How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Kayak? Comprehensive Guide 2022

Shipping a kayak is not easy. It requires the right equipment, help from friends or family, and careful planning. As a kayaker, you need to know how much does it cost to ship a kayak. There are many options of shipping companies available for you. Depending on the size of your kayak, it is better to choose one option or another.

The kayak’s shipping cost ranges from $30-$400, and it depends on the size of the kayak. The total cost will be calculated by using weight and length measurements which you can check at the official sites of these shipping companies.

Considering all of your needs, we came up with the ultimate guide about how much it would cost to ship a kayak? Along with the guide about how to ship a kayak.

Note: For shipping a kayak you need kayak storage hooks that you can use to strap a kayak on the roof so keeping in mind all of your needs I recommend you buy RAD Sportz kayak storage hooks.

Why We Ship a Kayak?

Shipping a kayak is not cheap, but there are many reasons why you should do it.

First of all, this will help you explore some new places that are not easily accessible by road or other vehicles requiring traveling long distances.

Secondly, shipping your kayak using the correct method can save both time and money for future trips. If you plan to take it with you on an airplane, then shipping a kayak is the best option for protecting your investment.

Thirdly, kayaking is a great sport, and you should explore the world by traveling to new places. It will not only provide you with a vacation, but it can also help to improve your kayaking skills as well.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Kayak?

As you have already learned, the cost of shipping a kayak is not cheap. Therefore, you can choose any of these options mentioned below, depending on your budget and time constraints.


This company provides a flat shipping rate with two prices for each size range. Thus, if you want to ship it in less than 48 hours, then you need to pay $300-$400. On the other hand, if your kayak is not urgent but needs a couple of days to reach the destination – only $180.


This is the best cargo shipping company that has two shipping prices; one for Priority Overnight service, which costs around $100, and another option called economy service that charges up to $50.

Forward Air

This company’s actual shipping charges are $30 to $75 for kayak shipping, depending on the size and delivery time. If you want this service within two days, it will cost around $70-$75; however, if your package needs more than five business days, this purchase price can be reduced to $40-$45.


This company is the most expensive one, and its rates can reach $100 or more depending on the location and the size of your kayak. The kayak shipping cost via FedEx will be estimated at $50-$75 for items that weigh up to 70 pounds, but it can increase if you need a larger kayak package.

Don’t forget that these prices are only for the base shipping fees and do not include any additional charges such as sales tax or brokerage fees.

The companies mentioned above are not the only ones that provide kayak shipping services. You can find many others by doing simple online research, but be careful when choosing one because some are unreliable and do not have professionally trained personnel to deal with your package.

Before you choose which option is better for you, check whether the company provides insurance or not. It is imperative because it will give you coverage if the kayak gets damaged during shipping.

It is clear that hiring a company to ship your kayak costs money, but this should not prevent you from doing what you love most. Furthermore, the kayak shipping costs are not as high as those of other types of vehicles such as cars, so this will be an excellent investment for your future.

How To Ship a Kayak? Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

If you are not sure that your kayak will be shipped in perfect conditions, then there is no need to worry because it can always be protected with suitable shipping materials.

Step #1. Choose Right Packaging for Kayak

The first step is to choose the proper packaging for your kayak. You need something strong and durable that will provide full safety during shipping.

Plastic foam pads are one of the best options because they can absorb shock. Conversely, if you want to protect it, even more, you can use layers of bubble wrap instead or put both materials together so nothing wrong could happen to your precious kayak.

Be careful with Styrofoam as this material tends to break easily. Thus, we would recommend putting the kayak in a cardboard box with larger pieces rather than smaller ones when packaging the kayak by wrapping them around all sides except for its nose. It should be kept open because there may be other things inside, such as paddles or life jackets.

Step #02. Prepare Kayak for Transportation

Now, you need to prepare your kayak for transportation. The first thing that comes to mind is tying it onto a car or truck’s top rack, but this can be very dangerous because the wind could blow over and cause an accident.

Instead, if you want both of your hands-free, consider using a roof-mounted carrier that will allow you to use all four without worrying about keeping balance and safety while moving on rough surfaces such as gravel roads.

Step #03. Know Storage Requirements

The next step has two parts: know storage requirements and follow the shipping company instruction manual.  Some things must remain attached during transportation, such as seats to avoid getting lost along the way; however, don’t forget to remove any accessories that could shift inside the kayak during shipping.

Storage requirements are different for each company, so make sure to check them before calling or visiting their office. There is nothing worse than having an employee tell you something opposite of what was written on their website.

