Nothing beats being out on the water on a hot summer’s day, and kayaking is a wonderful hobby to enjoy with both friends and family or alone.
However, if you’ve ever been kayaking alone, you know that it can be a struggle to carry a kayak yourself if you don’t know how.
In this article, I will provide you with a few guides on how to carry a kayak by yourself, as well as some handy tips to consider.
Let’s get started.
If you have a smaller sized kayak that is on the lighter side, then it is likely that you will be able to carry your kayak alone with a few simple steps.
If you know that you’re likely to be kayaking alone the majority of the time, then I recommend thinking ahead by getting a smaller and lighter kayak that you can easily transport yourself.
This is the easiest way to ensure that you will be able to transport it fairly easily alone.
A Guide On How To Carry A Small Kayak By Yourself
Step One – Begin With The Kayak In Front Of You
To begin, you will need to place the kayak on the floor in front of you. The front of the kayak, also known as the bow, should be facing the direction that you want to go.
Make sure that you position yourself beside the cockpit.
Step Two – Squat Down
Once you have got yourself into the right position, it’s time to bend your knees, making sure to squat down next to the kayak.
Step Three – Grab The Side Of The Cockpit
Next, you will need to hold the side of the cockpit that is the nearest to you.
Step Four – Slide The Kayak Onto Your Thighs
Once you’ve got a secure grip on the cockpit, you will need to position the kayak onto your thighs as you are squatting while still keeping your knees bent.
The easiest way to do this is to slide it onto them.
Step Five – Reach The Opposite Side Of The Cockpit
With the kayak now on your thighs, you will need to reach to the other side of the cockpit.
Step Six – Lift The Kayak Up
Now it’s time to stand, lifting the kayak in the process.
When you go to stand up, always remember to lift with your legs, not with your back as this will help to prevent you from injuring yourself.
Step Seven – Rotate The Kayak On Your Shoulder
Once you are up on your feet, you will need to rotate the kayak on your shoulder, making sure that the rim is resting comfortably on your shoulder.
If you’re already wearing your lifejacket, this will act as a cushion to your shoulder when you rotate the kayak, making it a much easier and more comfortable experience.
Step Eight – Walk To The Water
Now you’ve rotated your kayak on your shoulder, you can carry it all the way to the water.
If the water is quite a distance and you need to stop at any point for a rest, just repeat the same steps to ensure that you aren’t in danger of hurting your back.
A handy tip to remember is to wear your lifejacket when you are carrying your kayak on your shoulder.
This is great for adding an extra layer of padding to your shoulder, and means that you can carry the kayak comfortably for longer distances.
A Guide On How To Carry A Large Kayak
If your kayak is on the larger side and is very heavy, then it’s likely that you won’t be able to carry it on your shoulder without putting yourself at risk.
Bearing this in mind, there are a few options that you can take to get your kayak to the water safely.
Dragging Your Kayak To The Water
If your kayak is made out of kayak, then you can fairly easily drag your kayak to the water on your own.
That being said, you should only do this on certain terrains, such as grass and sand, as they are softer terrains on the bottom of your kayak.
If the terrain is more uneven and could easily damage your kayak, then you’ll be better off asking someone else to help you transport your kayak to the water to avoid damaging your boat.
You absolutely won’t want to even consider dragging a kayak that is made out of fiberglass, as this can easily rip up the bottom of your kayak and cause holes to form that will render your boat unusable.
It’s also worth mentioning that a skid plate can help to protect your kayak when dragging it down to the water, so it is worth investing in one.
Using A Kayak Cart To Transport Your Kayak To The Water
If you’re planning on kayaking alone on a regular basis, then you might want to consider investing in a kayak cart to transport your kayak.
Kayak carts are a useful piece of equipment with two wheels that helps you to transport your kayak over a variety of different terrains.
They slide onto one end of your kayak, allowing you to wheel your kayak without stress to the water.
The great thing about kayak carts is that they bear the majority of the weight of your kayak, making light work of a fairly impossible task when you’re alone trying to carry a large kayak.
Once you reach the water’s edge, you’re ready to kayak!
It’s a good idea to make sure that you secure your kayak cart in your car or leave it somewhere safe whilst you are out on the water.
Ask someone to help
Alternatively, when your boat is super large and heavy, you could always ask a fellow kayaker to help you get it to the water.
To do this, one kayaker will grab the bow of the boat, while the other will grab the stern, and you can walk it down together.
While it might seem like a hassle to someone you don’t know to help you carry your kayak, sometimes it’s the easiest option when you can’t carry it all by yourself.
So, there you have it! Hopefully after reading this article you have a better idea of how to carry a kayak.
Carrying a kayak isn’t impossible, it can just take some getting used to, so don’t be disheartened if you struggle the first few times you go alone.
Have fun, be safe, and good luck carrying your kayak alone!