Loading and Transporting Kayaks, Paddleboards and Canoes

Loading Transporting Kayaks SUPs Canoes

Thank you to all who joined us for our latest Loading and Transporting Show & Tell online demo session! We appreciate everyone sharing examples and tips to help make loading easier and faster. This information is helpful to new paddlers, and to those considering options for improving existing setups. The difficulty at this time is finding products in stock to purchase, so if you find what you want now, buy it!

Basic Requirements for Transporting Kayaks, Paddleboards and Canoes

  • A non-moving base for your boat or board, which could be either a rack system, foam blocks or even pool noodles.
  • Two straps around the middle to hold the boat on the car roof or rack system.
  • A strap on front and on back, to prevent the boat from shifting forward or backward under any conditions (especially in the event of a wreck).
  • Legal requirement is to add a red flag If your load extends more than four feet behind your vehicle, and it’s a good idea to add one even if it’s only a couple of feet.

Using “load assist” accessories helps anyone load a large or heavy boat quickly and easily. Many new paddlers worry about the weight of kayaks, but with a few smart gear choices and loading methods, loading a heavy boat is not a big deal. To get it to the water, use a cart or carry it with a friend. That’s one more good reason to always paddle with others!

Gear for Loading Kayaks and Transporting Kayaks (as well as SUPs and Canoes)

These examples are systems and accessories shown during our Show & Tell session, or recommended.


Kayak Tie Down Straps for middle of boat or board (Do NOT use thick webbing rachet straps used for moving furniture!)

Front and Back Rachet Ropes with Anchor Loops

Anchor Loops to use with straps


Foam Blocks Kit with Straps

Llama Racks Transport Systems

Yakima Sweet Roll Saddles

4 in 1 Kayak & SUP Carrier

SeaWing with Load Assist

Yakima boat loader

Suction Cup Boat Load Roller

Hullivator Hydraulic Lift

Vertical Carrier for RVs 


Door Step for Loading On Tall Vehicles


Kayak Cart (the best one available!)

Universal Kayak Locking System

Locking tie down straps


4 Kayak Outdoor Storage Rack or Indoor Storage Rack


Yakima and Thule “Fit Guide” to determine which racks fit your vehicle


See Loading and Transporting Examples

Paddle KC members use a wide variety of options to load and carry boats and boards on vehicles. Come out to any activity on our calendar of paddling events to see options and ask questions. If you aren’t a member of Paddle KC yet, you can join at that link. We have a lot of fun, learning opportunities, and socializing over paddling activities!