How To Tie Down A Kayak In A Truck Bed [Guide to Everything]

Kayaking is a most delightful exercise that you can enjoy when the weather is perfect. If you see the sun out on a beautiful day, you don’t just want to waste it. This makes it a good time to go kayaking.

There’s one challenge which is transporting your kayak to the river of your choice. If you already have a truck then, you have nothing to worry about because you are on track. Trucks are an affordable, convenient and easy way to transport your kayak, this process is one you can figure out by yourself.

However, if a kayak is not tied properly to your truck, it can be truly disastrous. Not only would the kayak get destroyed but it could serve as a major hazard for other road users. You would waste money, resources and put people’s lives at risk. Also, you don’t want to get into trouble with the law because it is considered illegal to transport a kayak without tying it down.

As appealing as transporting a kayak with a truck sounds, it is pertinent that you get it right.

Here are a few quick tips you must first consider before using your truck bed to convey a kayak to a location of choice.

5 Tips For Transporting A Kayak In A Truck Bed

To ensure that the transportation goes smoothly, you have to pay attention to certain things.

Transporting A Kayak In A Truck Bed

  • Get yourself a truck bed mat that would serve as a liner in your truck. It would prevent your kayak from damage and also protect it from the hard surface.
  • Put non-slip foam blocks under the kayak’s hull. This would help in stabilizing the boat, add an extra layer of protection and also reduce the vibrations of transit.
  • Make sure that at least 70% of the kayak’s weight is inside the truck. This way, the chances of the kayak falling would reduce.
  • Add the bow and stern lines to the tie-down straps meant to secure the kayak.
  • Ensure that you move within a reasonable speed level to avoid having the kayak fall off. Also, adapt to the road conditions and the weather because of the load you are carrying.

If you’ve employed all of these, you are ready to start taking the steps required for successful transit.

7 Quick Steps On How To Tie Down A Kayak In A Truck Bed

Each of these steps is important and if you follow them, you get to enjoy a smooth ride that takes you to your wonderful kayaking experience. Here are the steps;

How To Tie Down A Kayak In A Truck Bed

Clean Out The Truck Bed

You need all the available space you can get on your truck bed so that the kayak can fit properly. This is why you must clean out the truck bed and ensure that all dirt, debris, and objects that can damage your kayak are kept away.

To provide more cushioning for the boat, you can place a rubber mat on it. This way you can protect the kayak from scratches and possible damages.

Secure The Foam Blocks

Place the foam blocks into the truck bed. This is important because it would offer a padded and soft spot for the kayak’s hull to rest on. The kayak would not have to remain on the hard surface of the truck bed mat. It is best to settle for foam blocks with non-slip bottoms so they do not slide out from under the kayak.

Prepare The Kayak

Prepare the kayak for transportation, remove all loose accessories such as the kayak seat from the truck bed. Instead, keep the items in one of the hatches, then, secure a kayak’s paddle to the side using bungee cords. Afterward, place the kayak cover over it by using a strap to tighten it. This way, you can protect the boat from bugs and the wind.

Load The Kayak

This step requires some heavy lifting but you get someone to help you with the lifting or just use a kayak cart. If your boat can fit completely into the truck bed, you can even close the tailgate to secure it. But in cases where it is different, you need not panic.

Load it along a diagonal line to prevent it from falling off. Allow one end of the boat to face the corner close to the cab while the other end should face the opposite direction of the tailgate. Just make sure that the overhang is not too much to prevent damage to the kayak. You can also use a bed extender in cases where the kayak does not fit in.

Keep The Kayak Secure

You can decide to use either cam straps or ratchet straps to secure the kayak. The major difference is that ratchet straps use the ratchet technique while cam straps are easier to use. You should settle for cam straps.

With two tie-down straps, you would have to tie the kayak down to the anchor points. One strap is meant for the stern while the other is for the bow. Make sure the straps are not too tight so the hull is protected. However, these straps are essential in securing the kayak so you must pay attention while fixing the straps.

Attach The Flag

Put a flag on the rear end of your truck to alert other drivers about the load that you are carrying. You can use either a red or orange flag as a warning and another safety strategy to ensure the successful transport of the kayak. This step is the most overlooked but it is important because some state laws even require it.


As a safety measure, double-check the job you have to do to ensure that the kayak is secure at the back of the truck. You can even get someone to help you observe the movement of the kayak while driving. It is better to take this precaution than realize that the kayak is not tightly bound to the truck.

Final Thoughts

The process looks daunting, however, your pocket would thank you for adopting this means of transportation. We believe that this article has been able to simplify the process for you by providing the necessary information to aid an awesome kayaking experience. Now you know how to secure a kayak, load it on a truck bed and also double-check for safety purposes.