Trouble Securing Kayak

I am having trouble with figuring out how I am supposed to secure my kayak to my car properly. I am brand new to kayaking with the exception of renting one once a year ago. I just bought a package that includes a kayak, paddle and car-top carrier. There are no instructions in the package, so I thought it must be pretty self-explanatory.

This is the carrier kit I have:

The package I bought:

(It’s usually $500 CDN but I got it for $350!)

This is my SUV with the factory roof racks:

I don’t know if those links will help but I put them there in case it’s easier to understand what I have.

There is one long strap that has a buckle on one end, which I measured to be 170”. There are 2 smaller straps with hooks permanently attached to one end that are 165”, and I think to accompany those are 2 short straps that have a buckle and hook each that are 11”.

I originally thought that the long strap was useless and I would just use the two smaller hook straps combined with the tiny buckle straps to secure my kayak using the roof rack. Upon researching though it appears as if it is almost mandatory that I tie the bow and stern to my bumpers (I haven’t even checked where on my car I would do this). Every video I’ve seen about strapping the kayak includes a strap per bow/stern, and two straps to secure it to the rack. So that’s 4 straps in total, but I was only given 3!

Am I missing something about how to securely attach my kayak with the equipment I have? Did I get a kit that is crap and doesn’t give me all of what I really need? Any help would be appreciated!

cross bars
Does your factory rack have cross bars, or just the rails that go parallel to the length of the car?

If cross bars, the foam blocks pop over the cross bars, boat sits on top, and the straps are used to hold the boat down to cross bars.

if no cross bars, then the foam would sit directly on the roof of the car (I did that one with a similar foam block, and it scratched the car) and you have t figure out some way to strap the boat down, likely with the rails. I’d probably look at different system (something that provides cross bars) than use this.

As the post above says:
You should have cross bars, and then those foam blocks go on them.

I don’t have a clue what you would do with those two 11" straps.

You should have (which you don’t) a set of two long, (about 12 feet) cam-lock buckle straps.

They are the important ones that get double looped over your boat and under your cross bars, (which you don’t have).

One should go across in the front of your yak’s coaming and one at the rear behind the coaming.

After that you can do the front and rear tie downs with either straps or rope.

Your best bet, is to get up with some experienced kayaker that can guide you to get set up properly

I wouldn’t fool around with any of those straps with hooks, but that is me !

jack L

A set of 2 12’ will cost $12 US
You can by NRS straps direct or from Amazon or other stores.

I might buy a wrench from Canadian Tire but not a kayak.


– Last Updated: Jun-27-16 9:05 PM EST –

Those ratcheting hook straps are a pain. Guy I sold an old boat to came to pick it up with those and it wasn't pretty.

Like seadart said, get a set of the other type of straps that are just one piece.

3 Straps
You basically have three straps in that kit. The short strap with the hook and buckle will attach via the hook to the carry handle of your kayak. The long strap with the hook will attach to your car under the front bumper. Take this long strap that is hooked under the bumper and run it through the cam buckle of the short strap attached to your kayak and tighten. Do the same thing in the rear of the car. The long one piece strap is used to secure the kayak to the crossbars. It would be better if you had two straps to do this. If you don’t have crossbars on your Escape you need additional straps. Two to secure the foam blocks to the kayak and two to secure the kayak to the roof either through the rail on top of your vehicle or through the windows.