How To Carry and Transport Your Kayaks The Right Way

If you are a kayak enthusiast and every single time you see an able enough body of water, you wish to brandish your prized possession of a kayak, be it an inflatable kayak or traditional hard edged one, then you need to know the right way to pick up and carry your little boat.

This is a necessity because of how susceptible to pain the human body can be, especially when lifting or moving heavy and large objects.

The main target area for this pain can be a person’s lower back region as your arm muscles originate from this region and so most of the pressure of your lifting or upper body is then based upon your lower back.

So in order to be an all around experienced kayak sailor, you need medically sound techniques to make sure your kayaking is not stopped abruptly by an unfortunate mishap.

2 guys carrying a kayak

Reasons Why You Should Learn To Lift Your Kayak Properly

There are a variety of reasons why you should be aware of the proper techniques to pick up and carry your kayak out into the water for boating or even racing purposes.

Following are listed the top three reasons that you should check out before your next kayaking trip.

Protection from Severe Injuries

As stated before, there are a bunch of ways in which mishandling of a heavy object can lead to unfortunate accidents. This is not that big of a deal if your kayak boat is of the modern inflatable variety because then you can go out into the water body itself before inflating your boat. But with the old, traditional kind that is harder edged and heavier, it would be wiser to apply some precautions. After all, precaution is better than cure.

Protection of the Kayak

A kayaking boat is an expensive buy, no matter what variation you purchase for yourself. Whether you buy a high-end kayak that is meant for touring up and down a strong running stream of water for the intention of finding rare aqua life forms or a simple kayak on the cheaper side meant for casual boating on calm waters or family fishing trips, you need to make sure that your purchase does not go to waste by wearing out to soon or needing servicing work every now and then, causing you to spend more money on the kayak than you originally intended. Many people make the rookie mistake of dragging their kayak boats by the tip cockpits into the water, forgetting that the part that is being dragged is made so much more vulnerable to being chipped or even broken by harsh waterside geography such as hard pebbles and grazing sand. This can cause a severe case of breaking or denting in the kayak and may even fatally affect your performance with the kayak boat once you’re in water. You should try and avoid accidental bumping damages at all costs.

Protection of those around you

The sizes of available kayaking boats can vary greatly. But you can rest assured that they are long enough to cause quite a bit of commotion wherever you take them, not necessarily always of the positive kind. Kayaks used for touring purposes can reach upto lenghths of ten feet and even up to fifteen feet. This means that traveling from one place to another with a kayak boat in tow can be quite the herculean task. When whipping around suddenly in small or largely populated places, you need to be extra careful not to hit someone near you. Sometimes, it is also difficult to see beyond your kayak when turning or looking back. So if you’re on a crowded beach or a place where there are a lot of people around, it is best to be sharply aware of your surroundings and avoid any possible accidents that can end up being very dangerous.

Best Options to Consider For Carrying Your Kayak

The best option that you have for properly carrying a kayak into the water without putting too much strain on your lower back, creating accidental bumping dents on your prized boat or hitting someone on the head as you mindlessly turn around is one that takes into consideration the size of your boat. What you can do is have someone along with you or ask someone around to carry the kayak into the water with you.

  • This helps divide the weight of the kayak boat in a back and firth manner, lifted evenly by one person in the front and one at the back. No one person’s back has to endure the entire weight of the kayak.
  • When your kayak is lifted into the air because of two people carrying it in a hanging manner, it is ideal. Because then your kayak boat is not being dragged out onto a bumpy ground and thus avoids any chipping or weakening. Your performance in the water may remain stellar.
  • What’s more is that a person lifting the cockpit rim and a person lifting the tail rim ensures very strongly that any turning around would not be buoyant and therefore, won’tsend someone flying into the water or headfirst into the sand by hitting them on the head with the tail. Both the people can slowly turn around and avoid any accidents.

