Transporting a kayak with no roof rack

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    Philip Kubik

    Hello Kevin,

    I have used foam blocks directly on roof of a car a few times and my experience is similar to what Maureen described. You can probably get away with them in a pinch for short trips in dry weather at low speeds but problems are significant under other conditions.

    In wet weather, water will wick down the straps into the car even if the door seals well.

    At highway speeds or even long trips at low speeds, I found that the foam blocks slide on the roof even with bow and stern lines. If the straps are made tight, sliding is reduced but the roof will be dented more (not permanently for me). At highway speeds, the kayak is likely to shift diagonally.

    Kevin Amos

    I am a MODO Carshare member and I have used vehicles with roof racks. However vehicles near me don’t have a rack, so was looking at options.

    Here are images of the racks and how it attaches.

    Cameron Redenbach


    couple questions,  what type of vehicle and what does it have for roof hardware? Or just bare roof.
    type of kayak , plastic, fiberglass, Kevlar ?
    does your car have 4 corner attachment hooks or loops ? How far is your trip with the boats on the top of the car ?

    when I rented from western and mec long time ago they just provided foam blocks. And then bow and stern lines and as in the photos straps inside the car.  It works but every car door jam and window design can be different.  Issues that I recall was the strap went in the window and most cars you couldn’t fully close window. As well strap had to be released to open door. Alternative was strap in the door jam but made it difficult to close door

    in the links you have from western you have the suction cup cross bar. What was the plan to attach to that to hold the kayaks ?


    Maureen Benzon

    Hi Kevin,

    I know people do this and have never heard first hand of anyone having a problem.

    A friend used to travel from Coquitlam with foamies directly on her roof. Even with a good bow and stern line, the kayak would end up a diagonal on her roof. I did not like to drive behind her! When she bought a new car she made sure she had a decent rack.

    You will get a drip into your car..

    Most importantly, no one will rent you a kayak unless you have a roof rack, by which I deduce they identify it as a hazard on the road. Insurance is qualified by the load your rack is rated to carry.


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