How To Carry A Kayak By Yourself

How To Carry A Kayak By Yourself

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We get it. Being alone on the water in your kayak is peaceful and fun. However, in exchange for this tranquil alone time, you must also learn how to carry a kayak by yourself, and this can be a difficult task. 

Learning how to lift and carry your kayak is essential if you want to kayak alone. You will need to know how to take it from the car rack and to the edge of the water. You will even need to learn how to portage it and the correct storage for it. 

In this article, we will discuss how to do all of the above so you can carry your kayak safely and securely. So, if this is of interest to you, then read on for more! 

How To Lift A Kayak By Yourself 

Here are some tips for lifting a kayak alone!

Prepare To Lift The Kayak

The first thing you need to do to make sure you can lift a kayak by yourself is prepare. You must be on level, even ground, and place the kayak so that the bow is facing the direction you want to go in.

You need to be standing at the side of your kayak, making sure you are facing the cockpit. 

Use Your Knees To Lift The Kayak 

Once you are sure you are in the correct position, you next need to bend your knees. Then, you need to grasp the inner edge of the cockpit with both of your hands.

It is important to note that you need to be careful and make sure you use your knees to lift as opposed to using your back. 

Now, you need to lean back and pull your kayak so it is on your thighs. Make sure that the cockpit faces away from you. 

Flip The Kayak Over

The next step to lifting the kayak by yourself is flipping it over. Now that your kayak is resting on your thighs, you should let it go with one hand and then grasp onto the cockpit’s other side. Pull the kayak against your thighs. 

Now that you have braced the kayak, use your second hand to reach across. Now, you need to turn your body so that it is facing the direction you want to travel in.

Then, roll the kayak up so it sits on your shoulder. Steady the kayak by using the arm that is situated on the inside of the cockpit. 

While the kayak is on your shoulder, it should feel comfortable and balanced. You should be able to walk without having to worry about the boat accidentally hitting the floor. 

Useful Tips For Lifting Your Kayak 

Here are some useful tips to remember when you need to lift the kayak. 

  • Bend your knees, not your waist, when you lift the kayak so you do not damage your back. 
  • You can wear a lifejacket when carrying a kayak because the shoulder strap will cushion your shoulder and make it easier to carry. 
  • Carrying the kayak will be easier if the bow is facing forward. 
How To Carry A Kayak By Yourself

How To Carry A Kayak By Yourself 

Here are some essential tips for carrying a kayak by yourself! 

Plan Ahead 

The best thing you can do to prepare for carrying a kayak alone is to plan ahead. You need to know where you are going and how often you will need to carry your kayak in this area.

It is also helpful to know the terrain of the area to assess how difficult it is to cross. 

If you discover you need to portage the kayak, then it is helpful to map out the area to see if there will be many obstacles. 

Drag The Kayak 

Provided your kayak comes complete with a skid plate built-in, then you should be able to drag it instead of carrying it wherever possible. This reduces the strain on you and is a very sensible thing to do. 

Purchase Carrying Handles 

If you don’t have a kayak yet, then you should invest in one with carrying handles. Or, you can purchase carrying handles to attach to a kayak.

This makes it much easier to lift and move the kayak. This is especially true if you are looking for a touring kayak. 

Here are some carry handles that you can purchase to attach to your kayak! 

Use The Correct Equipment 

If you use the correct equipment it can become significantly easier to carry the kayak. For example, using a trolley will make it much easier to move the kayak around, and an appropriate car rack will make it simpler to complete the whole process of transporting the kayak. 

Click here for more useful equipment when it comes to transporting your kayak alone!

Make Sure You Keep Your Head Up 

Now that you have lifted the kayak and are supporting the full weight of it using your body, you may feel like looking down at your feet to make sure you do not lose your footing. 

Now, while it is important to keep your feet steady, you still need to look up and further ahead. You need to ensure you are not banging into other people or objects, or accidentally taking the wrong path. 

Managing Fatigue 

When carrying a kayak by yourself, it is important not to play the hero. You will not get any extra praise for it, and it is important to keep yourself safe before anything else.

If you get tired, do not persevere. It is best to stop, take a break, and wait until you feel more rested before continuing on. It is also helpful to switch shoulders. 

Being happy and healthy is better than being punctual, and other kayakers will recognize this. Don’t worry about risking injury in order to not be late to a kayaking event or schedule. 

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to carrying a kayak by yourself, you will first need to learn how to lift it properly. It is best to follow the instructions above when it comes to lifting your kayak correctly.

 Then, when it comes to carrying your kayak, it is advisable to look up while being mindful of your footing, wear a lifejacket for extra support, take regular breaks when you are tired, and make sure the kayak is balanced evenly on your shoulder with the bow facing forward, so you minimize the risk of the kayak hitting the ground. 

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