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Kayak Roof Rack: Gear Storage And Safety Tips

by Amanda Phillips

Whether you're an avid kayaker or taking your boats on the water for the first time, getting them safely to and from the water should always be a top priority. Here are some gear storage and safety tips to remember when using a kayak roof rack.

Gear Storage

Depending on your mode of transportation and/or the accessories you need out on the water, you can use your kayak roof rack to do more than just haul your kayaks.

  • The Plumber's Trick: one of the easiest and safest ways to add extra storage space on your kayak roof rack is to steal a trick often used by plumbers and irrigation contractors. First, measure the length of your kayak roof rack. Next, take a trip to your local hardware or plumbing supply store. Purchase enough PVC piping to extend the length of your kayak roof rack. You should also purchase two end caps to seal your PVC pipes. Lastly, secure the PVC piping by crossing two zip ties over each bar of your kayak roof rack. You can now use this storage space for your kayak paddles, fishing rods, and other accessories you might not have space for in your vehicle.
  • Pack Your Kayak: if you struggle with storage space you can also store most of your gear and accessories inside your kayak during transport. To make sure that your gear and accessories remain safely stowed during your drive to and from the water, it might be worth investing in bungee cord webbing. These products fit snuggly over your kayak and will catch anything that might come loose during your drive. You can make bungee cord webbing more versatile by using carabiners or tow straps to act as anchor points.

Safety Tips

There is considerable debate in many kayak circles about the most effective ways to strap a kayak to a roof rack. Although you should always consult your kayak roof rack manufacturer for safety guidelines and tips, you can safely strap just about any kayak to your roof rack by remembering a few tips.

  • Use Gravity: the downward force applied by the weight of your kayak can be harnessed to keep it more snug and secure during transport. Instead of anchoring your tow straps to anchor points on your kayak or kayak roof rack, consider running your tow straps beneath each roof rack bar. Ratchet your straps down by connecting the metal eyelets on your tow strap, which will use the weight of the kayak to keep it pinned in place.