Having said that, it is not always possible to have someone come along with you especially if they have to come just to lift and launch your kayak into the water and not even get to sit in it or trust and talk to strangers at a beach. And more often than not, kayakers are looking for some quite solitude on a calm river, rowing down, enjoying the natural scenery. In cases like these, you need to be well versed in the correct techniques of lifting as well as carrying a kayak into the water without causing damage to your bodyt, that of the kayak boat or even anyone else around you.

transporting a kayak

You should follow the following instructions in the given oder if you wish to enjoy your alone kayaking time without having to depend on anyone else for a job as simple as carrying your kayak boat into the water with you.

  1. Position your body in a way so that your feet are apart in the same width measurement as your shoulders and stand right next to the cockpit of your kayaking boat. This position is ideal for the next step of lifting without causing damage to your lower back.
  2. Sit on your knees so that the weight is bore by them and divided into two different muscles stable directly on the ground. Do not use your waist to bend over at all. Now what you have to do is turn the kayak over by pulling on the cockpit rim. Do not simply push on the boat to turn over as that can cause a dent. This will make the cockpit face go down on the ground and the hull of the boat will be right before your knee’s shins. Keep your back straight. This is the ideal position for moving forward into the third step.
  3. Now use both of your hands and your back stretched smoothly, start to lift the kayak by grabbing on to the part of the kayak that is raised from the ground or is the nearest to you.
  4. Make sure you are stabilised properly and then using strength, lay the kayak against your thighs. Push your feet into the grond and slowly, staying straight at your back, start getting up. Make sure your knees are straightened out properly, as we’ll and as you stand, keep the kayak relied on your thighs. Now your boat is nestled against your feet. This is the ideal position for moving into the next position.
  5. Now that you are standing upright, free your right hand from under the cockpit and move it to the other end of the kayak boat, keeping your palms turned upwards. Now use your right hand strength to lift and flip the kayak boat and do the same thing with your left hand on the other far end at the same time. Use your right hand to lift the kayak and place it on your right shoulder, simultaneously. Do the same thing if you are used to using your left hand to do most work but just make sure you put the kayak boat on your left shoulder then.

Now move into the water body till where your legs can carry you and slowly place the kayak on the water and get ready to boat.

Kayak Carrying Techniques for Two People

If the kayakers are a total of two people, then too it is a necessary thing to use the proper techniques of lifting and carrying kayaks into a body of water so as to make sure that both of you are not injured severely.

There are mainly two techniques that you can apply for proper lifting of a kayak boat and carrying it.

  1. Grab onto the handle bars on both the ends of the kayak boat, the bow and the stern. Keeping your back straight, bend and stabilise yourselves on the grourvia your knees. Remaining straight from the lower back down, both the people should count to three and straighten their legs, lifting the kayak boat up in an evenly weight distributing manner.
  2. The other way is to carry the kayak boat by hull. For which you have to do the same things mentioned right above and then once you are standing upright and holding the handles, keeping your palm upturned, move your right hand under the hull and lift it. Later, add both hands into the lifting of the hull.

Kayak Trolley

A kayak trolley is a great option that many people are opting for these days. Some are buying it individually whilst some beaches or popular kayaking spots have their administrations offering them to visitors.

To load your kayak boat into a kayak boat trolley you have to apply pretty much the same techniques of lifting as mentioned above.

  • Keep your back straight, bend over by stabilising yourself via your knees and place your hands under the flip turned raised portion and lift the kayak boat up. Put it on your shoulder and then proceed to place it into the trolley.

Form there, take the trolley anywhere you like and the kayak boat becomes instantly travel friendly.


Becoming an experienced kayaker is a game of patience and learning to apply the right techniques in even things as small as lifting and carrying your kayak boat into the water. Remain optimistic and practice hard. In the beginning, it might seem like a lot but do not lift heavy kayaks without the necessary precautions because not only might you end up denting your boats but also causing pain to your body. In time, you will become a natural at this crucial step.

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