Loading a Touring Kayak on a Car With Yakima J

Loading a Touring Kayak on a Car With Yakima JIf you’re looking for a secure and convenient way to transport your touring kayak on your car, using a Yakima J rack is an excellent option. This article will guide you through the process of loading your kayak onto the J rack, ensuring a safe and hassle-free setup. With the right equipment and proper technique, you’ll be able to transport your kayak with ease, whether you’re heading to the ocean or a nearby lake.

Installing J Bar Racks

Installing J Bar Racks onto your car’s crossbars is a straightforward process. These racks are designed to securely hold your touring kayak in place during transportation. Most of the assembly can be done at home, saving you time and effort. You’ll only need a wrench to tighten the bolts and ensure a secure fit.

The J hooks on the racks are versatile and can fit various crossbar shapes, including round, square, and oval. This makes them compatible with a wide range of car models. The installation typically takes around 15 minutes, allowing you to quickly and easily prepare your vehicle for kayak transport.

The J Bar Racks come with mounting hardware and tie-down straps. The mounting hardware includes bolts and brackets that attach the racks securely to your car’s crossbars. The tie-down straps are used to secure your kayak in place, preventing it from shifting or sliding during transit. With these included accessories, you’ll have everything you need for a reliable and safe kayak transport setup.

In summary, installing J Bar Racks is a simple process that can be done at home with basic tools. These racks are designed to fit various crossbar shapes and come with mounting hardware and tie-down straps for added convenience. By following the manufacturer’s instructions and using the provided accessories, you can ensure a secure and hassle-free setup for transporting your touring kayak.

Loading the Kayak on the Car Roof Top

If you’re planning to transport your touring kayak on the roof of your car, proper loading is essential to ensure a secure and safe journey. Follow these steps to successfully load your kayak on the car roof top using the Yakima J racks.

Positioning the Kayak

Start by positioning the kayak with the open cockpit side facing the outside of your vehicle. This will ensure easier access when you reach your destination. Place the back of the kayak slanted against the longer side of the J hook on the rack. It’s recommended to have someone assist you in lifting the kayak onto the cradles to prevent any accidents or damage.

Securing the Kayak with Straps

Once the kayak is in position on the roof, use the straps provided with the Yakima J rack to secure it. Flip the straps over the top of the kayak and tighten them in one spot. Make sure to keep the side with the cam buckle or ratchet end short to avoid any potential damage to your car door. The straps should be tightened securely to ensure that the kayak is held firmly in place.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when loading your kayak on the car roof top:

  • Make sure the kayak is centered on the J hooks to maintain balance and stability during transportation.
  • Double-check that all straps are tightly secured before hitting the road.
  • Consider using bow and stern straps for extra security to prevent the kayak from sliding forward or backward.
Step Procedure
1 Position the kayak with the open cockpit side facing the outside of the vehicle.
2 Place the back of the kayak slanted against the longer side of the J hook on the rack.
3 Secure the kayak with the provided straps by flipping them over the top and tightening them in one spot.
4 Ensure the straps are tightened securely, keeping the side with the cam buckle or ratchet end short.

Securing the Straps

Properly securing the straps is essential for ensuring the safe transport of your kayak. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Cross the straps: Use cam buckle or ratchet straps and cross them through the longer J Hooks. This will help distribute the weight of the kayak evenly and provide a secure hold.
  2. Loop under the rack: After crossing the straps, loop them under the car rack itself. This additional step adds extra security and prevents the straps from sliding or loosening during transport.
  3. Position the buckle or ratchet: When tightening the straps, make sure to position the buckle or ratchet on a flat area of the kayak. This will make it easier to tighten and ensure a firm hold.
  4. Secure loose ends: After tightening the straps, secure the loose ends to minimize flapping and vibrations caused by the wind. This will help maintain the stability of the kayak throughout the journey.

Remember to give the kayak a firm shake to ensure it is held firmly in place before hitting the road. Double-check that the straps are tight and secure, and make any necessary adjustments before starting your journey.

Pro Tip:

Consider investing in high-quality straps specifically designed for kayak transport. These straps are durable, weather-resistant, and have reliable fastening mechanisms that provide a secure hold. It’s worth the investment to ensure the safety of your kayak during transportation.

Strap Type Pros Cons
Cam Buckle Straps Easy to use and adjust
Less likely to damage the kayak
Good for beginners
Can be time-consuming to tighten
May require additional effort to secure tightly
Ratchet Straps Quick and precise tightening
Provides a strong hold
Great for long-distance transport
More expensive than cam buckle straps
Requires caution to avoid overtightening and damaging the kayak

By securing the straps correctly and using the right equipment, you can have peace of mind knowing that your kayak is securely fastened and ready for a smooth and worry-free journey.

About Bow and Stern Straps

When it comes to transporting your kayak on your car, securing it with bow and stern straps is essential for additional safety and peace of mind. These straps provide extra security by preventing your kayak from sliding forward or backward in case of sudden braking or impact. To ensure a secure and stable setup, follow these guidelines for using bow and stern straps:

Attaching the Bow Line

The bow line should be attached to the front of your kayak, usually through the handle or a designated attachment point. Make sure the attachment is secure to prevent any slippage during transportation. Next, find a suitable anchor point on the front of your vehicle, such as a tow hook or a sturdy metal loop, to secure the bow line. It’s important to choose an attachment point that can withstand the tension exerted by the straps.

Securing the Stern Line

For the stern line, attach it to the rear of your kayak in a similar manner as the bow line. Ensure that the attachment point is sturdy and can withstand the tension. Then, find an appropriate anchor point on the rear of your vehicle to secure the stern line. This can be another tow hook or a secure metal loop. By attaching the stern line to the rear of your vehicle, you create a balanced and stable setup for your kayak during transport.

Proper Tension and Precautions

When securing the bow and stern straps, it’s important to achieve a taut and secure but not overly tight fit. Overly tight straps can exert too much pressure on the kayak, especially if it is made of fiberglass, potentially causing damage. Take care not to overtighten the straps, keeping them snug enough to prevent any movement but allowing for a slight amount of give. Regularly check the tension during your trip to ensure everything remains secure.

Remember, bow and stern straps are an essential part of securing your kayak during transport, providing additional peace of mind and safety on the road. By following these guidelines and using high-quality straps, you can confidently transport your kayak to your desired destination, knowing that it is safe and secure.


Transporting your touring kayak securely and conveniently is made possible with Yakima J racks. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can confidently load your kayak onto your car’s roof and ensure a hassle-free setup. With the J bar racks properly installed on your crossbars, you can rest assured that your kayak will be safely secured during transportation.

Using the provided straps, you can tightly fasten your kayak to the J racks, preventing any movement or shifting. Remember to position the straps correctly and secure the loose ends to minimize wind flapping and vibrations. For added stability, don’t forget to utilize bow and stern straps, which will prevent your kayak from sliding forward or backward.

Whether you’re heading to the ocean or a nearby lake, the Yakima J racks offer a reliable and secure solution for transporting your touring kayak. With the right setup and attention to detail, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your kayak will arrive at your destination safely. So go ahead and hit the road with confidence, knowing that your Yakima J racks have got you covered.

Richard Dodds

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