You will need to carry your kayak with you every time you go kayaking. Therefore, it is in your interest to learn how to safely and effectively carry your kayak. Here, we will look at some of the ways to carry a kayak. By the end of the lesson, you’ll know how to carry a kayak.
Why Learning How to Carry a Kayak is Important
One of the biggest concerns for people who own a kayak is carrying a kayak, which not only includes taking the kayak from one place to another but also lifting and loading it. The difficulty of carrying a kayak is the reason some people don’t kayak as often as they should.
When buying a kayak, some of the most common questions that people ask are: “Is the kayak light enough for me to easily carry? Can I pick up the kayak by myself? Will I have any problems loading it into my car?” People ask these questions because they don’t want to be stuck with an expensive toy that can’t even play with. In other words, they don’t want a kayak that they cannot carry to the place of kayaking.
The good news for all kayak owners is that they can carry, lift, and load their kayak without any problem if they use the right technique for this purpose. You will be able to carry your kayak regardless of its weight easily. You may need to practice the technique a bit in the beginning, but once you get a hold of it, you should have no problem carrying your kayak.
The more you practice, the easier it will get for you to carry your kayak, even if your kayak is complex and heavy to carry at first. A word of advice would be that carrying a kayak won’t be easy at first. So, you will need to show some perseverance to start. However, after a while, the thing will start to come naturally to you, and carrying your kayak will become a breeze.
How to Carry a Kayak
How do I carry my kayak? What is the safest way to carry it?
These are some of the questions that you may have in your mind right now, and we’re glad that you have. This is because it can be tricky and even dangerous to lift and carry a kayak if you have no knowledge about or previous experience of carrying a kayak.
Until you know the basics of transporting a kayak from one point to another, you should not attempt to carry it. This is for your safety, as carrying the kayak the wrong way can injure you. However, once you know the right techniques for carrying a kayak and have practiced them in your backyard, you will be ready to carry your kayak to the place of kayaking. So, what are the right ways to carry a kayak? We discuss them next.
Carrying a Kayak Solo or By Yourself
If you have to carry your kayak by yourself, then you can do it in the following steps.
Step 1: Preparation
- Put your kayak on the ground
- Stand with your face towards the kayak. Also, point the bow in the direction you want to go
- Your left shoulder is where you need to position the kayak if the bow is on your right and right shoulder if it is on your left
- While ensuring the cockpit is facing in the opposite direction from you, turn your kayak to the side
- To ensure that you are in the center of the kayak, lift the kayak slightly. This will help you maintain balance when the kayak is on your shoulder
Step 2: Use Your Legs
- You should place your hands on the cockpit’s rim close by and then pick up the kayak onto your legs. The weight will be borne by your thighs
- To make sure you don’t injure yourself, maintain your knees in a bent position. Also, ensure that the kayak is positioned in a safe way on your thighs
Step 3: Pick Up
- Reach to the cockpit’s other side with your back straight and knees bent. Use your hand that is near the stern for this purpose. Also, face your palm upwards when grabbing the rim
- Using your hands, turn the kayak up and place it on your shoulder. Make sure that you are in a comfortable position
- Staying mindful of the kayak’s length and any blind spots, stabilize your kayak on your shoulder and start carrying it to where you want to take it
Carrying a Kayak with Two People
Carrying a kayak is so much easier when you have help. However, you must still know the right ways of carrying a kayak when two people are involved. To help you with that, we will provide a step-by-step guide for carrying a kayak with two people.
Now, there are a few ways to carry a kayak when two people are involved. One of the easier ways, which is mostly used for short distances, involves one person grabbing the bow’s toggle and other person grabbing the stern’s toggle.
After this, the kayak is lifted off the ground by the two people carrying it and then moved forward. The two people carrying the kayak maintain communication for the entire duration of the transportation. However, if the kayak has to be lifted onto your car, then you will need a different method even when two people are involved. Nevertheless, the following are the steps to follow to carry a kayak when two people are involved.
Step 1: Prepare
- With the kayak grounded, both people involved should stand with their face towards the vessel
- Both you and your helper should face the vessel but from opposite ends
Step 2: Lifting
- Each person involved should bend their knees once they’re in position. Additionally, each person should grab the toggle near them while keeping their back straight
- To ensure that both the people involved on the same page, communication is necessary
- Lift the vessel simultaneously once both persons are ready. At this point, the kayak should be at waist level
Step 3: Lifting to Shoulder
- To ensure that both persons are prepared and comfortable, communication is needed at this stage
- Lift the kayak up and onto the shoulder, once both persons are ready
- The hull of the kayak should rest on the shoulder of both you and your helper/partner
Carrying this kayak in this position will allow you to carry it safely to the water or load it onto a roof rack. However, you must make sure that the person in the front of the kayak communicates any obstacles to the person at the back.
Tips for Carrying a Kayak
By now, you know how to carry a kayak solo as well as with two people. However, you can more effectively carry the kayak while minimizing your risk of related injury by using the following tips:
- Take a proactive approach and plan in advance. This planning involves researching the area you will move through. This is especially important if you have reason to believe that certain natural blockades along the way will make it difficult for you to carry the kayak to the intended destination
- If you have to carry the kayak over a considerable distance, carry it in short bursts and frequently take breaks. To avoid bruising, change shoulders after each break
- Take special care when putting the kayak back onto the ground if you have a composite kayak. You should also show extra care when there is a potential of obstacles hindering the movement of the kayak along the way. This is because composite hulls are far more vulnerable to cracking than plastic hulls when they are struck hard
Kayak Carts are an Option
While we have provided you with all the information you need on how to carry a kayak, you can skip all the trouble by getting a kayak cart. Ideal for longer distances, kayak carts are attachments with two wheels that you can slide onto the center of your kayak or one of its ends.
The kayak cart works very much like a wheelbarrow, relieving you of much of the responsibility of carrying the kayak’s weight. Another great thing about kayak carts is that they can be easily assembled and disassembled while allows you to tuck them into your kayak while you paddle.
As detailed above, there are a few different ways in which you carry a kayak. The right method for carrying a kayak depends on how many people are involved and the distance that needs to be covered. Therefore, you should pick a technique for carrying your kayak based on the distance you need to travel and whether or not you have help.