How-To Guide: Easy Way To Tie Down A Kayak2021-08-04T13:22:56-04:00

How-To Guide: Easy Way To Tie Down A Kayak

How to Tie Down A Kayak For BeginnersKayaking is a popular hobby. With so many amazing places to enjoy the water, you’re going to be transporting your kayak around a lot. It’s important that you learn how to tie down a kayak securely.

It takes a little practice, but you’ll be a pro in no time. Read on for our step by step guide to kayak transport.

Tying down your kayak is easy once you get the hang of it, but always take the time to make sure your kayak is strapped down securely before you take off.

How To Tie Down A Kayak

Gear needed

You’re going to need a few basic pieces of equipment to ensure your kayak is tied down safely and your car is protected from any damage.

These include:

    Crossbars – most vehicles can be fitted with crossbars if they don’t already have them. Crossbars are fitted to the roof of the vehicle and are often used to fit roof boxes or specialist bike racks.
    Padding – when strapping a kayak to your roof rack, you’re going to want to protect it from being damaged by your car. The padding attaches securely to your crossbars and absorbs any impact and keeps the kayak secure. You can get padding for standard roof racks or j-racks.
    Kayak straps/cam buckles – these are specialist ties for securing a kayak to a roof rack. The buckles are designed to keep the kayak in place without damaging it. The straps will stop the kayak from lifting when you are driving and causing a potential accident.

Step by step procedure

1. Place your kayak on the roof of your vehicle. The front of the kayak should be facing forwards.

2. Ensure the kayak is centered between the bars of the roof rack.

3. Take a strap to run it over the kayak, around and under the bar of the roof rack. The bare end should be under the bar of the roof rack. The end with the buckle can be on the side of the car. Once the strap of looped under the roof rack you can take up the slack and wrap it around your hand into a bundle.

4. Take the bare end across to the other side of the kayak (you may have to throw it or ask someone to help you).

5. Loop the same strap under the roof rack bar (it should be the same bar on the opposite side).

6. Take the bare end and feed it through the buckle. This secures the kayak. Pull the bare end of the strap through the buckle and pull it until there is no more slack.

7. Tighten until you’re sure the kayak won’t be able to move around when being transported.

8. Repeat the process with the second strap on the opposite side.

9. Wrap any dangling ends of the straps securely around the rook bar and tie in a know. This will stop them from damaging the car or getting caught in the wheels and causing a lot of damage or even an accident.

10. Once you’ve secured the body of the kayak, you’ll need to tie down the bow and stern. Use the bowline and hook it to the kayak and through the handle at the other end.

11. Take the opposite end of the bowline and secure it to the two hooks under your car. If your car isn’t fitted with a tow hook, you will need to get one fitted or have specialist hood loop straps fitted by a specialist.

12. Using the buckle or ratchet, tighten until the line is secure.

13. Repeat this with the stern line by hooking it through the handle and then bringing it back around and under the bumper.

14. Tie any loose ends together into knots so they don’t pose a danger.

15. If you’re wondering how to tie down a kayak without a rook rack then you can use a trailer

Check Out This How-To Guide To Tie Down Your Kayak


Transporting a kayak is very easy once you get the hang of it. All you need is the right equipment and a little practice. The important thing to keep in mind is that your kayak isn’t scratching your vehicle, and that it is secured tightly. The last thing you want to do is rush the process and cause an accident an do damage to you, others, and your kayak.