How to Carry Your Kayak

Kayaking to South Manitou Island

The kayak is a heavy transport tool. Ideally one should get a partner to help with carrying with heavier kayaks like the Arcadian, while lighter ones like the Dancers may be carried simply by one person.

Anyway, though many kayaks today are made of plastic, it is advisable to never let the kayak drag against the beach sand. Kayaking etiquette deems it unsafe to do so. Dragging a fiberglass kayak would do much to endanger its hull integrity and cause small cracks and scratches all over it, risking its seaworthiness.

For Heavier Kayaks/With Partner’s Help:

1) Get a partner to help out unless you are sure that you can take the weight of it alone.

2) Each of you will stand by the ends of the kayak. Good coordination is important here. Try to stand on the same side of the kayak on opposite ends.

3) If you are standing on the right side of your kayak, kneel down with your left knee touching the ground. If you are on the left, then kneel down on your right knee. This is to reduce awkwardness when lifting the kayak.

4) Interlock your fingers so that there is a platform with your palms. Use this platform to support the ends of the kayak, going under the base. The person at the back will time 1-2-3. Upon the count of 3, both of you will stand up.

5) Once you both have stood up stably, lift up the kayak to your shoulders, rotating it 90 degrees so that the cockpit faces inside to you. Bear in mind that the kayak should still be sited onto your hand-made platform, though it is close to your shoulder. This lightens your burden considerably, especially when you need to move your kayak for long distances to the beach. Otherwise, you may skip this step.

6) Walk at a similar pace with your partner with the kayak to your destination.

7) Once there, man-at-back times 1-2-3 again. This time, roll the kayak over and place it down gently, with the cockpit facing down, unless you are ready to launch.

8) Hop in fast and kayak away before your partner does so!

For Lighter Kayaks/Doing It Alone:

1) Please note that this method is only applicable for shorter distances. For long distances, please seek a partner’s assistance.

2) Go to the side of your kayak and pull the kayak up by holding a side of the cockpit and lifting it up. Do not hold onto the deck lines solely unless you are sure of their security. The kayak should be parallel to the ground with the cockpit facing out, touching your knees.

3) Try not to scratch your kayak against the sand. Side-step slowly to your destination.

4) Once reached, put your kayak down gently at an angle. You should step away and drop gently the side of it you are holding onto, with the cockpit facing down unless you are ready to launch.

5) Travel around the world with your paddle!

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