Solo Kayak Transport
Lifting, loading, and carrying a kayak seems to be one of the biggest concerns people have when they're getting into the sport. Transporting a kayak alone is not terribly difficult, but it’s important to make sure you load your boat properly and safely. At first, the kayak might feel heavy and awkward to carry. But the more you practice the easier it gets, because you'll be building strength and stamina along the way. Remember, no matter what your age, there is no need to strain your body when moving your kayak.
Kayak carts are ideal for longer distances between the water and your vehicle. They are a good option if you need to move your kayak over fairly even ground, but they are not suitable for very rough or rocky launch sites. Kayak carts are two-wheeled attachments that slide onto one end or the center of your boat so that you can simply wheel your boat along using a handle. Built on the same basic principles as a wheelbarrow, the result is that you bear very little of the weight yourself. Most kayak carts can be folded or easily broken down to be tucked into your boat or one of your hatches while you paddle.
If you have a plastic boat, you can also drag your kayak by holding onto the toggle or grab-loop at the bow of the boat. It's not a good idea to drag a composite or fiberglass boat, because this can result in expensive damage to their more fragile hulls. If you do choose to lift your kayak, remember to bend with your knees and keep your back straight when you reach down to pick it up. You might also wear your PFD to add padding at your shoulder for the kayak to rest on.
Ocean Tribe Outfitters is a branch of Sanibel Sea School that helps the local paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit oceantribeoutfitters.org or follow us on Facebook to learn more.