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How to use a Kayak Trolley

How to use a Kayak Trolley

Exploring the great outdoors completely at your own pace. Challenging your endurance with a long-distance paddle. Enjoying the quiet of a solo sunrise fishing trip. These are just some of the amazing experiences kayakers enjoy. What do they all have in common? They can be enjoyed entirely alone. This is one of the many appealing aspects of kayaking, but it comes hand in hand with one of the biggest challenges of the sport; safely transporting your kayak solo.

solo kayak adventure relax

Want a slice of nature to yourself but want to do it safely? Read on to find out how

We have covered how to transport your kayak on your vehicle in an earlier post. Here, we will look at how to use a kayak trolley to get your kayak from your vehicle or storage location to the water.

If you’re looking for tips on transporting your kayak, check out our guides How to Transport a Kayak and How to Tie a Kayak to a Roof Rack

Do I really need a kayak trolley?

The short answer is; yes. A kayak trolley is as an essential part of your gear as a paddle and a lifejacket! Here’s why.

Extending the lifespan of your kayak

A kayak trolley designed to support your style of kayak will drastically extend the lifespan of your vessel. Whether your kayak is plastic, fibreglass, wood or inflatable, dragging it along a surface in order to from A to B will cause unnecessary wear and tear on the hull. A kayak trolley allows you to lift the kayak off the rough ground and roll it along with ease, keeping your boat in excellent condition for years to come. 

Avoiding Injury

Kayaks are notoriously cumbersome pieces of equipment. Many can weigh upwards of 25kg with even the smallest of models coming in at over 2m in length. A kayak trolley or cart supports the weight of the craft and distributes it evenly, giving you one point from which to pull your vessel along. You can also use a trolley to affix your kayak to a bicycle to access even more amazing locations.

kayak trolley on bike

A kayak trolley makes it easy to transport your craft with a bike

Pulling your kayak on a trolley has other injury-avoidance benefits. You can look where you are going, keep stable footing over rough terrain and keep a hand free to guide you through bushes and trees and other obstacles. 

kayak trolley benefits

A kayak trolley lets you keep your hands free for more important things

More Paddling Energy

The most significant benefit of using a kayak cart is that it eliminates the strain of carrying your kayak to and from the water! This gives you more energy for your paddle. You will also be able to paddle to your limit without the worry of having to lug your bulky yak back to your car at the end of the day.

kayak trolley on sand

Ok, I need a trolley, but what type?

Now that we have convinced you on all the wondrous benefits of adding a kayak trolley to your gear, you may be wondering what style is right for you. There are 3 simple questions you need to answer:

  1. What type of kayak do you have?
  2. What terrain are you most likely to encounter on your paddle adventures?
  3. Will you need to store your trolley onboard your kayak while you paddle?

The right trolley for your kayak

Here at Bay Sports, we carry the three main types of trolley

  • Cone support for Sit-On-Top kayaks
  • Cradle support for Sit-On-Top kayaks
  • Platform support for both Sit-On and Sit-In kayaks (can also be used for SUPs, surfboards, boats etc)
Cone Support/Scupper Hole

A scupper hole or cone support style trolley is designed to fit sit-on-top kayaks by inserting arms into the kayak’s scupper holes.

sit on top kayak trolley

Kayak trolley with cone supports

To fit a sit-on-top kayak to a scupper trolley firstly remove all the loose gear and fittings like pole rod holders from the kayak. Then, turn the kayak on its side and align the arms of the trolley with the scupper holes of the kayak (you may need to adjust the width of the arms of the trolley). Insert the arms into the scupper holes and make any further adjustments to ensure the fit is secure.

Once you have inserted the arms into the kayak’s scupper holes, turn the kayak upright with the scupper trolley beneath it. The kayak is held in place by tapered rubber grippers, so you do not need any additional straps to secure it to the trolley! If the weight capacity of the trolley allows you can now put all your gear into the kayak and roll everything to the water’s edge with ease. 

Shop Sit-On-Top Kayak Trolley with Cone Supports

Cradle Support

A cradle support trolley holds your yak between two arms with the hull resting on a rubber cradle. Like the cone support style above, you do not need to further secure this style of trolley with a strap. 

kayak trolley with cradle support

Kayak trolley with cradle support

The primary benefit of this style of trolley is that you can place your vessel between the arms without having to unload your gear and turn the kayak on its side. This makes this trolley ideal for our range of sit-on-top fishing kayaks.

Shop Sit-On-Top Kayak Trolley with Cradle Supports

Platform Style

Similar to the cradle support, you can load a kayak onto a platform trolley without first unloading your loose gear. You will need a strap to fix your kayak to your trolley but the benefit of a platform-style over a cradle is the ability to transport multiple vessels. You can also use this style of trolley to manoeuvre other craft such as stand up paddleboards, surfboards and small boats. 

kayak trolley platform

Kayak trolley with platform support

To load the kayak, firstly position the trolley alongside the centre of your vessel at an angle. Pick up the stern of your yak and place it on top of the cart. Finally, secure your kayak to the cart using a tie-down strap. All Bay Sports platform trollies come with tie-down straps included! 

kayak trolley for sit in kayak

Shop Sit-Inside Kayak Trolley

The right trolley for the terrain

Different terrain will demand different things from your kayak trolley. For a good all-rounder look for a trolley with pneumatic tyres. These are great if you are commonly wheeling your kayak over concrete, grass or packed sand such as from a car park to a boat ramp. 

Pneumatic tyres can be punctured by stray shards of glass or sharp rocks hidden in the sand - if this is a concern consider our Kayak Trolley for Use on Sand. This trolley has puncture-free wheels and a load capacity of 120kg, making it seriously durable.

kayak trolley for use on sand

Kayak trolley for use on sand

Finally, if you are looking for a trolley to guide your kayak over dry sand or rough terrain, our beach balloon trollies are ideal. Large 9’’/23cm diameter balloon tyres provide stable support on uneven terrain which is especially useful in sandy areas. Both sit-on-top and sit-inside versions are available. 

all terrain kayak trolley balloon tyres

Kayak trolley with balloon tyres

Storing your trolley while you paddle

If you are taking your kayak a short distance from your car to the water, it may be possible for you to pop back to your vehicle and stow your trolley away while you paddle. If you are transporting your kayak over a longer distance, however, you may want to consider a trolley designed to easily fold down and be stored in a hatch.

This is where our Mini Trolley is perfect. This small but mighty platform-style trolley has a load capacity of 80kg and has been designed specifically to fold up and fit inside the hatch of your Sit-In / Touring kayak.

mini kayak trolley

Mini kayak trolley

If you have any questions regarding the right solution for your kayak get in touch via the Live Chat in the bottom right corner of your screen or shoot us an email at


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