How is the klip-n-go kayak different from other portaging methods.
The key to the klip-n-go kayak strap is the attachment of the clips to the cockpit rim.
When you carry a kayak with your hand inside gripping the cowling (cockpit) rim, the bottom of the kayak naturally moves up and out, away from your leg. The problem is, your kayak ends up at thigh level, swinging around and banging against you. Navigation in uneven terrain is difficult at best and it’s a constant strain on your arm.
Carrying a kayak up on your shoulder is strenuous work as well, and balancing longer kayaks this way is both unsteady and tiring. Wrap around straps allow you to carry the kayak high enough, but do not pull the bottom out and away from your legs, so you end up doing the one-legged shuffle with the bottom of your kayak riding on your thigh. Carts are fine for on the beach, if you don't mind running it back to your vehicle or strapping it on the back, but they don't work well in rugged terrain.
The klip-n-go kayak strap allows you to carry your kayak at your hip or across in front of you, preventing arm strain and freeing your hands for gear. The bottom of your kayak extends up and out away from your legs, so you are free to walk in a more natural motion. The kayak leads your way down the trail, with a slight nudge up or down on the boat allowing you to easily handle those steep hillsides and rough portage trails. Plus it clips right on your kayak.
How do I connect the klip-n-go to my kayak?
The clips can be attached to the kayak whether its laying flat or on it's side. The strap is designed for cross-shoulder use, and is attached on the side of the kayak opposite your stronger arm, i.e. on the left side of the kayak if you're right handed. Attach the aft clip (the one closest to the adjuster slide) as far back on the side of the cockpit rim as possible.
Avoid areas that have exposed lines that may be damaged if the clip gets pulled loose, although it should remain tightly secured. Attach the fore clip on the same side of the kayak, as far to the front as possible, again avoiding exposed lines and being careful not to twist the strap.
Lift the kayak on its side, if its not already there. You can then either lift your kayak by hand, slipping the strap over your head and shoulder as you bring it up, or squat down, put the strap over your shoulder and lift the kayak with your legs.
Adjust the strap pad on your shoulder until you find your comfort zone, then find the balance point of your kayak by sliding the strap through the pad until the kayak is pointed slightly up from level in the front. The kayak should be riding with it's top edge on the ball of your hip for the smaller, lighter kayaks, or across in front of you for the heavier boats, and it's bottom edge extended at a small angle away from your legs. If not, adjust the length of the strap by pulling it through the slide until it does.
This allows you to walk easily, with the kayak directly out in front of you pointing the way. A little nudge on the boat up or down allows you to change its angle and makes it much less difficult to traverse uneven terrain.
When you reach the water, remove the strap, put it in tote bag, and either stow it in your cockpit or clip it on the back. Both the nylon bags and the polyester webbing are water resistant and quick drying as long as they are given some air.
Do you have any video?
Watch our new demonstration video on youTube.
Watch our live demonstration video on youTube.
What's the best way to install the pads?
We tuck the pads inside the clips before we mail them to help shape them, but its best if you first bend the pad back and forth to give it additional flexibility. Next, insert the pad inside the clip and start to remove the adhesive paper from the pad starting at the rounded end and only peeling it back an inch or so. Attach the rounded end to the inside of the clip, aligning it along the edge of the curve as carefully as possible.
Peel back the remaining paper in sections, pressing the revealed pad to the clip as you go and keeping the edges straight. Try to keep it tight to the corners, but don't worry if a little gap develops there. If the rounded tip of the pad pulls away because of the last bend in the clip, a little super-glue can be applied to the end to keep it secure.
Does my size or my kayak size matter?
We've found that the smaller paddlers, under 5'4" and wiry, have difficulty carrying their kayaks up on the hip at their side. They have to shorten the strap so much that it causes it to pinch against their necks. Typically, the taller you are, the less neck strain you feel when trying to portage the kayak at your side, although the weight of the boat figures into the equation as well.
That's a shame, because the biggest thing I've learned is that the smaller paddlers with less upper body strength (both men and women) sometimes have a difficult time just getting their kayaks from their vehicle down to the water if it's any distance at all. They can't lift the heavier kayaks onto their shoulders, or carry it one handed by the cowling at their side. They pick it up sideways in front of themselves with both hands, balancing the kayak at their waist and waddling it down to the shore so they don't have to drag it
The good thing is that our strap works perfectly for this. When they carry it leaning across the front of their hip with the kayak hanging more sideways across the front and the strap pad more across their back, they are able to handle the weight much more easily and with greater security, and since the kayak is pulled out from their legs, they don’t have to waddle so much and can walk easier, although not quite as easy as when it’s at their side.
We do not recommend the klip-n-go kayak strap to anyone has has experienced any neck, back, or shoulder pain or injuries.
Be smart folks. Kayaks can be heavy. If the kayak is too heavy for you and the strap is causing a strain, do not use it. I will be happy to refund your money instead.