How to Load A Kayak On J Rack by Yourself – From Lifting To Mounting

Kayaking is such an adrenaline booster. And if you are a sucker for thrill and want to maximize the adrenaline rush in you, then nothing would be better than getting your kayak on ocean waves and letting the rhythmic paddling squeeze all the stress out of you. But what is the point of having a kayak when you do not have an idea of how to load a kayak on J rack by yourself and can not rejoice a solo trip all by your own, every time when there is no one to help you to load it up? Sounds deal-breaker!

Machines and tools encircle our lives to make things easier for us. J rack is among them. It is a convenient tool intended to carry kayaks on the top of your car without getting stumble. This J rack has mostly a space for two kayaks. This name is given because it imitates the shape of the letter “J.” However, once you are done putting the kayak on the J rack, it will recline at 45 degrees leaving ample area for another kayak.

In this piece of article, we will be addressing all the hurdles that one faces while loading his kayak up on the J rack. Also, be sharing some tips and tricks to help you make accomplish in this regard. Therefore, by the next time whenever you intend to go kayaking, you will surely not be striving to load the kayak and be able to get it up on the roof peacefully. 

What Is A J Rack?

To Load A Kayak On J Rack By Yourself

This J shape rack will require the existing crossbars on the top of your car to get the J rack installed. Nonetheless, once you get successful in settling them down the rack, it will provide safe housing for your kayaks to lean inside until you reach your destiny.

In addition, they do not offer the straps to secure the kayaks but are capable of minimizing the potential drag by giving them a secure angle to sit inside. In case you do not have the J rack you may have to secure it horizontally that thereby causing the front of the kayak to be lifted if heavy wind gusts are blowing. However, this J rack eradicates the danger of it being dragged by the heavy breeze.

It has this mind-blowing aspect that they come at a very accessible price range so that anyone fond of this activity can easily get their hands on this life-saving tool. And also are very susceptible to use.

How To Install The J Rack

As a matter of fact, it is more than important to tightly secure the J rack on the roof before you set your kayaks in them. Here are a few substantial tips on how to install the J rack on top of your car conveniently.

Type Of Vehicle

The fact that needs to consider while paying close attention is what type of automobile you have at your garage. Because the J rack Is usually more suitable and works best with smaller heights for instance small cars. The reason is they are easier to mount on the roof no matter what height you are, and similarly, the kayaks can easily be loaded up the rack with no hassle. Furthermore, the J rack is much suited for SUVs and trucks.

Existing Crossbar

The second step to implement while installing the J rack is to have an existing crossbar to make J rack installation possible, which should attach to the roof car already. While making installation make sure to place the open end outwards. To that existing rack, the J rack will be fastened.


The way you set the rack determines how susceptible it will be to mount the kayak on the top of a car. Usually, there are two sides that exist in every J rack. One is towards the upside and the other is the lower side.

There is always more than one way to do stuff, but the adequate way to install the J rack is to place the higher section of the rack towards the center of the roof. This way, you will have sufficient room to mount the kayak from the side of the car. Moreover, reaching on top will be more accessible by standing in the doorway if you can not make it while standing on the ground.

How To Load The Kayak On The J Rack All By Your Own

To Load A Kayak On J Rack

Sometimes, lifting the kayak all the way up to the top of the vehicle can be heavy. I will not sugarcoat but it is way better to get someone’s help to make easier, faster, and stress-free installation feasible.

Nevertheless, after a perfect installation of the J rack, now comes the process of installing the kayaks. Below, are some ways that can aid you to do an easy installation.

1: Do It With Your Legs

The legs are considered the strongest part among other parts of your body. This process uses the upper part of your legs ( thighs). Though, If you do not want any face injury, make sure to keep the cockpit away from your face.

Since the kayak is already off the group, stand in an upright position and place the kayak on your thigh by picking it up from the rims. Utilize both hands, In order to equalize the weight. Once the weight is supported, then lift your hands to roll the kayak over your shoulder. While staying in that posture you can easily place the kayak without being suppressed by the weight.

2: The Shoulder Press

Your shoulders are capable of holding the weight much more than you can imagine. Even so, it does not matter whether you have a strong physique or not, lifting the kayak is always effortless if you follow some smart tricks.

Remember, all the weight is borne by hands before it reaches your shoulder. Now that the kayak is on your shoulders and the rack is even close to you, it is lenient to roll the kayak from your shoulders over to the J rack. Following these methods will make lifting easier for you.

3: The Hood Slide Method

If you strive hard to lift the kayak to the top then this method will make stuff easier for you. The method appears to be popular among people who find bearing the whole weight impossible. To execute this method, you will need to drape the piece of cloth over the hood of your automobile. Now lift your kayak and slide it all the way up the windscreen to the J rack. Just make sure that the cloth comes along the move or it might scratch the paintwork.

4: Securing The Kayak

tie down the kayak on roof of car

Now that the kayaks are reclining into the J rack comfortably. You need to fasten it to prevent accidents along the way. Use the straps to hold down the kayak tightly in its place. But the perfect way to hold them in place is to wrap them up to the crossbars. Make sure to place the straps before you lift the kayaks on the J rack for hassle-free security.

How to Prevent Back Pain While Carrying a Kayak

To Load A Kayak On J Rack By Yourself

There are several tips you must follow in order to protect your back while lifting your kayak.

  • Always try to bend at the knees: Never put the load on the waist as you prepare to lift and carry your kayak. Bad posture can result in back pain, even if the kayak doesn’t feel bulky to you.
  • We recommend doing this: You can wear your PFD (if available) while carrying the kayak. The shoulder straps will provide a cushion, hence carrying your kayak will become more comfortable.
  • The face of Bow Of the Kayak must be forward. This will make it easier for you to carry the kayak. Now some readers would say it doesn’t make any difference. But trust me, it does.

Wrapping Up How To Load A Kayak On J Rack By Yourself

Installing the J rack and how to load the kayak on the J rack is not an easy task to do. It needs a lot of patience to make it happen. But if you use the right tools and follow the smart techniques, can make things simpler. Furthermore, all the methods and tricks that have been taught in this article will become manageable for you if you follow them whenever you plan to go kayaking.

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