Anyone who has kayaked can tell you how enjoyable this experience on the water can be. The peace and serenity of nature all around giving you a place to enjoy the quiet beauty the water offers can be such a relaxing and grounding experience. But if you are trying to get out and enjoy some time on the water, the hassle of loading your boat may be a hinderance for you. Below are some tips to make loading up your kayak or stand up paddle board (SUP) easier, so that you’re on your way toward relaxation in no time!

Helpful Tools

The first step in having a smooth loading process for your kayak or SUP is having a few helpful tools set in place so you are ready when the time comes to load your boat.

Racks – Having racks on top of your vehicle not only makes your loading and securing process easier, but also protects your car from damage. A creative alternative to expensive racks can be simple pool noodles placed perpendicular on your car top (across from side window to side window) that you can place your boat on top of in order to prevent any scrapes to your car top.

Ratchet straps – Having ratchet straps on hand can save you a ton of time in the loading process, and better ensures that your boat will not come off of your car in transit. Using these straps, you can avoid the hassle of tying and untying knots and not risk having knots come undone while transporting your boat.

Loading Technique

With all your gear packed, you are ready to load up your boat and be on your way. Below is a 5-step breakdown to getting your boat loaded, and the best part is you can do all on your own!

1. Begin by laying your kayak or SUP on the ground alongside your vehicle.

2. Lift the end closest to the back of your car up and onto your car’s side, so that your boat is now pointing straight up and leaning against your car at about the midpoint of your vehicle.

3. Grab the end of your boat that is still on the ground, and push your boat up and on top of your car’s roof, so it is resting completely in the top of your car.

4. From here, maneuver your boat so it is sitting parallel on top of your car.

Now, you are ready to fasten down your boat, and be on your way!

Some Additional Tips

As you load up your boat, here are a couple more things to keep in mind:

  • If you have a paddle board with a fin, you will need to make sure to load your board upside down so the fin does not damage your car.
  • Make sure not to forget your Personal Flotation Device (PDF), as they are required aboard all water craft in the state of Tennessee.

Let the Fun Begin!

With these tips, you can be more ready than ever to set out on your next water adventure. Here in the Ocoee region, be sure and check out the beautiful Lake Ocoee for a stunning experience on nearly 2,000 acres of water within the mountains of Cherokee National Forest. We can’t wait to see you out on the water!