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How to Select the Right Kayak Rack
How to Select the Right Kayak Rack
by M. Zaki

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When you're heading out for a day at the lake you'll need to have your kayak rack ready to go on your vehicle. There are a lot of different types of racks available and the one you'll require will be based on your type of vehicle and your own personal preferences.

Roof mounted racks
With these kinds of racks you'll need to have a system in place already for the rack to sit on. These systems can either be purchased as a multipurpose rack system or as one that has been specially designed by the manufacturer of your car, van or truck.

J-Style racks
These are the types of kayak rack that you'd most commonly see on most vehicles since they can be folded down when they're not being used. With this type of rack the kayak can be loaded either from the back or the side of your car. When you use this rack style your boat can sit at an angle of 45 degrees, which gives you more room on the crossbars in case you need to transport something else along with the kayak. There is also the option available to lock the rack to both your vehicle and the boat to keep it more secure.

Horizontal racks
A horizontal kayak rack is one of the safest ways to transport your kayak on top of the vehicle. This is due to the fact that more surface area of the kayak is covered and you'll also be able to use this rack to carry other types of boats as well. One of the benefits to using this rack over another is the design. When you have this rack you'll see that it's aerodynamically designed to minimize wind resistance, which in turn will mean less gas consumption.

Some of these racks also give you a state-of-the-art technology that helps you load your boat onto your vehicle and then unload it when you're ready to take it down.

Some things to consider before purchasing a kayak rack

Before heading out to buy a kayak rack for your kayak there are a few things that you should be considering first. You'll want to decide on how many kayaks you'll need to be transporting at the same time so that you can get the right size of rack needed. You'll also want to measure the height of the vehicle by standing beside it to see whether you'll be able to load the kayak onto the rack from the side or from the back. Keep in mind the weight of the kayak and your own level of agility and strength. Will you be able to load the kayak on your own without any help?

In some cases you may need to have a step ladder handy to use to help you get the kayak onto your vehicle. For some people this won't be a problem at all but for others it may be too much of a burden. If you really don't feel that you can safely get the kayak onto your car you may want to instead consider a kayak trailer.

The shape of your roof
There's a lot of different roof shapes when it comes to vehicles and this will help determine how many kayaks you can carry at a time. While some roofs are flat, which is the best when you need to carry along several kayaks, some roofs have a very sharp slope to them and will limit how many kayaks can be transported in a load.

Getting the right rack
Remember that every kayak is manufactured differently. You'll want to measure the kayak you own or the one you intend to buy before purchasing the rack. You'll also want to make sure that the straps will accommodate the width, length and depth of the boat as well as the spread of the bars. Use a measuring tape to make sure that the measurements are accurate so that you can get the boat kayak rack you need the first time and get it attached without worry of the kayak not fitting properly.

Kayak storage racks
There are a lot of different styles of storage racks available and the one you choose will depend on how many kayaks you need to store and how much room you have available for storage. With some racks the kayaks will be placed belly down, some will sit on their side while others will rest vertically along the rack. There really isn't one storage rack that's better than another when all things are taken into consideration. It will just be a personal preference as to what is the easiest way for you to load and unload the kayak.

Vertical racks
These are also commonly known as kayak posts. With this type of kayak rack you can hold up to four kayaks vertically at one time. Once you have this type of rack up it's easy to lay the kayak in place.

You can also make your own storage kayak rack and make it a personal project. It will save you some money and there are plans on the Internet to show you how to do it properly. Most people will just go ahead and purchase a rack, however, due to time constraints.

You have probably made quite an investment into your kayak and want to keep it as safe and secure as possible. As with most things in life, the more you invest into your roof rack or storage kayak rack, the better off your kayak will be. Just make sure that you buy a good quality rack to keep your kayak protected as much as possible.

When it comes time to make a final selection for your kayak rack system keep in mind the weight you'll be able to lift, how high you can reach and whether you'll be able to handle the kayak on your own. Just imagine yourself in the situation of loading up the kayak to take off to the lake for the day. What type of rack system will you need to have in place so that you can load and go every time without a lot of hassle involved?


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