How to Tie a Kayak to a Truck

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Kayaking is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors while getting a great workout at the same time. Whether you're an avid kayaker or just want to get out on the water once a month, you'll need to know how to properly transport your kayak to and from your destination. Typically, a kayak is tied down to a roof via a rack system on cars and SUV's. When transporting a kayak in a truck, the process is much more simplified.

Lower the truck's tailgate. Clean out the truck-bed if needed. Ensure that no debris or large, loose objects that could damage the kayak are in the bed.

Slide the kayak into the bed. Note that depending on the length of your truck bed, and the length of the kayak, the kayak may hang off the tailgate.

Position the kayak bow in a corner of the bed near the cab. Angle the kayak toward the opposite corner at the tailgate end. This will reduce the amount of space that the kayak will hang off the truck. Note that if the kayak is longer than 12 feet, keep the kayak centered in the bed or positioned on one side of the bed.

Tie a rope or latching strap to the rear truck tie-down loop. These are typically located near the tailgate, on the bed rail or mounted on the interior bed walls at the corner.

Thread the rope through the kayak's rings or mounted loops. Wrap the rope around the kayak and then pull taut. Tie the rope securely to the opposite tie-down loop. Repeat this process for the tie down loops closest to the cab and ensure that the kayak is secured.

Tie a red flag or rag to the end of the kayak that is protruding off the tailgate. This will help make drivers behind you aware of the kayak.


  • Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while kayaking.
  • Do not attempt to kayak beyond your experience level without a trained observer present.


  • You can add a kayak mounting rack to any vehicle. If you have a short truck bed, this may be your best option for transporting the kayak.


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