The day was fairly calm when I started out, although the lake I was on is known for its strong winds and prime windsurfing conditions. It was my first time kayaking there, and I managed to snag a spot close to the lake for an easy launch.
The winds were calm on shore but stronger as I paddled out to the middle of the lake. After an hour or two, the winds picked up and the waves got choppy—my kind of kayaking—so I made another trip across the lake before heading to shore.
I’d never loaded the kayak with strong winds before, and it turned out to be quite the challenge with my foam block kayak carrier. Although some instruction manuals tell you to lash the foam blocks to the kayak before loading, I’ve found it easier to load solo by setting the blocks on top of the car and sliding the kayak up the back window and onto the blocks. On a calm day, the system works perfectly. But on a day like that, the blocks wouldn’t stay in place long enough for me to load the kayak.
I figured out how to keep the blocks in place by pinching the straps (the ones that run through the hole in the blocks) inside the car door on each side. Once I loaded the kayak, all I had to worry about was holding it in place until I could strap it down. The wind gusts were strong enough to flip my kayak over onto the car next to mine.
Lesson Learned: Foam block kayak carriers are not the best option for windy days. That’s when a roof rack system comes in handy.