You’re excited about starting on your kayaking adventures yet there’s just one problem: you don’t know exactly how to get the craft onto the J-rack of her car! Luckily, also if friend think you’re not strong enough or are too short, there’s a way to perform it (and perform it safely). In this write-up I’ll share just how to load a kayak top top J Rack by you yourself without hurting her back, damaging her car, or dropping your craft.

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Let’s gain started!

Do friend Really want that J Rack?

You have a pair of different alternatives for transferring your kayak.

If you already own a J Rack, don’t concern – there are methods to fill a kayak on a J Rack by yourself, and I’m going to go over those below.


But if you’re tho on the fence, think about getting a saddle roof rack for her kayak like the great one Thule renders (Amazon link).

In mine experience, this kind of roof rack provides the procedure of loading watercrafts onto your auto much easier, also if you’re doing that by yourself. They’re better for quick people, or enlarge folks who may absence the top body strength to elevator a hefty kayak onto their vehicle (or simply don’t want to).

J Racks are popular due to the fact that they’re much less expensive, and they’re sturdy, however I really favor the saddle roof rack if your kayak feels hefty to you.

I’m 6’2, healthy, and don’t have back problems, so ns personally don’t struggle to load and unload mine kayaks from any type of kind the roof rack, but if you’re came to (and you probably are if you’re analysis this article), think about returning her J Rack and also getting the saddle variety. You’ll thank me later.

My encourage Kayak Loading Upgrade

If you struggle to fill or unload your kayak, girlfriend should think about buying the Seattle sporting activities Suction Cup watercraft Roller ~ above Amazon. This point will readjust your life.

It easily attaches come the roof or ago windshield of any kind of vehicle, and allows one human being to effortlessly slide your kayak ~ above the roof of your car.

It works ideal with a saddle style roof rack, yet it’ll work-related with any kind of kayak roof rack system. Here’s their product video clip so you have the right to see what i mean:

Check Price ~ above Amazon

How to load a Kayak top top a J Rack through Yourself

A J-shaped cradle roof rack is fantastic option for your rack if you desire to transport more than one kayak – specifically if you have actually a smaller sized car.

The J-cradle is intended to for sure the boat on the side. This way that you will have an ext space on your roof for storing other things.

To load a kayak top top a J-shaped cradle, start the process by standing and also having the kayak on the ground v its edge against your shins. The cockpit should challenge outwards. Make certain that you bending at the knees (to avoid injury) and also hold top top the front part of the cockpit with one hand. Your various other hand should organize the ago of the cockpit.

Use a sliding movement to lug the kayak onto your thighs. Her knees should remain bent. Elevator up among your knee to offer the kayak support, and also then smoothly bring the kayak to over your head and also put that on top of the cradles. Tie it down after that.

With lifting a kayak, exercise makes perfect. Over there are additionally special techniques that you deserve to use to make the procedure easier.


How heavy are Kayaks?

Kayaks often tend to range between about 40 to 80 pounds.

If you have a kayak that is just for recreation, that will more than likely be lighter and also smaller 보다 a kayak made for touring or sea kayaks. This will make your craft much easier to lift right into the J Rack ~ above your car by yourself.

What’s the Best method to Lift and also Carry your Kayak Solo

If you have a lighter and/or a much shorter kayak, it’s finest to shot picking up the craft and also putting the onto one shoulder.

Start the procedure by standing v the kayak sitting on the ground in former of you. It must be up versus your shins and also the cockpit need to be dealing with outwards. An initial bend at the knees and also put both of your hands top top the leaf of the boat’s cockpit. This should be the edge the is in closest proximity to your chest.

Use a sliding movement to bring the kayak increase on your thighs. Her knees have to be bent this totality time. After you’ve carried the kayak to rest on your thighs, use your best hand and also hold top top the cockpit rim’s the contrary side. Elevator the ideal side of the cockpit rim together you stand back up, and also put it onto your shoulder. Permit the in salt to rest on her shoulder.

Make sure that the kayak is positioned on her shoulder in a comfortable way. The should have a balanced feeling and also you must make sure that the boat doesn’t struggle the ground as you walk.

How to safeguard Your back While transporting a Kayak

There are particular tips you need to keep in mind in bespeak to defend your earlier while lifting your kayak.

Always bend at the knees and never the waist together you prepare come lift and carry her kayak. Improper type can an outcome in one injury, also if the kayak doesn’t feel hefty to you.You have the right to wear her PFD while carrying the kayak. Ns recommend law this – it’s under trips to the water, and also its shoulder strap will help to cushion her shoulder and make moving your kayak much more comfortable.The bow the the kayak should challenge forward once you pick it up. This will make the procedure of carrying it easier. The seems like it won’t make much of a difference, however trust me the does.

Related: Kayak Paddling method – A Beginner’s Guide

What if her Kayak is on the much longer Side or Sit-On Style?

Some kayaks are considerably longer and also might it is in too challenging to bring on one person’s shoulder.

If you have actually a sit-on-top kayak, you will probably also find this tough to carry. That’s because they absence the cockpit rim that you have the right to rest on her shoulder.

In these cases, shot to discover a girlfriend who have the right to lift and carry the kayak v you.

With a two-person carry, you and the other human being will lift together. Each person will host one that the grab-loops or toggle hand-holds the are uncovered at the boat’s bow and stern.

Ensure that you bending at the knees and also continually interact with the other human being throughout the process to protect against injury. Make certain to synchronize every the movements for safety.

If you constantly kayak alone and also have a kayak that is daunting to move to and also from the water through yourself, you could invest in a kayak cart:


These job-related sort of prefer a wheelbarrow, and attach under one end of the kayak so you can lug the various other end and roll your craft to and from the water.

I don’t personally have one, but a girlfriend of mine owns the C-TUG and loves it. Wrinkle up into her storage flower so she deserve to take the in the boat with her. Girlfriend can inspect it the end on Amazon best here.

Other means to obtain Your Kayak indigenous the car to the Water

If you have actually a plastic kayak, you can always employ the tried and true method of transport that every kayaker precious his salt has actually used in ~ one suggest in his or she career.

You have the right to simply traction your kayak.

You can do this by gripping ~ above the grab-loop or toggle hold found at the bow the the boat.

Plastic kayaks are going to get scratched increase anyway, and also if you have cheap one native Dick’s Sporting items or something, don’t be fear to bang it around or traction it over part sand.

It build character.


Of course, you need to never traction a fiberglass or composite boat. If girlfriend do, you’ll probably end up with far-reaching damage the will cost a fortune to repair.

If you have an high-quality fiberglass or composite kayak that you can not carry and load by yourself, absolutely use a kayak cart and invest in a top quality suction roller the will enable you come smoothly glide your boat onto her roof rack.

Enjoy your Kayak, and Don’t Be afraid to Ask because that Help

Now that you know just how to choose up a kayak and load that onto a J-rack without help, you’re ready to walk on numerous memorable kayaking adventures.

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Just mental to have fun and also think around bringing some friends through you, too. And also if there are many folks around the launch, don’t be fear to ask someone because that a hand acquiring your kayak to and also from the water, or onto her car.