A guide to transporting a kayak without using a roof rack

Using a roof rack is a great way to transport your kayak without risking damage to your car or boat. However, there are situations where you may not have a roof rack to hand and need to get your kayak from A to B. This guide we have put together aims to break down the best way to do this.

Creating your temporary roof rack

An easy and affordable temporary replacement for a roof rack is using foam blocks or in a pinch – pool noodles. The first step is to lay the pool noodle horizontally across the roof of the car, if there is any overhang you can trim off the excess until you get to the required length. Once this looks correct, repeat the process with as many pool noodles that you have and lay these out parallel to the first. Preferably you want the pool noodles to be spaced about a metre apart. Next step is to feed your ratchet straps through the centre of the pool noodles and through the car window on each side, tightening and securing them into place. 

Now you have created your makeshift roof rack, you can put your kayak on top of your car. To do this, make sure you flip the kayak so that the cockpit is facing down and ensure that no part of the kayak is touching the car. When you are happy with the positioning, use more ratchet straps over the top of the kayak to connect inside the car. Before you tighten the straps, check that they are not twisted and laying flat over the top of the kayak. Secure the buckle of the ratchet strap close to the kayak for the tightest fit but do make sure you do not overtighten the straps as this can cause damage to your boat. 

Key points to note

It is important to remember that safety is key when transporting a kayak. Double check the security of the straps around the kayak and pool noodles and be aware that this is not a solution for long journeys or driving at high speeds. If you require moving your kayak across large distances it is definitely worth investing in a roof rack to do this. Also note that if your kayak is too big to be secured comfortably to the car, it is better to invest in another method of transport such as a trailer.

We have a selection of Riber roof bars & brackets available on our website, please click here for more information and to find out which option is best for your boat and car. You can also follow us on Facebook to ask any questions to a friendly member of our team.

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