Cheap DIY Kayak Locking cable for road trips

November 06th, 2012, 12:45am

A big smile immediately follows whenever the word "Road Trip" is announced or comes to mind.  Paddling is always fun but let's face gets a little boring after a while going to the same places.  That's why a road trip becomes an exotic vacation to any paddler.  New Scenery, different weather, new people to meet, and so on.  But it comes to no surprise when reality sets in that your road trip likely requires a stay at a hotel. Immediately you begin to think..."What do I do with the kayak on my vehicle?"..."Will it fit in my room?"..."Is the area safe from theft?"... "Is it worth the risk?"  These are natural thoughts and it should be.  That's an expensive item on your vehicle and it will likely grab attention.  In some cases, Yes, it will fit in your room.  However, that is not always the case, nor always permitted.

The solution is to buy a kayak lock set from your local or online kayak store.  They are not that expensive.  However, what if you have no time to get it in time or your local store is out of stock?  Have no fear.  There is a cheap, simple, solution to the matter.  Create one yourself without tools!  Simply visit any bicycle shop, or department store that carries bicycles (Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, etc...).  Pickup two 4 foot bicycle locking cables (usually provided with a combination lock) and one 12 foott bicycle locking cable (also with combination or pad lock).  That's all you need.  Three cables, and three locks.

Mount your kayak to your kayak rack on top of your vehicle.  Then take each of the two 4ft cables and lock each loop on its own.  This will give you two separate rings.  Wrap one ring through the bow and feed it up towards the cockpit until it can't get any closer.  Take the second loop and bring it around the stern and feed it up to the cockpit until it can't get any closer.  Now take the 12 ft cable (unlocked) and weave it through one loop (we'll say the bow loop) and then feed it under the rack bars toward the rear loop (stern loop).  Feed into the stern loop and then weave over the rack bars and back to the bow loop at the front.  Lock the 12 ft loop and your done!  This assumes two things.  You have a roof rack for your kayak and the rack is locked to your roof.  If your roof rack is not locked, get a forth cable at the store (with lock) that is long enough to feed around the stern loop and fed to through a tow loop under your vehicle (Assuming you have a tow loop and it is a close loop).  Close the new loop and lock it and now you kayak is locked to your chassis.  Also note, if your 12 ft cord is too long, wrap it around each rack rod until there is no more slack when closing the loop.  See image below for a simplified representation.


Scion kayak cable lock diagram


Image Notes: Green loops are the 4 footers. Magenta Loop is the 12 footer

Will this guarantee you will not get you kayak stolen?  No.  But it will certainly make it impossible for the impulsive thief just strolling by without any cutting tools on hand.

Other notes of interest.  Ask the concierge if there is security cameras on premises.  Let them know you have the kayak on the vehicle.  Ask that their security staff make an extra effort to watch the cameras or drive around more often.  (bribing with breakfast, snacks, and/or coffee, as a thank you, may be worth it too)

Good Luck.  Be safe.  Explore and enjoy our country.


Cheap DIY Kayak Locking cable for road trips


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