How to Use a Kayak Cart

Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes. While you may find you can hump your kayak on your shoulder and walk a few feet to the water’s edge. You may not always have that luxury.

If the best river or lake is a fair stretch from the road, or you have a decent amount of fishing gear. Carrying this could be out of the question.

Kayak carts are simple and make the transportation of your kayak much easier than you can imagine.

Four kayaks on the shore

In our cart guide, you can learn how to make use of the best kayak scupper cart to make sure you can reach the water no matter the weight of your kayak. Before the end, you’ll see how you can cut down the time with a kayak trolley and getting on the water to start to fish.

Do I Need a Kayak Cart?

It is possible to do without a kayak cart, yet they allow you to haul a kayak or two and gear from your truck to the edge of the water in style. It can do this without body strain.

This means sites close to the water. Rather than loading up your vehicle, it is great to load up your kayak cart with all your gear and not have to use your vehicle.

The type, weight, and style of kayak have a great influence on the difference. Even if you have a light boat, why waste the effort carrying when you could put that effort into paddling.

You may also find at the end of one stretch; you face a long portage along the way. Your kayak dolly can be your best friend. (Read Kayak Fishing for Beginners)

How Do You Use a Kayak Carrier?

While you may think a kayak trolley is suitable for towing, it isn’t, and for this, you use a kayak carrier. You can find these in many forms, yet a common variety is the ones that resemble crossbars that sit on top of the roof of your vehicle.

The simple steps are:

  1. Load your kayak, boat, or canoe onto your vehicle
  2. Face your kayak boat forward on the roof of your vehicle
  3. Strap your kayak to the crossbars on one side and toss the straps over. Pull them tight on the far side of your car and secure any loose ends
  4. Once your kayak is secure in the center, you need to strap the bow and stern. You will need some bow and stern straps to accomplish this.

How Does a Kayak Cart Work?

Kayak types of carts come in a wide range of designs, yet you tend to have two type of trolleys.

The most notable differences are the kayak tire you are using, as you can get these to deal with sand, or pneumatic tires suitable for rough terrain.

You also find the way you want to fasten your kayak to the trolley, and it is here there is a difference.

  • Cone: Suitable for sit-on-top kayaks
  • Cradle: Suitable for sit-on-top kayaks
  • Platform: Suitable for sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayaks. You can also transport a canoe, SUP, surfboard, and others.

Cone Supper Hole Support

A scupper hole or cone support trolley fits sit-on-top kayaks by sliding the arms into your kayak’s scupper holes.

Cradle Support

With a cradle type trolley, you have two arms that sit on either side of the hull. The hull bottom is sitting on a rubber pad. Unlike others, you don’t need to use a strap. Another advantage is that you can place your yak between the arms without unloading your gear and flipping your kayak.

Platform Style Trolleys

These are similar to a cradle trolley, and you can load them without unloading your gear. However, you will need to use the strap to hold your kayak in position. You will find them suitable for many other types of small vessels.


Tires are crucial is it can mean you get stuck, or you can portage over any terrain.

  • Pneumatic tires can get punctures, yet area great all-rounder
  • Solid wheels are designed with sand in mind – weight limits of 120 kg
  • Balloon tires are perfect for any terrain as they can get over large stones. Nine-inch Kayak wheels can get punctures, yet you’ll never get stuck. You can find some models come with flat-free tires, so no punctures are possible.

Yellow kayak with water bottle

Carrying a kayak trolley while paddling is a thing many kayakers do if they need to portage around a certain area. Because of this, the best kayak trolley will need to be easy to stow. Many kayak cart models can fold and stow in the gear compartment of your kayak.

How Do You Move a Kayak by Yourself?

1. Load Strap Cart Style Kayak Trolley

  1. Position the Kayak trolley next to your kayak
  2. Stand at the back of your kayak and lift the stern. Slide it onto your cart, so your kayak rests on the padded platform.
  3. Lift the bow, so your kayak is in line with the stern and your trolley.
  4. Check your kayak cart has even weight on your cart, and the cart sits directly beneath the kayak close to the back of the seat and cockpit. As you lift the kayak back, it will stay on the wheels and not tip backward.
  5. Once your kayak cart is in position, take the strap and secure it around the leg of your cart. Pass the strap over your kayak. Secure your kayak onto the opposite trolley leg.
  6. Making sure the buckle is on top of your kayak.
  7. Tighten as much as you like to secure your kayak or canoe to your kayak cart.

2. Scupper Hole Plug Style Kayak Carts

  1. Turn your kayak on its side to access the underneath. If there are scupper plugs in the scupper holes, you want to remove these.
  2. Lift the cart and place the poles into the scupper holes. You’ll find these to the rear of your kayak, close to your seat.
  3. Once inserted, you want to turn your kayak upright onto the wheels of the cart carefully.
  4. Check the balance is correct, and you can lift the bow safely. You may need to adjust the positioning of any weight to get the balance you like.

How To Use A Kayak Cart