How To Tie Down Your Kayak

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Updated on

Tie Down Your Kayak — the Right Way

BUT, first, let’s discuss THE WRONG WAY(S)

A Kayak is probably not only stuff of hobbyist these days. Kayaking is more than the thing we do in our leisure, but we made it a part of our life. So, keeping it safe by tying perfectly (so that it never sailed away with the wave) is very much important.

Read this article thoroughly so that you can tie down your kayak like a pro.

The Wrong Way (We Do Always)

When trawling the freeway, I was able to come across a lot of cringe-worthy tie-downs. At worst, it can claim human lives. But, it doesn’t have to be you. We both know you can be better than that. Here is the best of the worst…

Ah yes, it denotes the kayak side of the mattress sail. If you own a pick-up, try to build a rack. 30 Minute Pickup Kayak Rack gets me cranking so hard with a ratchet strap that you could use to break the kayak. So, it’s best to avoid ratchets. 

Poorly Installed Rack: Number 1 way people tend to lose their kayaks on the highway. Losing your Rack on the Highway also tops my list of things you need to avoid. 

THE RIGHT WAY (We Should Be Following)

To adopt the right way of tying a kayak, you will require standard cam tie-down straps (8′ min.). You can easily find them at hardware stores, sports stores, or online.

The following guideline has been inspired by SEAWolfKayak – so if you need more info; visiting their website will surely enlighten you.

  1. Always make sure that your kayak is center along with its balance point and must be placed in between the racks. Find where the balance point is (might be different for different kayak manufacturers).
  2. Position the kayak towards you, so it remains rested on the keel and the outside chine/stringer.
  3. Now, deliver the strap under the bar on the far side of the kayak.
  4. Gather both the slack end and the cam end overtop the kayak towards you. After bringing them together, you will have two similar straps running across your kayak’s deck.
  5. Fine-tune the cam and bring it to the top of the gunwale. This will give you space to tense down.
  6. Deliver the loose end beneath the bar, throughout the cam from bottom to top, and grip it down. Don’t make any tighter yet.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 when following your second bar. Once you bring both straps on, tense up each one.
  8. Grip the straps down tight. Once you went on to moving your kayak side-to-side or up-down, your car should move on as per shocks.
  9. AVOID USING RATCHET STRAPS. It is difficult to make regular cams any tighter with simple arm strength. However, it is VERY EASY to over-tighten ratchets.
  10. Daisy chain the slack ends, or insert them in your car doors to avoid flapping.
  11. After following these steps, if your kayak still moves from side-to-side, follow the steps below…

Tying Down a Kayak at a Glance:

If you don’t know much about how to tie a kayak then, you have to be knowledgeable about a few good knots first. This will go a long way when you’re in the bush. And, for canoeists, the bowline offers the ideal knot to use in fastening your painter and severe lines, particularly when dragging.

You’ll be hard pushed to undo a granny knot after a few hundred meters of exertion have tightened it. Fortunately, Will’s a pro with the Bowline. Follow these steps and you’ll achieve the bowline every time.

  1. Shape a small loop close to the end of your rope.
  2. Slip the bitter end of the rope up through the loop, as if you were wearing an overhand knot.
  3. Carry on round the standing end and back through the small loop.
  4. Pull it tight.

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