Front Car Tie Down Point

I have a 2001 Hyundai Elantra and I have a Yakima Rack with Hullraisers. I took a quick look over the car and I can see two tow loops in the back that I can secure the kayaks to, but I didn’t see anything of substance under the front bumper. I was wondering if anyone had any suggests?



Open the hood. Look at the hood latch. It should be a square loop of steel. Tie a short loop of line to that and let the loop stick out from the hood when it’s closed. Use that as your anchor point.

Another option
Is web loops. Get some 1" nylon web strap. Cut off about an 8" piece fold it in half and attach a grommet in the two loose ends. Secure the grommet to one of your fender screws under the hood. One web loop on each side of the car. Great tie down point. And if you leave them “web ears” flapping with no boat on top those in the know will know you are a fellow paddler.

check this link
I posted the same question a few weeks ago and got the same great answers that you’re getting along with a link to a company that makes the webbing straps some folks are describing.

The do it yourself route sounds good but these things are so cheap I’ll probably just buy a pair rather than run around picking up webbing, and grommets (that I wouldn’t know how to mount into the webbing).

I don’t see the link
I don’t see the link?

I think he means this one:

missing the point completely
The point of bow/stern tie downs is not really to hold the boat. It’s to let you know that something is wrong up there before an accident occurs.

Use them.

You may not have had a problem before now but no one knows the future. In court, it’s called negligence and it can cost you dearly.

Just my .02 worth but I use them ALL THE TIME, no matter what.

Front tie downs!
I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with Yakima crossbars/stackers on the stock side rails. I carry a 21’ “Thunderbolt”, with 4’3" between bars. I feel naked without a bow tie (front tow hooks) especially in big winds & behind trucks. I worry more about wind & the stength at attachment points of the stock side rails. When I carry a shorter kayak, I try to tie it to the other side rail, as well as the one next to the stackers. Rope or strap is cheaper than UFO’s.

for me…
For me it’s always been about supporting the BULK of the boat that’s not attached to the rack. I can’t imagine the upward force put on the hull at 60 mph.

I always use front and rear tie-downs. I have webbing and rope cut to length. All I have to do is clip three carabiners for each the front and back, and I’m good to go with the tie-downs.

bow AND stern!
it’s less stressful going 80 mph from a stop than going from 80 to 0 mph in a hurry.

I have heard of more boo boos from braking than accelerating.

I always play it smart and use bow and stern lines. always.

seen a couple of Yakima, Thule and Quick and EZ failures. don’t be a dummy. line is cheap.


Bow/stern tie downs saved my bacon
The FIRST time I had kayaks on top of my SUV!

I was going down the freeway through downtown Minneapolis. I had two kayaks in Malone J brackets attached to a Yakima rack. Front and rear tiedowns.

SUDDENLY, I hear a THUNK and see the front tiedown twist to the side. I immediately pulled off and stopped. One of the Malones had slid right off the Yakima bar taking the kayak with it!!! Fortunately, the combination of my quick stop AND the tie downs saved the boat, the car and who knows what kind of damage to other vehicles. Not a scratch anywhere.

Typical newbie mistake mounting the Malones, right? WRONG! The very large paddleshop I bought the boats at had mounted the Yakima rack, the Malones AND the kayaks! Apparently they (who were very experienced) did not tighten the screws enough. I put loctite on them and made it home fine.

SCARY STUFF for a first timer!

REALLY glad I had the tiedowns.

Thanks Sloopsailor!
I used your suggestion tonite. Seems like it’ll work great and I’ll avoid having to crawl under the front of the car everytime I want to paddle.


Thanks Guys!
I wouldn’t think about transporting them with out tiedowns. After doing some inspecting ( Acutally as I was driving home I passed a few Elantras, they are a dime a dozen here on Long Island, and I noticed they had two tow loops on the front. ) I found out I have two tow loops up front and one in the back they will definately involve getting on the ground. I am thinking of getting some caribiners so I can just do a quick clip on and off and leave the knot tieing for the the standing position. Anyone tried this?

I also looked for the screws in the engine compartment to connect some straps to and I saw two one has the battery housing connected to it and the one on the other side is holding a bracket for some part of the AC I think.

Putting a loop in the hook latch ring doesn’t seem too practical on my car as the grill is part of the hood not the bumper. If something did go wrong I might do some damage to my car in the process.

Any knot suggestions?



Absolutely, try the trucker’s hitch. I don’t have a link handy but if you google it I bet it will show up. Also the screws will be located along the frame at the edge of the engine compartment. Look where the sheet metal of the fender meets the frame.

Carabiners and knots
You asked: “I am thinking of getting some caribiners so I can just do a quick clip on and off and leave the knot tieing for the the standing position. Anyone tried this?”

Yes, carabiners will do fine, but make sure you get carabiners that are rated for heavier work (usually listed on the package). I use some rated for a 200-pound load and I don’t worry about them. If someone were to use a cheap, aluminum carabiner, I can only think in horror of the results. Also, remember that if you use a carabiner, don’t tie them on if they’re bigger than any loops they have to pass through.

You also asked, “Any knot suggestions?”

You can use a standard Palomar knot, used for fishing, for any rope tie offs. Here is a web address with pictures which says it better than I can:

It is easy to tie and has shown superior knot strength for most line-to-loop applications. I used to think this was B.S. until I compared it to my other knots for fishing, but it was true! Plus, it is even easier to tie with a big piece of rope than it is with fishing line.


BE horrified!
I use the cheapo aluminum biners on my bow line, attatched to a rope ratchet. I was concerned about the strength of the aluminum, so I attatched a rope to it and hung on it (me-170lbs.). It was fine. I secure my 17’ boat very well on the rack, and use the bow line as a backup, in case the rack or other straps fail. There really is almost no pressure on the bow line. These long, sleek kayaks are made to slice through the water, they do the same in the air.

thanks for all your help!
Thanks guys for all your help and suggestions! I ended up buying some Quick Links from the hardware store, but they were too small to clip into the tow loops on the car so I used them on the kayak end of the lines.

I used a tautline hitch for the knot closest to the boats as it will slide to make adjustments, but is still very secure under load. The next step is to get some 'biners to clip into the tow points and a stuff sack to store all the lines in.

Thanks Again!


hahah>rearvie mirror
rearwiew mirriors…what i do!!!

that was the link (my boss came into my office when I was about to paste it and got me a little frantic). Anyway, I just ordered those webbing straps from (I had to describe them to the guy because the link on their site was moved but he knew exactly what I was talking about). With shipping they ended up being $11. Probably cheaper to make your own if you have a grommet hammer or whatever it takes to install them.