How To Load The kayak On J-Rack By Yourself

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 27, 2022
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You can load your kayak on J-rack by yourself with a few simple steps. For that, you need to install a J rack on your kayak on the crossbar on the roof of your car. And then, place your kayak on the J-rack from the side or the rear end of your car. Strap it down to secure the kayak in its place.

Key Takeaways

  • J racks are installed on the existing crossbars on the roof of a car to carry a kayak
  • J racks make it easier for you to transport the kayak easily on the roof of your car and reduce the nose of your kayak being lifted by heavy wind
  • Before purchasing a j rack you have to consider quite a few things; among them, the “type of your car” is the most important one
  • Your vehicle must have a rack equipped already to use the J rack
How To Load The kayak On J-Rack By Yourself

What Is J-Rack?

J rack, as the name suggests, has a shape like an alphabet J. These tracks are installed on the existing crossbars on the roof of your car. They make it easier to carry a kayak. The kayak is housed at an angle that is supported by the J shape of the rack. In the absence of a J rack, the kayak would need to be carried by placing it horizontally, which can lead to the nose of your kayak being lifted by heavy wind. You will also face difficulties in strapping it down. A J-rack eliminates this requirement by reducing drag in carrying the water vehicle on the top of your car. 

Also, these racks are extremely affordable, and there are J racks available that are available with a locking mechanism. These racks are helpful in areas with security concerns as they guarantee that your racks will remain secure even in your absence.

How Is A J-Rack Helpful In Carrying Your Kayak?

When you own a kayak, you may think of exploring new waterways in nearby locations. You will also need to test your skills in different situations. In such a case, carrying your kayak to new water bodies may seem like a challenge. There are multiple ways to carry your kayak to the desired location. One of them is carrying it on the roof of your car.

J racks make it easier for you to transport the kayak easily on the roof of your car. Also, they are extremely affordable and convenient. However, the major concern lies in the proper installation of the J rack and the kayak itself. Let’s discuss this in more detail.

How To Install A J-Rack?

The proper installation of the J-rack is crucial. First of all, you need to consider the type of vehicle that you have. This type of rack is much suited for vehicles of smaller heights like small cars, trucks, or SUVs. This is simply because it is easier to lift your kayak to the roof of a vehicle of lesser height.

Another consideration when installing a J-rack is that your vehicle needs to be equipped with another type of rack already. The J – rack is attached to the existing rack of your vehicle.

The third thing to consider is the orientation of the J-rack. A J-rack has two sides. One of the sides of the J-rack is longer than the other one. There is padding in between where your kayak will rest. One way to set the J rack is to place the longer side out and away from the center. This is one of the most used orientations for the J-rack. However, this necessitates that you need to load your kayak from the backside of the vehicle. The second way to install a J rack is to keep the taller end towards the center, which will make it easier to mount the kayak on the top of the car from the side. This is much easier, and you can step on the runner or the doorway in case you need some extra height. 

Explain The Process Of Loading The Kayak On A J Rack.

The first step of loading a kayak on a vehicle is to set up the kayak. Setting up your kayak beforehand will make it a lot easier to carry it. However, you do not need to flip your kayak as you would normally do in the case of normal crossbars. You need to keep the kayak facing upwards on the ground. This will make it easier to lift and place it on the J-rack at an angle. 

If the taller side of your J-rack is positioned towards the center, you can easily mount a kayak from the side. You will need to lift the kayak facing upwards. As you go up, you need to slowly tilt it towards you. Place it on the padding in between two sides of the J-rack at an angle starting from lifting one side of the kayak while supporting the other side. This is easier said than done. Lifting a kayak single-handedly may become a major task due to the weight of the vehicle and its size. It will be better to take the help of a friend. Two people can easily lift the kayak from both ends. The taller friend can place his end first and then support in placing the other end. 

However, you can also load your water vehicle from the rear end of your car.

For this, you need to start with your vehicle facing upward and place the bow of your kayak just behind the bumper. Also, place some pads below the stern. This will protect the stern of your kayak when you lift the bow part to put it on j racks. Now secure the bow part of the kayak on the channel of your J rack before you slide it forward. It is advisable to place the pad two or three feet away from the stern. Lift the stern while pushing forward and rotate the kayak slowly so that the gunwale rests on the channel of the kayak. Now all you need to do is secure your kayak on the J rack with the help of straps. 

How To Secure Your Kayak On The J Rack With The Help Of Straps?

This step is crucial and ensures the safety of your kayak while transporting it. In case you are carrying a single kayak, two straps will be enough to hold it in place. However, if you are carrying more than one kayak on the roof of your vehicle, you need to use multiple straps. 

Wrap the strap on the taller side of your J rack and bring it over your kayak on the other side. To make it more secure, bring it underneath the kayak to the crossbar of the car and wrap it to make it more secure.


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