Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The ride

I finally got a kayak on top of the roof rack and on top of the car that will be driving to Alaska. It was nice to finally get into the water, it had been close to a month between weather, the drysuit and work. I met my wife for lunch after paddling in cold wet conditions and she immediately saw the difference in my mood. I am noticeably happier after kayaking, as I have said before it is my meditation. It sets my mind straight. And that is the joy of kayaking.

I wish that the crossbars were a bit further apart, but the rear bar is just in front of the rear bulkhead, and the front bar is just behind a hull support that runs across the floor of the cockpit - I originally thought that bar was to stiffen the hull in the cockpit while paddling but when talking to Mark Hall of Delta kayaks he informed me that it for exactly the reason above. To stiffen the kayak when on a roof rack.

While the fit of the rack is perfect - after many years of Yakima use, this Thule rack was the easiest fit I have ever done - the rectangular bars flex a bit more than I am used to when loading a kayak on board. Yakima's round bars are clearly stronger. I could have used the Thule Aero bars, but they are a bit more expensive.

The absolute coolest thing though, is that the little Toyota Yaris has a removable tow hook on the front right side. Making a bow line easy to attach. No more crawling under the car looking for something to hook it onto.

I did see about a 6 mpg drop with the roof racks on, I can only assume it will be worse with two kayaks up there. Hopefully the price of gas will drop back down by the end of June.