How to Lock Kayak to Roof Rack? 5 Best Ways – 2022

Locking a kayak on a roof rack is an important step in preventing theft. There are several ways to do this, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re like most kayakers, you don’t want to take the time to unload and reload your kayak on the roof rack every time you drive somewhere. So, keeping in mind all of your needs here we come up with how to lock kayak to roof rack easily without any tension.

Why it is Important to Use Kayak Roof Rack on Car?

It is also important to use the roof rack because it makes you worry-free from any scratches. Normally, kayaks are made of a material that is sensitive to scratch so using a kayak roof rack will keep your kayak safe and secure. You can find many companies that provide you the best quality product for protecting your car against damage during carrying the kayak on the roof rack.

How to Lock Kayak to Roof Rack? Different Ways

There are several ways to lock a kayak on a roof rack. Depending on your specific needs, you may want to use one method over another. Without further ado,  here are three effective methods.

Method 1. Using a Belt

The first method entails using a belt to lock your kayak on the roof rack by winding it around the middle of the kayak. This means that you will need to secure both ends into some anchoring point. It is important not to use an end that can easily come undone, such as a door handle. Another option is to use a belt that is looped through the tip of the kayak and then the D-rings on your roof rack.

Method 2. Using Bungee Cords

The second method entails using rubber bungee cords to secure your kayak to your car’s roof rack. This means that you will need both ends hooked somewhere around or under the kayak, ensuring it can’t slip off. There should be several ways to hook each end, such as D-rings and handles, in order for this option to be feasible.

Method 3: Using Rope with Clamp

Another method entails using rope that is fastened onto a clamp around the front or back part of your roof rack before tying it around your kayak. The downside to this method is that the rope might slip off, which could be potentially harmful to your kayak if it falls. To prevent this from happening, try using a duct taped knot or tying around the handle of the kayak instead.

Method 4. Using a Bungee Cord with a Tension Rod

You may also want to use the bungee cord and tension rod method. This entails using bungee cords hooked together by an S hook as well as putting one tension rod in the middle of the kayak to keep it secure. The benefit to this unit is that it can be easily stored and taken out when needed, but only holds one kayak at a time.

Method 5. Using a Cable Lock

The last method entails using a steel cable lock. You’ll need one end of the cable to secure your kayak to the roof rack and another end to loop through your kayak’s handle, which should also be looped around some anchoring point on the roof rack itself. This allows you to only carry one end with you, as well as reduces the risk of slipping off.

These are the top 5 methods on how to lock kayak to roof rack.

Benefits of Locking Kayak to Roof Rack:

There are several benefits to locking a kayak to a roof rack, including:

  • Protects from weather conditions
  • No need for other transportation methods for the kayak
  • Reduces chances of theft or damage
  • Easily accessible when needed

As you can see, there are many benefits to locking a kayak to a roof rack. Depending on your specific needs, one of these methods will be the most effective for you. After all, what method works best for one person might not work well at all for someone else. To find out which method will work best for your situation, try testing them each out and seeing which one works best.

What Type of Roof Rack Do You Have On Your Car?

There are many different types of roof racks, which should be considered before locking your kayak to it. The rack-type will affect what method you use to lock your kayak, so it is important to know the difference between each one.

Ladder Racks:

These racks tend to have large round bars above them, which may move when you try to tie something onto it. This makes the bungee cord method obsolete, as anything attached would get damaged easily by the moving round bars.

Channel Bars:

These bars are usually quite small, which means that the tension rod method will be effective for this type of roof rack. You can thread your cord or rope through the kayak’s handle and then hook it onto the channel bars.

Square Bars:

Just as with ladder racks, these bars may present a problem for securing your kayak to them. This means that you should avoid using this type of roof rack if possible because tying anything around those round moving bars will cause damage to your kayak and anything attached.

Full Frames:

These racks have bars that tend to be more sturdy, so the bungee cord and tension rod methods will work best for this type of roof rack.

Remember, not all kayaks can be locked to a roof rack in the same ways, so you should keep this in mind before locking your kayak to your roof rack.


In the end, there are several different ways to lock a kayak to a roof rack. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important that you choose the one that works best for you. This doesn’t just mean choosing the method that is easiest but also takes into account your specific needs before locking your kayak on top of your car.

Now you are well aware of how to lock kayak to roof rack? by following the above methods.


Is kayak theft common?

As kayaks are usually of high value, they can be targeted for theft. 

Is it possible to tow my kayak behind the car?

A roof rack is not designed for this purpose, so it is advisable to use a trailer if you are planning on transporting your kayak.

Is it possible to tie kayak onto car roof?

It is not advisable to do this, as it can cause damage to both your kayak and the roof rack. It is also not safe to carry it this way, as you run the risk of losing control of the kayak when turning corners.

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