Getting your kayak to the water can often be the biggest hassle when trying to get some paddling in. Luckily, there are multiple options that should make this process easier for you. We want to give you a quick overview of tying your kayak down to rooftop cradles and hopefully help you take some of the stress out of transporting your kayak. For this blog we’re going to presume that you’ve purchased a set of cradles and have them installed on your car’s roof.

You’ll want to start out by placing your kayak onto your cradles with at least 2 inches of clearance between the kayak and your vehicle’s roof. This extra space will help ensure that you don’t damage your vehicle in transit. You will want to make sure the kayak is as centered on the racks as possible to help its balance.

Next, loop your tie down strap around your crossbar and pull through until the end of the strap is even with the buckle. Place both ends over top of the kayak to the other side of your vehicle. Taking the loose end and loop it under your crossbar on this side as well. Pull it through until the buckle is resting on the side of your kayak. Press down on your buckle to open the teeth and feed the remaining strap through the bottom until tight. Repeat this process on the back crossbar and test to make sure your kayak is secured. You’ll want to tie off the strap under the buckle to help ensure it doesn’t pull loose and wrap the excess around the crossbar and tie it off.

Some cradles, such as the Malone Seawing will actually have a hole which you can feed your tie down strap through which makes the whole process that much easier.

It is also a good idea to use a pair of hood loops to tie your kayak down from the front and back. This added security will ensure that your kayak will remain in place as you drive it down to the water.