How to modify my J Racks to fit new kayaks

Hi there. My Wife and I purchased an Eddyline Rio and Equinox last fall. My issue is we have Kuat J Racks and due to the shape of the kayaks there are only small contact points on the racks. Does anybody have an idea on how to increase/change the padding on my racks to increase the contact surface area?

Without looking at them it’s hard to come up with the best solution, but wrapping the braces with pool noodles or pipe insulation comes to mind.

Thanks, I have been thinking about large pool noodles. Most J racks are tubular but mine are flat, but will try.

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If you could post a photo or two with the new boat in place I think you will get a lot more ideas.

I used pool noodles on my bike frames in my car rack for years and they work. They will compress over time and will make a spongy clamping point. it will be harder to tell when everything is really tight. If there are straps involved the straps never really stretch and if they are cam buckles they need to be kept under tension to stay tight.

Thanks for the reply. Here are a couple of pics

I am not sure you need to anything. The straps that go over the boat will be in pretty much full contact, and are what will keep the boat from sliding or coming off. So long as the rack is not damaging the boat, you should be good.

If the straps are long enough, you can make a full loop around the boat and cross bar (instead of just going from the to of the J-rack to the lower part). This gives more room for the strap to grip the boat, and also by going around the cross bar itself, provides a backup in case the J-rack’s attachment to bar lets go.

It looks like the keel is the only point of contact and that it is off the pad or very close to being off the pad. It may well be fine like that but like you I feel a better contact point would be better.

It looks like the pads are held on with screws and if you had longer you could attach a firm rubber block using those holes that would conform around the keel better.

Do you leave the Js on the car all the time?

For the upright part where only the keel is in contact, you could make short pieces of pool noodle that are attached to the rack, but parallel to the keel of the kayak with one piece on either side of the keel. That would make more of a cradle for the keel. The piece of pool noodle could be attached to the rack with ball bungees, and could be sculpted to make them fit the contour of the kayak better. A hacksaw blade or a bread knife works well to cut pool noodles to various shapes.

I put them on in the spring when we start kayaking and SUPing. My big concern is actually damaging the keel when/if we hit bumps on the highway as it is such a small contact surface.

Can you haul them deck-in? Some boats sit better that way.

I agree it would be better to spread out the area with some sort of padding. Even folding up a small towel and duct taping it to the J would be better than nothing.

I would look at something made from rubber and attached to the J that would fit around that keel a little better.

Here is a source you could order from and have it sent to your door. Click around and see what you can find.


As long as the J-racks are well padded, I wouldn’t worry about it. The keel is the strongest part of the hull and as long as you don’t totally over tighten the straps, there isn’t really that much pressure on the keel. Gel coat is a lot harder than foam padding. Just be sure that there is no sand or grit on the hull, which you always want to do anyway when transporting a boat.