Having just gotten into kayaking, I’m now dealing with the issue of hauling something around on the roof of my car for the first time. Any advice on the matter would be appreciated. Here’s the story…
I have a Subaru Outback with a factory installed roof rack and bought a Thule Glide and Set rack system. It came with self-ratcheting bow and stern tie-down lines.
Long story short, there are some issues with the bow tie-down lines that cause them to be a problem without some further fussing. In talking with a few different people on this subject, I’ve gotten mixed feedback on the necessity of the tie-down lines. Here’s what I’ve heard…
- You don’t need the tie-down lines. The straps will hold the kayak on the roof rack just fine. (In noticing a few other vehicles on the roads now with kayaks, I haven’t seen anyone using tie-down lines.)
- The tie-down lines should not be considered optional. The constant upward drag created while driving will take its toll on the roof rack if you don’t use the tie-down lines.
- Always use at least a stern tie-down line as it will keep the kayak from becoming a projectile in a collision should the straps/roof rack fail.
- The tie-down lines are your back-up if your straps/roof-rack fail. Always use them.