J Bar Kayak Roof Racks 101 (and Other Helpful Tips for Transporting a Kayak on Your Vehicle)
I was fortunate to grow up on a lake during my formative years, so “transporting” a kayak usually consisted of moving it from a dock into the water or, at worst, carrying it 15 yards from the shoreline.
Fast forward 30 years, and I found myself living on the Central Coast of California about 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 25 miles from the nearest lake. I had no choice but to begin using my mid-sized SUV to carry my kayak(s).
Sometimes, I’d be lazy and just stick one through the back window and call it a day. Most of the time, though, I’d find a way hoist it onto the top of my Ford Escape, which has built-in rack, center it, put some padding on the crossbars and tie it down with a couple of straps. It always felt like a major production, mostly because I’m a little stubborn so I usually tried to do it all myself, albeit with the help of a small step ladder that I’d toss into the back of the car.
I would never say that I was cavalier about my approach to transporting my kayaks, but I certainly didn’t know then what I do now. I definitely made some mistakes, but thankfully, the only thing that got hurt was my pride.