This is a easy, simple, cheap and super-light system to carry your kayak on your shoulder for a long trip. I have tested on a 5 hour trekking and it works! The system is stable an easy to put on shoulders.
How to make the sherpa system for your kayak:
Find an old backpack, preferably with a chest connection and with adjustable straps. Now you can cut out the shoulder straps from it.
Fix a short little rope to the shoulder straps to connect the seat to the straps:
This is probably the more complicate part. You need to be sure to have a strong junction between the strap and the rope used to connect the seat. I have used a seam with nylon thread (stronger than cotton) to create an attachment point for the rope.
Connect the rope to the back of the seat:
For all the WaveSport and Dagger kayak is pretty easy to connect the rope to the seat since is has few places to attach a rope right behind the seat. If you don’t find an attachment point, you can always go around the back part that connect the seat to the foam in the tail. The straps need to start just at the backrest height.
Make an attachment point to the handles behind the cockpit:
Connect the straps with a removable system to the handle to the kayak. It’s better to have something like a carabiner or a clip in order to easy place the straps into the kayak quickly. In this way it’s possible to use the kayak for an eventual ferry in 10 seconds!
How to adjust the carry system:
The straps need to be adjusted to have the shoulder in the middle of the seat. It’s important to set also the connection between the two straps in the middle of the chest using the standard clips.
The placement of the helmet and the spray-deck like in the photo it’s crucial to be comfortable and have the correct support for the back. The backrest needs to be tight and faces toward your back to provide, in addition with the helmet, a correct support to your upper back and to not squeeze your shoulder into the seat. The spray-deck, or something similar places below the cockpit and attached with a carabiner, is useful to give a good lower back support.
Words and pictures by: Michele Ramazza
Michele’s website – Click Here
If you would prefer an off the shelf system check out the HF Turtleback.