayaks on the rack. If you are carrying one or two kayaks, you can stack them on the cross bars of the rack, preferably upside down. Make sure that the kayak is stable and does not tilt forward or backward. The kayak needs to be securely fastened. The best way to do this is with transport straps with buckles. You will need at least two straps. They should be properly tensioned and their ends wrapped so that they do not make any noise during the ride. Secure the buckles so that they do not damage the kayak. Remember to bring at least one spare belt. Important: make sure the kayak is securely fastened. Check whether it can be moved sideways. It should be stable and not move. Make sure, however, that the straps are not stretched so tightly that they could damage the kayak cover.

How to label your car and the kayak you are transporting

When transporting a kayak on the roof of a car, you need to be mindful of traffic regulations. Kayaks are generally lightweight, so weight should not be a problem. However, attention must be paid to the dimensions. According to the Highway Code, the load must not protrude from the rear of the vehicle by more than 2 m from the rear contour plane of the vehicle or combination of vehicles.

The load may not protrude at the front of the vehicle by more than 0.5 m from the front contour plane or more than 1.5 m from the driver's seat. In addition, the protruding load must be appropriately marked. The regulations on marking are very detailed:

The load protruding from the rear of the vehiclemuch be marked with white and red stripes placed directly on the load or on a disc on its rear face or on a geometrical solid suspended from the end of the load. In addition, during periods of insufficient visibility, a red light and a red reflector should be placed on the rearmost edge of the load. When transporting long timber, instead of white and red markings, it is permissible to mark the end of the load with an orange flag or shield; the load protruding from the rear of a passenger car or a trailer hauled by a passenger car may be marked with a red flag of at least 50 x 50 cm placed at the rearmost edge of the load. If you are travelling abroad, check the regulations in the country you are visiting.

Drive carefully. Move slowly, checking that the kayak is stable. If it is not, stop and correct the attachment. Ideally, stop every so often and check that the straps are properly tightened. Drive slowly and carefully.

Transporting kayak with a special kayak trailer.

Transporting your kayak with a kayak trailer is one of the safest ways to transport kayaks. Here are some steps to follow to ensure safe kayak transportation with a kayak trailer:

Prepare your kayaks - before loading your kayaks onto the trailer, clean them thoroughly and protect them from damage. Remove any accessories from the kayaks such as seats, paddles or flip-flops.

Load the kayaks - the kayaks should be placed on the trailer in such a way that they are well secured and will not move during transport. It is best to place the kayaks in a horizontal position, with the bottom facing up.

Use straps - special straps should be used to secure the kayaks firmly to the trailer. Ensure that the straps are tight and that the kayaks do not move during the ride.

Pay attention to regulations - before transporting kayaks by trailer, check the regulations for transporting kayaks in your country or region to ensure that you are transporting them in accordance with the requirements.

Test the trailer - it's a good idea to test your trailer before you go to make sure it's working properly and is fully secured.


What are the dimensions of kayaks and how much do they weigh on average?

Kayaks are a special type of watercraft whose dimensions and weight can vary depending on the model and purpose. On average, however, kayaks are between 2 and 5 metres long and between 50 and 100 cm wide and they weigh between a few and a dozen kilos.

Touring kayaks, which are designed for longer trips, tend to be longer and wider than sport kayaks for greater stability and stowage capacity. Sport kayaks, on the other hand, tend to be lighter and more manoeuvrable, allowing for complex manoeuvres on the water.

The weight of a kayak also depends on the material from which it is made. Kayaks made of plastic, such as polyethylene or polycarbonate, tend to be heavier than kayaks made of other materials, such as Kevlar or carbon fibre. Wooden kayaks, although slightly heavier, are also more elegant and are often chosen by lovers of traditional style.

What types of kayaks are there?

Kayaks can be divided into many different types, depending on their purpose, design, use and other features. Here are some of the most popular types of kayaks:

Touring kayaks - these are designed for further and longer trips on the water. They have a large stowage capacity and stable construction, allowing you to carry more gear and float comfortably and safely.

Sport kayaks - these are designed for people who enjoy fast and dynamic rides on the water. They are light and easy to manoeuvre, allowing you to perform complex moves and interesting evolutions.

Sea kayaks - these are designed for longer trips on open water, including at sea. They have special guards against waves and wind, and increased boot capacity to carry more equipment.

Whitewater kayaks - these are used for crossing difficult and rapid rivers with steep drops and obstacles. They are lightweight and manoeuvrable and are designed for quick and easy portaging.

Racing kayaks - these are designed for competitions and kayak races on the water. They have a special design for speed and manoeuvrability, but they are also not very stable and require a lot of skill and practice.