Tag Archives: water sports

8th Sep 2015

Small Car + Big Kayak = No Problem!

As gas prices go up, cars have become smaller.  Protecting the environment (and your wallet) is the right thing to do, but it can make carrying your 15′ kayak a challenge…but have no fear, we have the best solution for you.
It all starts with a good base rack system and a kayak carrier.  There are several types that will work including J-cradles, saddles, or rollers.  All of these systems will work great for carrying one (or more) kayaks on your smaller ride.

J-cradles work great for carrying multiple kayaks since you can carry them on their side.  The Thule Hull-a-port Aero or the Yakima J-low are some of the best; they have universal mounting hardware and fold down when not in use.

Hull-a-Port Aero

Saddles work great for carrying your kayak when it is flat on the roof.  They are also a bit easier to load and unload. Front cradles are rear cradles are often sold separately so you can mix and match styles for easier loading. They can handle kayaks that are longer, heavier, and wider than the J-cradles, but they limit the amount of usable space on your crossbars. Smaller vehicles can carry one, maybe two kayaks with the cradle style, depending on crossbar length.

Yakima Mako Saddles 8004037

A Mako Saddle set

Mako Saddles in front, paired with rollers in the back

Saddles work great for carrying your kayak when it is flat on the roof.  They are also a bit easier to load and unload. Front cradles are rear cradles are often sold separately so you can mix and match styles for easier loading. They can handle kayaks that are longer, heavier, and wider than the J-cradles, but they limit the amount of usable space on your crossbars. Smaller vehicles can carry one, maybe two kayaks with the cradle style, depending on crossbar length.

Rollers can make loading and unloading a breeze… without scratching up your car. Use them to smoothly roll the kayak from the rear of your vehicle to the front saddle with minimal effort. The Yakima SweetRoll is a complete kayak carrying set, with saddles in front and integrated rollers in the rear. This is especially useful for heavy and long kayaks, or vehicles with high roofs.

Yakima SweetRoll 8004074

Close up of a rear roller of a SweetRoll, illustrating the adaptability to fit most kayak shapes.

Yakima SweetRoll

Full Yakima SweetRoll set

Thule Quick Loop #530Thule Quick Loop #530

But, the most important thing to remember is that you also need some tie-downs.  It is imperative that you tie down the front and back of your kayak to ensure your kayak is secured and safely installed on your vehicle. There are several ways to attach bow/stern tie downs, one of the easiest is to use the Thule Quick Loop.  It installs by closing the hood or trunk over the anchors, providing a safe and secure tie-down spot for your kayaks.

18th Aug 2015

How to Carry Multiple SUP’s

Stand-Up Paddle boarding is fast becoming the new way to travel on the water. While people love the versatility and freedom a SUP board has to offer, there are still questions over how to put the SUP board on a vehicle. Every day customers come in to the store and ask how to put not just one, but multiple SUP’s on their vehicle. Luckily for them, we always have a solution here!

Yakima and Thule, our two most popular brands, both have great solutions for how to carry multiple boards on your vehicle.

Holds up to two 36" wide boards.

YAKIMA SUPDAWG

First, we have the SUPDawg by Yakima which
holds up to two 36″ wide boards. The SUPDawg is a popular solution to carrying boards because of the soft rubber padding and cradles, which in our opinion sets it aside from the competition. Unlike other SUP carriers, this one is the best at protecting the board from wear and tear that might occur with other racks.  By coming pre-assembled out of the box you are able to slap this system right on your rack in a matter of minutes, allowing you to hit the water as fast as possible! Often, people find the straps to secure the board often tuck away easier than other SUP carriers too. If carrying multiple SUP boards is a priority, then look no further because the SUPDawg has everything you need to carry two 36″ boards.

THULE SUP TAXI

Now onto the competition. While the Yakima SUPDawg has perks, so too does the Thule SUP Taxi. Besides being one of the best SUP roof racks on the market it also provides one of the best features that Yakima can’t boast: security. Although the SUPDawg does lock the boards to the vehicle, Thule 810XT has a steel reinforced cable integrated into the band that gets locked into place over the boards, so you can breathe easy leaving boards on top of your car. Another important feature is the telescoping base that allows for the best fit, carrying boards up to 34″ wide. Depending on your board shape, some people prefer the curved cushioned fit the SUP Taxi provides, or the flat adaptable shape of the SUPDawg.

Both options allow you to carry two SUP boards, fit to almost all roof rack crossbar shapes, and are a great summer solution for your next trip to the water.