How to not bounce your kayak off the ground

Hi peeps.  Hope all is well.   Let’s just jump right into it.  I had the opportunity to pick up a two seat sit on top kayak this weekend, which was perfect timing as my youngest has asked to get one so he can paddle less (i’m pretty sure) and it would be great going with new to kayaking folks so they can enjoy it vs. trying to do all the work.  Net Net: WIN.

So let’s talk about picking it up, putting it on the truck for the first time & then the fun had after all that.    First, I went to see it and was stoked it was exactly as shown and great condition, barely used and had most of the parts.  I was thinking that I’ve loaded 3 person kayaks, 1 person kayaks with no problem so this should be a walk in the park.   I was so wrong, my friend & I tried to get it on the truck, first was in the truck bed. Nope, way to long and stuck out to far.   Next, let’s go on the roof so we tried an approach that I’ll call the “finger jammer” as my friend smashed up her fingers during the load in.  but we did get it on the racks and the weight on this bad dawg was twice my 3 person kayaks (probably not, but sure felt like it).   So I headed home and as I was driving my brain was thinking through every method that I could do..   here’s what I came up with first.

  • mount a pully in the bed of the truck, use rope to help pull it up on the roof so it will guide the boat on top.
  • find wheeled racks that will allow me to roll it on top.  (that sounds fun).

so, when i got home I decided to check out the Tube of You (YouTube) and see if there are others out there that have had this very challenge.   I was not alone the videos were endless and I watched enough to know which strategy I would employ.   I thought thru the steps, I game planned out the unload & reloading steps.   but.. it was raining & crappy outside so I left it on the truck & planned a kayak day for today (Memorial day).

I got to the lake ramp and decided to try out the strategy for unloading.   It worked out really good, I felt like a “boss” as it was smooth, kayak came down, loaded it up, dropped the truck & hit the water.   The paddling was awesome, lake was empty, water was cold, clouds were everywhere, but it was peaceful and very good for relaxing.  I was enjoying the water until I got back to the dock and said “oh sh&&” i guess it’s time to plan out strategy – load on the truck.   I remembered back to the video on what he did.. so here’s the video & then let me add a few items..


  1.  Put the strap on the truck racks, my racks are a tad different so the sliding it on was not as expected
  2. kayak placement next to the truck was equally important
  3. BONUS;  this was not on the video, but feel like it should be added.  If you have a wheeled kayak at the back then you need something to stop it from rolling, like a sandal, yah let’s try that #fail, okay a towel #worked, but now the towel got dirty, wash time.    so..   summary – need something to brace it from rolling.
  4. load the tip onto the strap, pull up the back and slide it on the front, then lift over onto the back of the truck.  You think that i’m done at this point. nope.
  5. In order to lock it down I needed to flip it over to make it a better fit on the racks.  This is where it gets fun, I got into the truck bed, I flipped the kayak over, however the type of strong plastic kayak picked up the bounce of getting flipped over and as you would imagine a kicked in door spins around, the kayak flipped about 3-4 times in the air & met the ground with a THUD.   (the kayak was not hurt, injured or broken).   I had a nice size audience watching the show, so I had to laugh..  get out of the truck and round 2 of load-in, more practice sounds fun.
  6. so..  kayak back on (round 2), I flipped it over gently and a better way of slowly going and then being on the coming down side to let it on the racks.   tightened it all up & hit the road..

Now i’m ready to go with a guest and not look like a DA.   Thank you Youtube, thank you for practicing and trying it before I do a major trip.

Why am I stoked?  I can bring a guest easier, I can also do a multi night camping trip with it as has a 500lb capacity and I can put a ton of gear in the front, so it’s go time for kayak camp trip.     Oh & I’m going to do some mod’s to the kayak to add a few straps and hooks to hold gear differently, along with putting in new seats.  It’s going to be an epic kayak in no time.

Happy Memorial Day.



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