Kayaking for seniors

Kayaking is great summer exercise for seniors. We live lakeside but our house is a couple hundred feet from the water. Does anyone have suggestions for easily getting the kayak to the water or how to keep it near the water securely. I’d hate for one to ‘float off’ in the wrong hands. Doing the heavy lifting is a problem with aging.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone invented an automated storage unit that would lift the kayak up for storage and/or on wheels to take it down to the water!?

When we have a long way to carry, we simply use a cart. Our cart is attached to the middle, so balances the kayak and you only need to lift the end and walk it along. To lift the kayak onto or off the cart, you only need to lift one end and then pivot the kayak to get it over the cart. Here is the one we have, but there are many on the market:

Heavy Duty Kayak, Boat and Canoe Pull Cart | Suspenz

Perhaps that might work for your situation?

Use a cart or chain it to a tree.

They make a cable lock for kayaks that can be wrapped around a tree, bench, piling, or anything that will make the kayak hard to steal. If storing it outside use a cockpit cover, but for extended storage be sure the kayak is dry inside in all compartments. Protect it from prolonged UV exposure. Many people elect to store kayaks upside down if storing it outside.

With a cart you can easily just roll the kayak up to your house to store it in a garage, cable it to a deck, etc. There are many types of carts available. Just search “kayak cart”. If a soft sand beach you will want the fat sand tires. To put the kayak on the cart solo just put the cart at the water’s edge, lift up the bow, pull the kayak up parallel to the cart and lever it sideways onto the cart pivoting it on the stern.

Information as to how to modify you kayak cart to make it easier to use is Here.

A cart makes it easier to transport, but not any easier to put in and out of the water.

Carbon and Kevlar make that a lot easier to do, plus the transport gets easier as well


Unless you are dealing with a dock or steep drop-off you can roll the cart into the water so that the stern of the kayak is in the water. Then just lift up the bow and pivot it off the cart. Take it out the same way. I do this all of the time with a center mount cart. Also minimizes sand and mud on the bottom of the kayak if you do not want to pick it up and carry it to the cart…

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Length of your kayaks and weight? Are they sit-in or sit-on-top? If they’re over 50 pounds in weight, you could consider moving to a lighter material, such as thermoform. If you prefer to stay with your current boats, then a cart will easily move them that short distance.

The cart shown in this photo makes it very easy to move my 17-foot kayak from the roof of my car to the water.

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Hi Rookie, Do you have a link to this carrier?

Some very good suggestions from everyone! Thanks.

Here you go, @Judytoo

Take a look at YouTube and see how easy it is to circumvent locks. Safe storage and a cart are the way to go in my opinion. I chained mine up at the beginning of the pandemic and spent three months in agony because I knew that it was a target for thieves. The slipway that I ‘secured it’ at, had already had two small tenders stolen and they too were chained.

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Even with pandemic shortages kayaks are not exactly a hot item for theft. They’re bulky and usually distinctive in appearance. You can’t just run away with one hiding it under your coat or, for most, just throw it in your car and drive away. Most thieves do not know what they’re worth or how to sell one inconspicuously.

In my 20+ years of kayaking every kayak that I’ve heard of being stolen from people I know, they’ve been sitting unlocked and visible from the street. Not everyone has the ability to store a kayak indoors. A reasonable lock is enough to deter the opportunistic thief. In most waterside communities there are enough unsecured boats sitting around, not to mention expensive hardware and electronics in larger boats to make a locked down kayak not that tempting.

Things like bicycles are much more likely to be stolen because there are so many out there that a single bike does not stand out, it’s easy to just ride away with one or throw them in the back of a pickup or car, and they’re easily resold as they are, repainted, or sold as parts.

This Kayak Gypsy I know and her husband got their “most distinctive” Tahe Greenlanders stolen cartop thieves and never recovered. It was Vancouver BC. Helen Wilson https://www.greenlandorbust.org/

I have always cable locked mine. It is really only a time deterrent. If someone wants the boat they could extract it.


That’s why I only paddle elite level surfskis, for they have their own built-in theft deterrent: which is they are very unstable and very tippy. Most thieves know this and avoid them, preferring the more stable craft, which are in high demand.

On the other hand, there are many “stability before ability” surfskis available that weigh less than 25 pounds that are easy to lift, cartop and carry around by a solo paddler, except in the wind. They come with handles (fore and aft), so another paddler can help carry during windy conditions. This way, very easy to transport, back and forth, from your secure home to the water.