Follow all safety instructions, especially those related to securing your load, equipment, and cargo weight limits. It will protect both your property and the people around it if anything happens.

Step #04. Make Sure You Have All Documents Ready

Before leaving home, be sure that everything necessary has been packed into a box with proper labels attached; otherwise, they might not accept it at the warehouse location, which means additional money spent on packaging materials wasted.

Also, remember about preparing all necessary documents such as shipping labels, bills of lading, and customs paperwork.

Step #05. Fill Out All Required Forms

Another thing you need to do is fill out all required forms that can be found on the company’s website or at their office itself. Make sure they are filled correctly because any mistake could cause a delay in delivering your package, so it’s better to double-check everything before submitting them for approval.

After completing these five steps, you will have peace of mind knowing that your kayak arrived safely while spending less money on its transportation. Now, we hope that now you get a detailed guide on how to ship a kayak safely without any accidents.

How to Pack the Kayak for Shipping?

Here you get the step-by-step guide on how to pack the kayak for shipping.

Step #1. Measuring the Kayak Dimension

The first thing to do is measure the dimension of your kayak as it should be between 53 and 94 inches long, 18 and 27 inches wide, with a weight that doesn’t exceed 150 pounds.

Step #02. Preparing Kayak for Transportation

Next, you need to prepare your kayak for transportation by removing all unnecessary accessories such as paddles, seats, and life jackets.

Step #03. Selecting Appropriate Boxes for Packing Kayak

Once you have your kayak stripped off from all accessories and equipment, it is time to prepare the box in which it will be shipped by using double-wall corrugated fiberboard or plastic foam. You may also use the original box that the kayak came in if it’s still available, which will be significantly cheaper than buying a new one.

Step #04. Loading Kayak into Boxes

After you have prepared boxes for storing your kayak, place them on their side and slide them inside with a bow facing up before filling empty spaces with newspapers or foam peanuts.

Step #05. Securing Kayak in the Boxes

The last thing you need to do is secure your kayak inside of its box using strong and durable straps that will prevent it from moving while transporting; therefore, reducing the risk of damage during shipping.

Alternative Methods for Shipping Kayak

If you do not have a car or truck to transport your kayak from one location to another, there are still many alternative shipping methods that will help you move it without any problems.

By Bus

Most bus companies offer vehicles with enough space for transporting big and bulky items; however, they usually require at least one day to plan and schedule the route.

By Train

Railroad transportation is considered as one of the most affordable shipping methods. Still, it usually takes up to a week or more, depending on your location so keep that in mind before making any final decision.

Private Driving

This method will be cheaper than using public transport; however, there’s no guarantee you will find someone with a car willing to transport your kayak from one location to another.

Rent a Truck

Hiring a truck or van for transportation is considered as the most affordable shipping method. Still, you will need help in loading and unloading it, which makes this option not very convenient when moving solo.

Hire Someone

One of the most convenient shipping methods is where you can hire someone to transport your kayak from one location to another. However, it is essential not to forget about liability and additional insurance coverage because if something goes wrong. At the same time, the vehicle is in motion, this will be a significant issue for you later on.

As mentioned above, there are many different ways to ship a kayak. What you choose will depend on your personal preferences, vehicle availability, and the distance between the pick-up and drop-off location.


Above, you get the complete guide about how much it costs to ship a kayak and what alternative methods for shipping kayaks are there. Also, you get to know how to ship a kayak and what you need to do before sending your boat. We hope that this comprehensive guide will help you make the right choice.


What is the Best Way to Ship a Kayak?

The most preferred and cost-efficient shipping method will be by using a truck or van as they usually take up to a week or less, but if you want your kayak delivered faster, the best way will be by using public transport.

What is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Kayak?

The most cost-efficient shipping method will be by using train or bus because they are cheap; however, if you want your boat delivered faster, then it can be shipped with public transportation.

How long should a kayak paddle be for a sit on top?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors such as your height, the width of your kayak, and how you intend to use it. However, a good rule of thumb is to choose a paddle that is approximately two-thirds your height.

Can I Ship My Kayak Myself?

Yes, you can always rent a vehicle and transport your kayak yourself but make sure to get liability insurance coverage because if something goes wrong. In contrast, if the vehicle is in motion, this will be a major issue for you later on.

What Are the Benefits of Shipping Kayaks with DHL?

DHL provides door-to-door delivery service, they also offer great deals and discounts, speedy deliveries (in most cases, they can deliver your kayak within 24 hours). The tracking system is available, and they offer insurance (which will cover damages up to $100).

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