Kayaking is a lovely way to enjoy the wonder of nature while also getting in a good workout. However, whether you kayak every day or maybe a few times per year, you must know how to transport and tie down a kayak properly.
There is much more than loading your kayak on a truck bed and transporting it to the water using a bit of rope. With the wind buffering against your kayak, it can work loose. In addition, a couple of bungee cords won’t suffice as these can stretch, and the kayak twists.
Furthermore, your kayak can be much longer than your truck bed, so you need to consider this. In our guide, if you don’t have a roof rack, you can learn all the best ways how to transport a kayak in a truck bed to keep it safe.
By the end, you’ll have a far better idea of how to secure a kayak in a truck bed with all your outdoor gear. (Read What Muscles Does Kayaking Work)
How Do You Tie-Down a Kayak in a Truck Bed?
When you transport a kayak in truck bed, you need to be certain it isn’t going to fly out of the back as you transport it down the highway. It doesn’t take many steps to do this properly, so here is all you need to secure your kayak in position.
Load Your Kayak in Your Truck
- Lower your tailgate first.
- Clean out your truck bed of any debris or unsecured load that may cause damage to your kayak. It is advisable to use a rubber mat under the hull of your kayak, as the rubber will stop the hard shell from sliding.
- Lift your kayak onto the open tailgate and push your kayak into your truck bed.
- As you close the tailgate, any overhang will rise to a prominent position that is at a clear angle from vehicles at the rear. As a warning, you should always fasten a flag to the end of your boat to alert other drivers of the potential threat.
Kayak Truck Bed Position
- Angle the stern of the boat into the front left corner of the truck bed to attain the proper positioning. At the opposite corner, align the bow with the tailgate. Besides the rubber mat, you may need padding against any area you rest against the back of your vehicle. You can also pack soft cargo underneath to offer support.
Secure Kayak Fastening Straps
If you’re transporting your kayak in a pickup truck, bungee cords aren’t ideal. Your kayak can swivel, and if you hit a bump, they won’t keep it in place, causing it to bounce. (Learn How to Carry a Kayak)
- Run your SpeedStrap parallel to the tailgate across the top of your kayak. Attach the cam buckle to the anchor points on your truck bed and pull to tighten.
- From the tow loop to your bed anchor, run a second tie-down. Then, pull the boat forward into the rear bed wall by tightening the strap.
- Use a locking cable run if your vehicle will be out of sight for any amount of time unattended. For example, to secure your kayak and avoid theft, the cable needs to go through the tow loop and then the seat or grab handles of your kayak.
You can find this method is suitable for tying and securing kayaks less than 11 feet in length. Any kayak that longer, and you should secure it above the cab using a rack system, or use the next transportation method if needed.
How Far Can a Kayak Stick Out of a Truck Bed?
If you need to use the tail lift to support your kayak because of the length, you can find there are restrictions on how far it can stick from the rear of your vehicle.
Once you get to this size, you could find the weight too much for yourself to carry onto the back of the vehicle. It could be far easier to rest one end on the cargo gate and lift and then slide your kayak onto the bed of the truck before you use your kayaks tie-down straps.
You will discover that transportation like this needs to tying a flag on your kayak, and you need to follow some regulations. In the most understandable terms, you need to adhere to the following.
“The load upon any motor vehicle alone shall not have any overhang to the rear beyond the last point of support for a greater distance than that equal to two-thirds of the length of the wheelbase of the vehicle carrying such load.” the vehicle code states.
In 6 to 8-foot truck beds, a secure tie-down can be enough. Yet, many fishing kayaks and canoes can be 14 feet long, which makes things more complicated.
To start, should your cargo extend over 4 feet or more past the bumper during daytime hours requires a red flag at the rearmost point is required. (Learn How to Transport a Kayak on a Small Car)
Here are the steps you need to secure your kayak on the truck bed with tailgate down.
What you need
- Cam straps
- Red flag
- Locking Cable
- Truck bed extender if your kayak reaches over the designated distance in the above legislation.
- Foam or rubber matt and padding
- Clear the truck bed: Make sure the bed of your truck is free of clutter.
- Foam blocks or rubber padding: Put foam padding or kayak foam blocks in the bed of your truck to protect the hull and lift it away from the truck bed.
- Lift your kayak onto your truck: Lift your kayak stern first and load it onto your truck. The bow should face you at the rear. If you need a truck bed extender system, lift your kayak onto the extender T-bar. Then, simply slide the boat onto the bed of the truck.
- Tighten Your Cam Straps: Once in place, start securing your boat in position. Using your cam straps, secure your boat using the tie-down points on the bed of your pickup. Place two straps across either end of your yak, yet if you have an extender will probably be sufficient.
- But if you’re using an extender, you may also want to buckle down your kayak down to the extender as well. Attach the straps tight enough to hold and not damage. You can thread them through the scupper holes to stop your yak from sliding backward.
- Red Flag: Tie your red flag tight to the rear on the bow to alert road users you have long cargo.