Kayak Loading Made Easy

My back and neck aren’t what they used to be.  I have to admit that after a few car accidents affecting my back in combination with shoulder reconstructive surgery, loading and unloading a kayak isn’t my favorite part of a fishing trip.

Step one was to lower the height of transporting my kayak.  Although I prefer a relatively low profile and cost efficient vehicle, loading up onto the roof still required lifting above the shoulder.  This effort put stress both on my shoulder and neck.  Days following fishing trips made my chiropractor very happy, but left me feeling regretful in pain.

After some time, I changed to a Malone trailer with a Thule Glide and Set 883 pad system.  In my opinion, this has been one of the best investments, albeit not cheap, that I have made since starting in the sport of kayak fishing in 2006.  The lower height of the Malone trailer limits lifting to below the shoulder, virtually eliminating stress on my neck and compression in my shoulder joint.


The concept of the Thule Glide and Set 883 system uses a pair of felt pads on the aft bar of the trailer that are manufactured with a flexible joint.  This flexible joint takes on any shape change of the kayak hull as it is pushed up onto the trailer.  The thick felt on the pads allows the kayak to glide effortlessly into position.

Aft mounted Thule Glide pad

Aft end of kayak on Thule Glide pads

For the front bar of any trailer, Thule has designed an adjustable set of pads that feature a rubber material and articulating joint that allows the angler to change the fillet arch, matching that of any kayak hull shape.  The rubber resists fore/aft movement of the kayak in combination with tie-down straps.  Even in wet weather on long trips, I haven’t had any issues with the kayak sliding out of position.

Thule Set pad

Front mounted Thule Set pad

Front side hull of kayak on Thule Set pad

So, if you’re looking for a way to ease the effort of kicking off or concluding a kayak fishing trip, check out the Thule Glide and Set 883 system in combination with the Malone trailer at your local kayak shop.  I’ve had this system for two years now, and I love it!

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