The Best Way To Transport A Kayak Or Paddleboard In A Truck
By: Joe Simonds on October 2, 2017
Transporting your paddle craft seems like a simple thing to do, right?
Just load it up and strap it down….
Well, let’s think about this….
You wouldn’t want to just strap a boat down to a bare steel trailer now, would you?
If you own a pick-up truck, you are ahead of the game on being able to easily transport your paddle craft, however, a lot of kayaks and paddleboards are damaged during transportation due to lack of care.
There are a few reasons why damage to your kayak or paddleboard occurs and I want to explain how to avoid each:
Mistake #1 – Strapping Your Paddle Craft Down Too Tight
The biggest mistake that I see is when someone really cranks down the straps on a kayak or paddleboard and has it tied down as tight as humanly possible.
This puts a lot of pressure on the vessel and can lead to cracking and/or warping.
This is especially common when strapping them down to rooftop racks.
A lot of pressure is applied to the vessel in the very small area where it is resting on the crossbars.
Find the thickest pool noodle you can and zip tie them around your crossbars and this will fix that problem.
As for the straps, they only have to be snug.
With your vessel being in the bed of a truck, there is less wind hitting it, as opposed to being on the top of a vehicle, which requires more straps to secure it.
Avoid ratcheting straps as these are the biggest culprit in over tightening the straps.
Lashing straps (such as the one shown below) are your best option for securing your vessel.
Mistake #2 – Strapping Your Paddle Craft Down To A Hard Surface
Even if you are using lashing straps and just keeping the vessel snug, there is still the risk of damaging it if you strap it down to a hard bare surface (such as a truck bed).
Plastics and fiberglass don’t get along with hard surfaces, such as steel.
If you are transporting your paddle craft during the heat of the day, plastics tend to soften as they heat up and this can cause the bottom of your kayak to warp if strapped down to a hard flat surface.
The best fix for this is to use foam pads, or a homemade support you can use to place under your vessel during transport.
You would also want to try to distribute the weight of your paddle craft evenly over the support.
What I mean by this is you do not want a lot of pressure applied to a small area of your kayak or paddle board when it is strapped down.
The more of the bottom of your vessel that is supported, the better.
You may think to yourself, “Well, kayaks and paddleboards are light, so why do I need so much cushion underneath?”
What many people overlook is the fact that when you strap it down, you have basically simulated adding a bunch of weight to the vessel.
Let’s review what I’ve found to work best…
The Truck Bed Extender
This accessory was initially used as a means of supporting long loads in the bed of a pick-up truck, such as wood, construction materials, etc.
Now, paddle craft users have adopted this device for use when transporting, loading, and unloading their vessels.
It makes it so much easier to load a heavy kayak into the bed of your truck with a bed extender on your vehicle.
You can place one end of your vessel on the support beam, and easily slide it right up into your truck bed.
It also gives extra support to the part of your vessel extending beyond the length of your truck bed.
Remember as I stated earlier, the more of your vessel that is supported, the better!
In the following video, I will be showing you the essential items I use to transport my kayak and paddleboard in the bed of my truck.
You will also see how I load them up and secure them.
How To Transport Your Kayak Or SUP Via Truck [VIDEO]
Pretty cool way to transport your kayak or paddleboard, huh?
Sure, you could always just throw it in the bed of the truck, but that certainly won’t help it last a long time.
And let’s face it, these new fishing kayak and fishing paddleboards aren’t getting any cheaper…
What’s your best trick for transporting your paddle craft?
Let me know in the comments.
P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!