How to Secure Kayaks to a Yakima Rack

how to secure kayaks to yakima rack

If you have a kayak on a rack, you may be wondering how to secure it. There are several ways to do this, and the most important thing to remember is to keep it secure while in motion. Padding, ratchet straps, and a J-cradle rack are a few of the options. Choosing the correct option will depend on your kayaks’ weight and style.

Ratchet straps

When securing kayaks to a Yakima rack, there are many options. First, you can use tie-down straps. These are straps that can be coiled around the crossbar, then passed over and under the kayak. You can also use rope. But be sure to purchase extra-long ratchet straps and use different size ties for a more secure hold. If you don’t have any of these tools, enlist the help of a friend or family member to secure the kayaks to the rack.

If you have a vehicle that has a hood loop, you can use one. The hood loop strap is also an option. But be careful when you attach the ratchet straps to your car’s roof, as the straps will damage the hull. Also, be sure to tighten them until they are snug and secure, and use the free end to tie them off below the ratchet.

If you have a trucker’s hitch, you can also use regular rope to tie down the kayak to the rack. But this type is harder to secure, and the thinner the rope, the greater the risk of damaging the kayak while on a long drive. Ratchet straps can be much easier to use, but they also come with the disadvantage of being a little more vulnerable to overtightening and cracking the kayak.

In addition to ratchet straps, Yakima has a number of other accessories that you can buy to secure kayaks to Yakima racks. A pair of Yakima Heavy Duty straps is an essential accessory. They are 16 feet long and come with padded buckle covers. If you’re looking for a locking load strap, Yakima offers RipCord straps that can latch and unlock. Another option is the Malone Rope & Hook Kayak and Canoe Tie-Down Kit. This kit includes nylon cording and 2 S-Hooks.


You can add extra cushioning and grip to your Yakima rack by padding kayaks with foam. Yakima crossbar pads are Velcro-secured and provide extra grip and cushioning. Available in 20-inch and 30-inch widths, these pads are made of mostly fabric and are durable enough to carry paddle boards, surfboards, and kayaks. You can even add more than one pad to your Yakima rack if you have more than one type of kayak.

When choosing a kayak rack, be sure to consider the weight of the kayaks you’ll be hauling. Some Yakima kayak carriers can hold as much as 80 pounds of weight. Padding your kayaks to yakima racks will prevent your kayaks from getting damaged, and many brands have foam pads and foam-lined foam inserts. Also, ensure that you have adequate space for the kayak to sit properly on the rack.

Another option for kayak transport is a rack that’s equipped with special foam blocks that will cushion the underside of your kayak. These blocks can be installed on factory-installed rooftop cross bars or on an aftermarket roof rack system. If you’re using a roof rack that doesn’t have side rails, you can use a kayak stacker style rack. This rack is designed to be secure and easy to install.

Another way to secure your kayak on a Yakima rack is by purchasing and installing Yakima Crossbar Pads. These pads are affordable and versatile and are designed to fit most crossbars. The pads are made of foam and feature an anti-slip fabric outer. They provide ample coverage for your water gear and minimize your kayak’s impact on the environment. There’s no reason to pay more than you need to.

J-cradle rack

If you are using a Yakima rack, you’ll need to tie your kayaks down properly. You can secure your kayaks using the tie-downs that pass through the buckling point on the rack and through the fixture. Then, simply cinch the straps until you feel comfortable. If you’re not confident with tying down your kayaks, you can always use a rope.

Make sure to wrap the kayak straps around the crossbars and over the kayak’s edge. They shouldn’t flapping in the wind. You also don’t want to make the mistake of loading your kayaks first, because this will make them more likely to slide off. Regardless, you should secure your kayaks correctly to prevent them from being lost while traveling. Don’t forget to secure your kayaks to the rack correctly, and you’ll be on your way!

Once you have secured your kayaks properly, you’ll need to make sure that they are secure to prevent them from shifting in the car. Yakima makes a rack with padded J-Cradles that spread the weight of the kayak. Padded J-Cradles are especially nice for expensive composite kayaks. Additionally, the rack comes with integrated ramps to make loading easier. It’s easy to assemble, disassemble, and lock your kayaks once they are loaded.

Using a ratchet straps or a rope will act as a tie-down mechanism. Be sure to buy extra straps and use a variety of sizes. If you’re not comfortable using ratchet straps, then you can also use rope, but this method requires a good understanding of how to tie down a trucker’s hitch is set up. As always, if you’re having trouble loading the kayak yourself, don’t forget to ask someone else to do it for you.


If you have a Yakima rack, a BoatLocker is a must-have accessory. It has a 10 foot cable that securely locks your kayak to the rack, while PaddleCuffs secure your paddles as well. The Yakima BoatLocker is also compatible with most types of kayaks. The cable is extremely flexible and can weave through hard points on the boat and the rack’s crossbar.

Kayak racks can be mounted on the side or rear of a vehicle. They can also be locked, which means that your kayak won’t be stolen. A kayak should be placed bottom-up when mounting on a horizontal rack, but its large surface area makes it a desirable option for most kayakers. You can even use the rack to secure your paddleboard while traveling. It will save you time on fuel economy and wind resistance while transporting your kayak.

Stackers can hold up to four kayaks, and are available for Yakima kayaks. Stackers also provide an additional option for securing kayaks. Yakima also makes racks that accommodate more than two kayaks. In addition to kayak stackers, Yakima sells kayak saddles to reduce the noise caused by transporting kayaks. These saddles can also increase fuel efficiency.

If you want to transport your kayak on the road, you should invest in a kayak rack. These racks come in many different styles, and they are compatible with various roofs and crossbars. You should know the differences between these racks, as well as how they attach to your vehicle. If you have multiple kayaks, you should consider a J-style kayak rack, stacker, or horizontal rack.

Integrated lift system

A Yakima rack is one of the most versatile ways to transport your kayaks. It can accommodate both round and square crossbars and is compatible with Yakima’s keyed locking system. It can hold up to four kayaks with a combined weight capacity of 300 pounds. Real-world results will vary depending on the size and width of the kayaks. A Yakima rack can hold up to two full-size kayaks, but can also hold up to four if necessary.

The Yakima Showboat offers a convenient way to transport two kayaks. The Yakima rack features a slide-out load assist roller for ease of loading. It also features corrosion-resistant stainless steel crossbars and hardware. It is also lightweight, with only 1.3 pounds per kayak. Yakima’s Showboat kayak carrier is compatible with most crossbars, including older square bars.

Designed specifically for kayaks, the Yakima load assist kayak rack offers a load assist system that can reduce the weight by up to 40%. The rack’s loader can also fold flat when not in use to minimize wind noise and drag. As with any roof rack, this system is not suitable for every vehicle, as it is a little larger than a standard J-rack.

The TMS is another option. This system can attach to any roof rack, though it does not fit the thickest crossbars. The TMS is versatile and comes with 16-foot lashing straps. The TMS mounting system is incredibly easy to install and use. In addition to being a low-cost option, Yakima recommends the TMS for kayaks because it is user-friendly and has an enduring warranty.

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