How to Tie Down a Kayak in a Truck Bed

Transporting a kayak safely, without any issue and struggle of a fallen kayak in the middle of the road is crucial. Lucky, you, if you are living in a house, where the kayaking water body is your kayak stop. However, most people need to transport the kayak. You need transport even when you live near a water body because the one near you is not the only water body you want to explore every time, right? So you need a proper vehicle like, say, a pickup truck or a car with a rack system.

Yes, you can load a rack system on your pickup truck too. However, here we will concentrate on how to tie down a kayak in a truck bed, not any other ways of tying a kayak or transporting it.

How to Tie Down a Kayak in a Truck Bed

A Pickup Truck

A truck, to be precise, a pickup truck, is divided into two sections. You have the enclosed cab at the front with two seats, sometimes four, and an open area, known as the truck bed. There is a tailgate on the truck bed for you to have full access to lift and place things up on the truck and secure them by locking the door. While tying a kayak, a tailgate works as an extended portion if you are not closing it. It lays flat and works as an extension of the truck bed.

Truck or A Pickup Truck

Here’s the thing, when we talk about trucks, it’s not the large vehicle. We are talking about pickup trucks only. A truck is not something that is for personal use, especially transporting something like a single kayak. On the other hand, many of us own a pickup truck, and if not, these are easily manageable. So, you own it or manage it, just set the kayak up on the truck bed or simply have a rack system on the enclosed cab top. If your car or truck doesn’t have a roof rack, you can use pool noodles to tie down a kayak without a roof rack. However, as we said, here, we will focus on setting the kayak up on the truck bed.

Preparation and Tool

The truck bed will, of course, be smaller than the kayak. So make sure first to gauge whether it is going to fit the truck bed or not. If the kayak is smaller than your truck bed, then you hardly need to tie it down, just throw it in and lock the tailgate. You can start your journey to the farthest water body without even tying up the kayak, no issue whatsoever.

Just go slow. However, the main thing is the same old. The kayak will be bigger than the truck bed. So you will need to secure it with tools. And the only tool you will need to tie your kayak on the truck bed is the cam buckle strap.

Cam Buckle Strap

Cam buckle strap is a tie-down strap that tightens the way you tighten the cargo up. By the ‘way,’ we meant the force you put, and by the ‘cargo,’ we are implying the kayak. If you can put maximum pressure to tighten the strap, it will secure your kayak with that much strength.

The cam buckle strap itself doesn’t have any mechanism going on in it to double or triple the power you put together to tighten it. So the cam buckle strap is basically for tying lightweight stuff, at the best medium weight. Which is what a kayak is. Either light at best moderate weighted. For a kayak, you will need two cam buckle straps or a very long one.

Cam Buckle Strap Mechanism

There are two parts to a cam buckle strap. As the name suggests, a buckle will be on a cam buckle strap with a hook on it. And there will be a long belt with another hook at the end. The cam buckle has teeth inside for proper clasp and securing the belt. You glide the strap through the cam buckle opening.

And to expose the gap, you need to push the thumb pad. You can do it with one thumb holding the cam buckle with one hand.

Tie Down the Kayak

Before you load the kayak, place a mat so that the kayak doesn’t collide with the truck bed and get damaged. Also, be ready with buffers or corner protectors to keep your kayak safe from the collision from the strap and edges.

How to Tie Down a Kayak in a Truck Bed
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Now when you have a long cam buckle strap or two cam buckle straps and tools and protectors, the truck bed is ready to be loaded.

Step One – Slide in the Kayak

Make sure you have nothing else on the truck bed. Just open the tailgate, lay it flat, and pick up the kayak to slide it on the truck bed. Please do not keep the kayak straight. Place it corner to corner of the truck bed. One corner at the truck bed front and another corner will be near the tailgate. You will get more space and a better way to tie kayak.

If you can carry the kayak on your own, fine if not, then take help. Don’t worry if a portion of the kayak is not on the truck bed but totally in the air. Smaller truck bed, bigger kayak, remember?

Step Two – Tie Down the Kayak

Your kayak is now diagonally positioned. You will have to use the kayak handles or scupper holes to tie the kayak on the truck bed. And truck beds generally have different components for you to tie things up. Start from the front by putting the hook of the long strap on the parts of the truck bed.

Now bring the belt over the kayak, then under it, and wrap it up, which should be easy as both at the front and back the kayak has enough space to get beneath it.

Step Three – Buckle It Up

You have wrapped the kayak with a strap; now take the buckle. Insert the long strap through the opening by pushing the thumb pad. Glide and pull the strap until you feel the kayak is well secured. And yes, place the protectors as a precaution. When the strap is well-pulled, and the kayak is not moving from its place, time to lock the buckle.

Lock the hook on the buckle with another component on the truck bed that is on the other side. Now tighten the loosened strap a bit more for further tightening of the cam buckle strap. Wrap and tie the extra portion of the belt, and your kayak is secured.

Step Four – Work On the Other Side

One side of the kayak is now well tied, so do the same thing we mentioned above to secure the kayak near the tailgate. Take the other strap, hook it, wrap it, insert it in the buckle, lock the hook and finally pull the strap through the buckle teeth until the kayak is well tied.

If you use a long cam buckle strap, you must wrap the whole kayak with the belt, and the hook and buckle portion work the same.

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How to Paddle a Kayak without Getting Wet

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How to Enter and Exit a Kayak with Bad Knees

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Final Words

Now, you know how to transport your kayak well protected, so get ready with your kayak, truck, and cam buckle strap to explore a new water body.

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