Sliding kayak on roof more easily

I just installed the Top Deck carrier and didn’t want to pay another $100 for a Glide and Set package. Can anyone suggest a way to make the pads easier to slide my kayak through?

You might want to describe…
what the heck you are talking about ?

For what it is worth. last year I was carrying a 23 foot long, 100 pound tandem kayak on the roof of my truck, (on the cap).

I had one Yakama bar right near the rear of the truck cap. I bought a roller from West Marine for eight dollars, and two angle brackets and a bolt to go through the roller, and installed that set up on the Yakama bar. I had a set of Yakama “Hully rollers” with one on each side of the roller.

I would get the bow of the kayak on the tail gate. Then get up on the tail gate and put the bow on the roller. Then I would get back down, pick up the stern and give the boat a mighty shove on the roller, and after it was up a foot or so, the sides of the hull would nest nicely onto the hully rollers where I would finish pushing the boat up until it rested on the saddles on the front bar. I would then climb back up on the tail gate, and slide it forward until it was all the way on both bars.

Where there is a will, there is a way!

Jack L

Kayak Saddles
If the issue is that the saddles on the rear bar are too “grippy”, assuming you are loading from the rear of the vehicle, why not put several layers of nylon stocking over each of the rear saddles to make them less grippy and see if that helps. If it does, how about some very flat carpeting (like on the “glide” saddles of the glide and set) and glue a piece onto each of the 2 rear saddles.

PS. I’ve had 2 units of the glide and set for about 7 years that work well for loading our 2 kayaks onto our '02 Camry.

Michael Norhern Virginia

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thanks for the advice!
I think carpet but maybe felt with a sticky back might work best. And, I have seen some rollers advertised that can Velcro or magnetic attach. I have a new SUV with a fin and spoiler.

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Kayak saddles again
You are right about the adhesive backed felt, but would the adhesive last when it gets wet?

Also, you mentioned a fin and spoiler. Would these prevent sliding kayak on from the rear of the vehicle?

If so, consider making the saddles on the front bar the “glide” saddles, and load from the front.

Also consider a rollerloader (another 150 dollars approx) which could be put on the hood, if the hood shape would allow) and then use the rollerloader to assist in getting the kayak up onto the now front-bar positioned “glide” saddles.

Michael Northern Virginia again

easier sliding
I put a bath mat or a towel over the pads so the boat slides up easier, but I like the idea of thick felt on the too sticky pads. Where can I get this thick felt?

Hully rollers in the rear and saddles in the front. Put a rug or similar on the top/rear of your vehicle, slide the boat up, roll it forward onto the saddles and tie down. Voila!

Same carpet principle…

– Last Updated: Oct-03-13 8:00 AM EST –

But attached to a saddle.

For $60 you could mount a single Marco Kayak Saddle on the rear most bar. Carpeted broad shallow v shaped cradle with bunk carpeting. Been recommending these over the Thule options with extremely good results. ($125/set is also a nice bit better than $190/set for the equivalent Thule or Yakima price)

Te bathmat option works very well. So well Thule now makes a bathmat that attaches to the bar, called the Waterslide. Go figure.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

See you at our Kokatat Cold Water Workshop this Sunday.

2 sets of Mako saddles
I use 2 sets of Mako saddles. I used to use saddles on the front and rollers on the rear but switched the rollers out for another set of saddles. The saddles come with adhesive backed felt.

The problem with the rollers is that after a long trip it looked like that portion of the kayak that was in contact with the rollers looked like it had been sand blasted. After switching to 2 sets of saddles, no more sand blasting.

That’s the setup that I have been using on my Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 w/a cap for years. Tie on the bow and stern lines before loading the kayak. Lay an old bath mat (rubber backed) on the rear of the cap. Set the kayak bow on the bath mat. Lift/push the rear of the kayak up and onto the rear saddles. You’ll have to use the stern line to slide the boat the final couple of feet onto the saddles but it works w/o fail. It will slide nice and easy whether the hull and/or felt are wet or dry.

After loading 2 kayaks on their respective saddles, climb up on the 6’ ladder and strap them down. Finish up by tying the bow and stern lines to the bumpers.

I’ve yet to scratch either the cap or the boats. This method works easily with either 1 or 2 people loading.


kayak loading
I tie some nylon cordage between the two saddles; lifting the boat on from the rear, the keel of the boat will lay on the cord and easily slide forward.

Pool noodles
I wrapped a small section of pool noodle between the saddles. Wrap duct tape around the noodles to hold them in place. The noodles will prevent the hull from hitting the cross bar.

Google suction kayak loader
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