Weight Limits and Kayak Carriers

My son and myself are looking to get into Kayaking. Getting him setup is easy, not so much for myself. I am a large guy and hope to use Kayaking to get myself into some shape other than round. I am wondering if weight capacities manufacturers list on kayaks are truly accurate?

Secondly, I see multiple ways of carrying kayaks. I plan to fabricate a rack for my truck but am wondering the best way to hold the kayak to it? I have seen flat v-shaped foam and metal carriers, J shaped carriers that sit on their side, etc. Is one better than another? Is it dependent on the kayak?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

carrying the things…ROFL
As to the weight limits, yup, most seem to be fairly accurate. The main thing is that the cockpit is large enough for you to comfortably fall into and scramble out of. A good PADDED seat is much appreciated also. All the seats seem fine when you just ‘try’ them in a store. After a couple of hours, you will feel every little decorative button or wrinkle in the thing. Also, if the kayak you select doesn’t already HAVE flotation, add some before you ever try your new kayak. Sooner or later, you WILL flop over. LOL Make sure your life jacket is approved for your weight also and consider the bulk of that when you choose your cockpit size and seat. Once you find YOUR boat, you and your son will LOVE kayaking. It’s next to being weightless upon the water. As for carrying the dang things…there are many ways and ideas about racks. I have a Jeep and had to go to the expense of buying a rack and hully roller for it. I use a Hully roller on the back and a yak saddle on the front. The rollers make it extremely easy to load and offload. But a kayak is easy to handle anyway. I prefer to carry mine upright. I use straps wrapped around the crossbars, looped around the bar and back over the kayak. A tie at the bow and stern are a great idea also. OH…and don’t just toss ANYTHING into the kayak while carrying it. If it were a concrete block, it would blow out. The only BAD thing about the upright carry is, rain. If it is raining, even a little, the thing will fill up with water and weigh a ton. Just flip it over and carry it upside down in that case. The J racks are nice, but I just prefer lifting the bow of mine, putting the nose into the rollers while the stern is sitting on the ground. I can then grab the back of the cockpit coaming and just slide it on top. The J rack requires you to lift the entire weight of the kayak at once, in most cases. The main thing is…get it to the water safely and have fun!!! You have some REAL quality time ahead of you. OH…and put some kind of tie, leash, or duct tape on EVERYTHING in your boat. When you do flip, it makes it easier to find your camera if it is in a waterproof container TIED to your boat. If it’s loose in the boat, it’s river food. LOL Best of luck and enjoy it. I’ve tried big motor boats, small motor boats, sail boats, row boats, and canoes. I’ll take my little kayak over any of them. Most quiet and peaceful way to see animals in their natural element. The otters just think you are a big ole log. LOL

I am using a Thule rack for mine, but before that I just had a 4" thick piece of foam on the roof of the van and strapped the ends down.It will depend what the rack you build looks like.

Have fun on the water.

Good Info
Thanks for the responses. Very helpful!