So you’ve purchased a kayak and can’t wait to use it, but how do you plan to keep it from getting stolen when you’re on the road and either away from your car or sleeping at night? I searched for a good answer to that question, but kept ending up at the same so-so solution, which is a locking cable that goes around each end of the kayak and connects under your roof rack. They aren’t cheap and bolt cutters will render it useless. Other solutions consist of a strap that is reinforced with steel wiring, but that seems like it could be cut with tin snips. No one seems to make what I think would be the best solution, which would be some kind of locking latch bar that connects to the roof rack and latches over the kayak.
So, not wanting to spend a lot of money on kayak security (our kayaks are cheap ones anyway), I decided to use a 6′ bicycle cable lock and drill a hole in the kayak’s cup holder (looks like the hole was intended to be there, which is nice!). The cable lock connects the kayak to the roof rack….pretty simple, and has the added benefit of another way to ensure the kayak doesn’t fly off the car into traffic if the straps and tiedowns fail.
The lock was only $10 at Walmart, and you could use 10mm, 12mm, or even one of those huge 18mm chains that is housed in a webbed sleeve. Regarding the hole I drilled with a hole saw, you could easily put some fuel line or grommet to make it look really nice.
Below are photos of the finished product, and a video as well. At the end of the video is a tip for keeping yourself from driving into your garage with the kayaks still on top (which is a costly mistake I made with a bicycle long ago…).
I’d love to hear other ideas for securing kayaks or canoes to a roofrack. Happy camping!