Kayaking is a great sport for people of any age. With kayaking, you can experience low-impact cardio and training mixed with the relaxing benefits of engaging with the natural environment around you. Some of the best kayaking spots aren’t the most easily accessible directly by car, however. The idea of carrying your kayak and gear to one of these spots isn’t typically appealing for most.
If you find yourself regularly having to carry your kayak from your vehicle to one of these spots, a kayak cart could be helpful to you. Kayak carts allow you to securely maneuver your kayak over any type of terrain to the spot you want to paddle off from. It’s also great if you don’t want to take multiple trips carrying gear. Overall, they make kayaking more accessible and could save you a lot of time and energy.
Kayak Cart Basics
The most common type of kayak cart has a padded frame that the bottom of the kayak rests on and straps that wrap up over the hull of the boat to secure it. They make these in a variety of sizes so you’re bound to find one that fits the dimensions of your boat. If you have a sit-on-top kayak you could also use one that has extended posts which secure into the scupper holes commonly found on this type of kayak.
Beyond the frame, kayak cart wheels are the other component you’ll want to look into before purchasing to make sure they fit your needs. Depending on the environment you typically kayak in, the ground will look different and you want a kayak cart that can smoothly roll over it without issue.
Classic inner tube tires, which you might be familiar with since they’re similar to bicycle tires, are good for sand and smoother ground. Hard plastic tires are more sturdy but allow you to navigate uneven ground, like gravel or grass, easier as long as you hold onto your kayak before hitting any bumps. There’s also flat free tires that are filled with foam so they can’t deflate and provide cushion over uneven terrain. They do tend to be a bit heavier than the other two options, so keep that in mind.
How to Use a Kayak Cart
Simply put, kayak carts are wheeled carts whose primary purpose is to carry your kayak smoothly over different types of terrain. They’re most commonly employed to help get kayaks from your car to the water safely, easily, and securely. These carts are super useful to those who kayak alone, who don’t want the extra strain of personally carrying the kayak very far, who have a lot of gear on their kayaks, or who prefer to hike downstream before casting off.
Another use of kayak carts is to preserve the exterior of the kayak from any wear sustained by repeated dragging on the ground. By properly positioning and securing your kayak onto the cart, you’ll get more life out of it in addition to sparing yourself some effort and time.
To start, set your kayak on the ground next to the cart. Then you’ll lift the rear end up onto the base of the cart frame, followed by the front end of the kayak. Check your setup not just for how it’s centered lengthwise, but also if the weight is distributed evenly. Neither end of the kayak should drag on the ground as you tow it, and the center of balance might not directly align with the center of the boat. Allow the cart to act as a fulcrum and strap the boat down accordingly.
From there, you’re all set to tow your boat however long you need to! Kayak carts are a great tool if you’re looking to explore more solo trips or more remote starting points and need help getting your boat out there with you. Whatever the reason, carts can come in handy and ensure you have a non-strenuous trip out on the water!