How To Load A Kayak On A J Rack By Yourself

Last Updated on July 3, 2022 by Ecorf

Kayaking is a fun thing to do. If all you want is something that just helps you get relaxed and less stressed, think kayak. The rhythmic way of paddling is known to help relieve stress.

Also, if you are a sucker for thrill and adrenaline, think kayak. Get your kayak on ocean waves or on some whitewater and you would have the most thrilling adrenaline rush of your life. 

In this article, we would be addressing something that’s related to the question of how to transport your kayak. It addresses how to load a kayak on a J rack by yourself.

What Is A J Rack?

It is first important to know what a J rack is. A J rack is a roof rack system that is used to hold your kayak up on the roof of your vehicle so that you can easily transport it to wherever you want to. It gets its name from its looks; just like the letter “J”.

There are many kinds of roof rack systems apart from J racks. There are temporary pads, saddles, and stackers. These roof racks are all great and mostly work for different scenarios, but the J rack is still the most common and popularly used.


J racks are as popular as they are because they don’t take up much space on your vehicle. Install one on your vehicle, mount your kayak, and you would still have more than enough space on your roof for some other stuff. This is because the J rack is designed such that the kayak holds the kayak sideways. 

Things To Consider When Choosing A J Rack

There are a few things that should determine the kind of J rack that you should buy. Some of them are:

Your Vehicle

J racks are perfect for vehicles that have wide roofs. It is important to know that if a J rack is not compatible with your car roof, do not hesitate to stop using it. This is for your safety and for the safety of others around you. 


Another thing to consider is the material which your J rack is made of. If your kayak is a really big and heavy one, you would need a material that is quite strong and can withstand the weight of the kayak. On the other hand, lightweight kayaks don’t really need strong J racks. 


Some brands are household names when it comes to kayak J racks. They are the popular ones and have been tested by many and found to be the best.

If you’re new to this and don’t know which brand to go for, do not hesitate to ask a professional kayaker or check the internet to see. 

How To Load A Kayak On A J Rack By Yourself


This is the last on my list but definitely not the least. I don’t have to dwell much on this as you may already know that no matter how much you desire to buy a particular J rack, only your money can buy it for you. Know your budget and get the J rack that suits it. 

Loading A Kayak On A J Rack All By Yourself

A kayak can be really heavy sometimes. Lifting it all the way up to the top of your roof all alone actually seems like a lot of work at first, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

I really don’t want to sugar-coat this for you. It is way easier, faster and less stressful to get some help when you are trying to load your kayak on the roof of your car. But let’s face it, you may not have help all of the time. But the good news is that it is still quite easy to load your kayak on your J rack, even if you’re doing it alone. 

I have divided the whole process into 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Do The Things You Normally Would Do If You Had Help

Your J rack must already be mounted in your car already. Put the straps that would be holding the kayak around the jack the way you normally would. You really don’t need help with this at all. 

Step 2: Lifting Your Kayak

Make sure that your kayak is lying vertically in front of you and not far away from your car. Also, make sure that the kayak is lying face down. From the tip of the kayak close to you, lift the kayak gently until it is standing upright with you. 

Here comes the tricky part. If the J rack is closer to the right side of the car, you would be carrying your kayak in such a way that your right elbow is bent while your left hand is extended. It is the other way round for a J rack that is mounted close to the left side of your kayak. 

Following the instruction in the last paragraph, put one foot in front of the other and slightly bend both knees as you try to lift your kayak. 

You’re done with the hardest part.

Step 3: Placing Your Kayak On The J Rack

Carry your kayak to the side of the car where the J rack is closer to you. If you followed the previous step, the hand closer to the car should be extended while the other is bent at the elbow. 

Stand at the midpoint of your car and heft the kayak over your head to sit on the J rack. The side of the kayak sitting that is being carried with your extended arm is to be on the floor of the J rack.

Tighten your straps around the kayak


Although loading your kayak on your J rack all by yourself is not as easy as doing it with some help, it is still possible to achieve without injuring or stressing yourself out.

If you have questions or inquiries, please feel free to drop them in the comment section below as I would be eager to answer them.